Jacob Brenner was born in Columbia, Lancaster, PA 26 Sep 1839 and died 26 Aug 1919 in Manhattan, Kansas. He was a son of Adam and Suzanne (Yordy) Brenner. He was married in 1874 to Charlotte Smith in Porterville, Bourbon Co., Kansas born 10 Dec 1849 at Nelsonville, OH and died 31 Dec 1915 in Manhattan, Kansas. Both are buried there.
The Brenners had five children Viva b. 20 Apr 1875, d. 28 Jun 1964 Lincoln, NE m. Frank Morrison, Herschel Tice b. 5 Feb 1878, d. 29 Jan 1960 Marysville, m. Maud Ellen Eastham, George Kelly b. 3 Nov 1879, d. 31 Oct 1932, m. Eltie Hoff, Eva Hope—, Edna b. 21 Jul 1886,d.—m. M J Snyder.
Jacob Brenner’s parents moved from Columbia, Lancaster, PA in 1852. That trip was made over the Pennsylvania RR across the mountains to Blairstown, then by canal boat to Pittsburgh, then by steamboat to Savanna, ILand the last 35 miles by wagon. Jacob attended a district school atFreeport for two years. He was in the class with Charles J. Guiteau who assassinated President Garfield in 1881.
In 1862 Jacob enlisted in Co. D 93rd IL Infantry and served until the end of the Civil War. During that time he served with Grant in the MS campaign. During those engagements, Jacob was wounded, losing three fingers. Incapacitated for actual service in the field by the loss of the greater part of one hand, he served as nurse in a military hospital in Chicago until the close of the war.
Brenner was with Grant in the Mississippi campaign, wading swamps, lying on log, and at times, on the dead bodies of his comrades, as at Lake Providence in the expedition which Grant was directing against Vicksburg. He was a member of the unsuccessful Tallahatchie effort to reach Haines Bluff and thus attack Vicksburg from the north and east. Failing in that attempt Grant as you recall, moved down the river past the Confederate batteries and south of Vicksburg gained a solid footing on the east side of the river.
Then began an expedition which for sublime audacity and sheer military adventure has scarcely an equal in the annals of warfare. With three corps led by Sherman, McPherson and McClernand respectively Grant cut loose from his base on supplies, marched toward Jackson and captured that city, defeating Johnston and scattering his forces eastward. He then turned about and faced Pemberton to whom the defense of Vicksburg had been entrusted. Pvt. Brenner was in that brilliant and remarkable campaign evidently under McPherson as he participated in the battle in which Jackson was taken by the Federal troops. On the way to Vicksburg Grant encountered Pemberton in force at Champion’s Hill. The brunt of the battle fell on McPherson’s corps and one division of McClernand’s. After eight hours of most stubborn fighting the Confederate army was driven from the field and hastily retired toward the defenses of the city. It was in this attack that Mr. Brenner was wounded, losing three fingers of his hand by a musket ball, which but for his gun, would have penetrated his body.
Brenner headed West in 1869 and took a claim on the Cherokee neutral land in Bourbon County near Fort Scott, Kansas where he made his home for 31 years. He was elected to the state legislature in 1872. In 1892 he was commissioned as a US Timber Agent. The family moved to Manhattan, KS circa 1900 and settled in the College Hill community to take advantage of Kansas State Agricultural College.
Photo by Diane Norcross Long – used with permission.