A New Life in America

The Struggles and Realities of a German Family on the Western Frontier

Gary Damron

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This is a story of a family that had a vision and saw it through to the end. The Hankammer Family had no other choice but to give up their homeland and move to another country with only the possessions they could put into a travel trunk, in order to start a new life. Upon arrival in America, they took what little they had and traveled half-way across this continent by flatboat and wagon train to settle on the western frontier with little or no understanding of the turmoil and strife around them between a government wanting to push west and a native resident not willing to give up their land. Wilhelm and Anna Sibilla's son, Adolph, left home to be a soldier in the U.S. Army, joining company K of the 11th Kansas volunteers, a German Regiment, and fought in the war between the North and South. His letters home to his brother-in-law John Schwanke and his sister Wilhelmina Schwanke, expresses his feelings, misunderstandings, the environment he lived in, and desires to move forward once the war is over. His letters are featured in Appendix I of this book These letters have been translated from the original German text to English. The story doesn't end here. A restless Adolph mustered back into the Army and ended up at the Platte River Bridge in Wyoming only to fight one last battle to secure safe passage for the settlers moving west, which was propagated by the Sand Creek Massacre in Southeast Colorado. Gary Damron Author

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