Aaron Stern – Corporal, United States Army

The following information was submitted and is copyrighted (c) 1998 by Milton E. Botwinick of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Botwinick is a professional genealogist who has given his kind permission for this material to be posted here. This copywrited information cannot be reproduced or used in any fashion without Mr. Botwinick's permission ([email protected]).

“Aaron Stern was born in Koenigsberg, Prussia, Germany in March between 1830 and 1835. Documentation on Aaron Stern gave various birth dates and varied birth places from Germany to Russia; the city is always Koenigsberg.

“On 6 May 1853, A. Stern , age 24, arrived in New York City aboard the ship Magdalen;this may have been Aaron Stern who enlisted in the 8th Infantry, Company. B, United States Army on 23 August 1855. From the General Depot Aaron Stern joined the rolls of the 8th Infantry, Company B at Fort Bliss, Texas as a recruit in Jan 1856.

“On 6 October 1858 the 8th Infantry, Company B, USA fought at the San Juan River, New Mexico. From 19 October to 18 November 1858 Company B participated in the Navajo Expedition, 9th Military Department, Department of New Mexico, District of New Mexico. On 21 February 1859, Company B left Fort Stanton, New Mexico en route to Fort Buchanan New Mexico, a march of 129 miles. Fort Breckinridge New Mexico is located at the confluence of Arivipa Creek and the San Pedro River in present day Arizona State about 56 miles north of Tucson. The site is now known as Old Camp Grant Military Reservation [abandoned].

“From July to September 1859 Corporal Stern was in charge of stores of the Sutler's Department. On 24 October 1859 Corporal Stern was on detached duty at Camp Rio, San Pedro, New Mexico, supervising 30 privates. From December 1859 to April 1860 Aaron Stern was on extended duty in charge of stores. From June of 1860 Corporal Stern was acting Sergeant of the Commissary in the Quartermaster's Department.

“Twenty-five year old Aaron Stern was stationed at Fort Arivaipa on 1 July 1860. The census dated 14 August at the San Pedro Settlement listed A. Stern, age 30, laborer, born in Russia; this was probably Aaron Stern who appears to have taken an early discharge at Fort Arivaipa. The first enlistment of Aaron Stern expired on 23 August 1860 at Fort Breckenridge.

“Aaron Stern could have been in Arizona while the Texan Confederate forces invaded and captured the area. It is possible that he left the area before the invasion or that he fought against the rebels with volunteer militia. During this time frame the Union forces withdrew from the area burning and destroying their fortifications and material, including Fort Breckinridge, to prevent the rebels taking them. What Aaron Stern did for his year and a half as a civilian prior to enlisting for two years in the Ordinance Detachment at the Saint Louis Arsenal, Missouri on 22 January 1862 is unknown. The index to the 1864 and 1866 Federal Arizona Territorial Census listed an Aaron Stern at Fort Ariviapa. I have examined films of the 1864/66 censuses without finding an Aaron Stern listing. This index is probably unreliable.

The 22 January 1865 enlistment in St. Louis, Missouri for three years describes him with black hair, black eyes, florid complexion, 5′ 6 1/2”. On 22 January of 1868 Aaron Stern was discharged upon Expiration of Service in St. Louis Ars'l, Missouri, a Corporal. He then enlisted on 23 January 1868 in the Ordinance Department at the Arsenal.

Aaron Stern appeared in the 1870 Federal Census, Seventh Ward of Washington, District of Columbia, occupation soldier. On 22 January 1871 he was discharged upon Expiration of Service from the Washington Arsenal, District of Columbia, a Cpl. From 19 August 1872 to 1 July 1874 Aaron Stern was enlisted in General Service, US Artillery by J. P. Martin of Assistant Adjutant General. Corporal Stern was a messenger with the Surgeon General's Office [SGO] in 1873. The 1874 District of Columbia City Directory gave the address of Aaron Stern as between 16th NS 17th NW. On 1 July 1874 he was discharged from the Surgeon General's Office as a Private.

“The 1877 Official Register of the United States [ORUS] is the first listing for Aaron Stern, watchman Surgeon General's Office, indicating he was born in Prussia earning $720.00 while appointed from the District of Columbia. In the War Deprtment he ranked as a messenger having charge of a storeroom.

“In 1880 Aaron Stern boarded with Maurice Cohen, age 48, a war department clerk from Hamburg and his wife Fannie Cohen, age 40, from Bavaria with their five children at 1143 10th St NW. In 1900 Aaron Stern still boarded with the widow Cohen age 29. Stern had 33 years residence in the district.

“The pension record indicates that Aaron Stern suffered from lumbago and had no evidence of viscous habits. Due to a continuing ringing in his ears he was a patient at Providence Hospital. A Washington Post obituary dated 25 May 1904 called Aaron Stern a suicide due to insomnia. His body was discovered at 10 o'clock in the 5th floor storeroom of the state department wing, room 509 R.S., of the State War Navy Building. Undertaker Gawler's buried Aaron Stern in Arlington National Cemetery.

“The Washington Post obituary mentioned he was a member of the Masonic fraternity. In his will he left Columbia Lodge #3, Free and Accepted Masons, DC $500. Mr. J. Claude Keiper, was left $100 in Aaron Stern's will, a high ranking mason and a high official in the War Department who supervised the cremation and funeral arrangements. Upon his May 24 1904 death Aaron Stern was cremated and interred with the Masonic rite in section 13, grave 14606, Arlington National Cemetery.

“The will of Aaron Stern probated in 1904 gave to the widow of his late half-brother, Saul Joseph Stern residing in Walk, Government Livland, Russia in Europe, the sum of $500.00 . To his half-brother Isaac Jacob Stern in Krupka, Government Mohilew, Russia in Europe, the sum of $1,000. To his brother, Markus S. Stern in Jerusalem, Palestine, Turkey in Asia the sum of $1,500. To his nephew, Menachem Joseph Stern, son of his brother, Markus S. Stern, in Jerusalem $1,000. To his half-sister, Mrs. Hyah Jonas in Goldinger, Government Mittau, Russia $1,000. To his nephew, Salamon Stern, residing at 201 Wood Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the sum of $500.

“To his sister, Mrs. Rosa Lemchemn, in Sassmacken, Government Mittau, Russia $1,000. All the rest .. unto his niece, Mrs. Rachel Salmonsohn, in Riga, to provide a comfortable home for his sister, Mrs. Rosa Lemchen. To his niece, Mrs. Rosa Freedman of Wilmington, Del., $500.00. To Lincoln Post #3, Department of the Potomac, GAR, $500. To Hebrew Orphans Home, Atlanta, Georgia, $500. To Mrs. Fannie Cohen, widow of the late Morris Cohen, residing at #601 G St, SW, DC $500. Executor National Safe Deposit, Savings and Trust Co., DC.


1 July 1860 Federal Territorial census of Arizona, page 1 1900 census, Federal, DC T1038-3 vol 8, ed 98. sh 9, line 53 1870; Federal Census M593#126 seventh ward, Washington DC, 24 June 211874; Military Discharge, Washington, D. C. FHL#350346, vol 76, page 216, line 773. DC City Directory Aaron Stern 1870 Federal Military Pension Claim 1076.901, Certificate 800209 24 May 1905, Aaron Stern, District of Columbia death certificate #155146 #58 folio 473 will of Aaron Stern probated in the District of Columbia 1904 Arizona Tubac[newspaper], film from Princeton University Washington Post[newspaper] 25 may 1904 Germans To America, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore MD; A Guide to the Military Posts of the United States 1789-1895, Francis P Prucha, The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 1964. Official Register of the United States … , Washington, Government Printing Office; A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion by Frederick H Dyer; Synopsis of the History of the Eighth US Infantry and the Military Records of Officers Assigned to the Regiment From its Organization, July 1838 to September 1871. David's island, NY, 1871. The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier and Citizen, Simon Wolf, The Levytype Co., Philadelphia 1895; A History of The Grand Lodge and of Freemasonry in the District of Columbia … compiled by Kenton N Harper published by order of the Grand Lodge, Washington, DC 1911. Register of Enlistments in the US Army, M233, National Archives; Returns From Army Infantry Regiments, M665, National Archives Returns from US Military Posts, M617, National Archives RG94, Adjutant General, Enlistment Papers, National Archives.


  • DATE OF DEATH: 05/24/1904
  • BURIED AT:   SITE 14606

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