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Christian Saalmann in Union Army uniform - painting from photo

Reinhard Gottfried Christian Saalmann

25 Jan 1829 - Jul or Aug, 1864

Hoym and War

Christian Saalmann was baptized in the Lutheran Evangelical Reformed church as Reinhard Gottfried Christian Saalmann, in the village of Hoym, Anhalt-Sachsen (Saxony), located in what is today, northeastern Germany. Hoym had been the capital of the principality of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym, a State in the Holy Roman Empire from 1718 - 1812. Control had been passed from one Prince to another until Francis II, the last Emperor, abdicated and dissolved the Empire in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

Democratic forces and popular liberalism gathered strength against the Royals and fomented uprisings all across Europe. In 1848, a wave of revolution spread from France to Germany to Poland and Hungary; social upheaval rocked societies.

As Christian came of age in the late 1840's, battles were fought between German duchies, Prussia, the German Confederation and Denmark for power and control, while crop failures and epidemics led to further chaos, suffering and death.

In Dresden, the capital of the Kingdom of Saxony, the people took to the streets asking King Frederick Augustus II to engage in electoral reform and social justice. Frederick responded in 1849 by inviting Prussian troops to enter Saxony, to bolster his forces and enforce his opposition to the implemention of a constitution.

Christian was twenty years old and liable for conscription into the Prussian Army. The German States saw a sharp rise in emigration as tens of thousands fled their homelands for safer, more beneficial shores.

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