Born May 27, 1822 in Blankenburg, Brunswick, Germany. Prior to the American Civil War, he was a lieutenant in the Prussian army. During the Civil War he served as lieutenant colonel of the 74th Ohio Infantry and then as lieutenant colonel and assistant inspector general in staff positions including the 14th Army Corps and The Army of the Cumberland. Brevetted brigadier general March 13, 1865 for "gallant and meritorious conduct at the battles of Stones River, Tennessee and Chickamauga, Georgia, during the Atlanta Campaign and particularly for the battle of Jonesboro, Georgia." Postwar he remained in the regular army with the rank of major.