Civil War Camp table


Folding Civil War camp table. Originally owned by Johann Carl Hagen, Co H 32nd Indiana Infantry, wounded and pensioned for his service. The table has three adjustable dowell heights and can be folded flat for moving or storage.

Carl Hagen was born January 13, 1834 in Germany. In 1858 he came to America and enlisted in Company H, Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. He was wounded at Shiloh and honorably discharged in May 1862. He married Lisette Listharke December 3, 1865 and in 1870 settled in Sumter Township, Minnesota, where he lived until his death September 7, 1911. Carl Hagen was the father of co-operative creamery plants in McLeod County; under his guidance the Biscay creamery was established. He also was instrumental in organizing the Sumter Fire Insurance Company, of which he was secretary for 33 years. Donor Richard Jon Hagen is a great-grandson of Carl Hagen.

Notes from Carl Hagen's granddaughter Wilhelmine "Wilma" Hagen Wilmer: "This type of table was used by the officers in the Union Army - General Grant had one. My Grandfather, Carl F. Hagen, left Europe because he did not want to be drafted into the army, which they automatically were at the age of 21. He landed in New Orleans, Miss. and found work there. It was not too long before the Civil War became imminent. When he saw that the southern states were going to secede he decided to join the northern cause as he felt he had just left a country that was divided and he did not want it for this country, so he joined General Grant's army. He was wounded while doing spy work for him. Somewhere he acquired this table and brought it to Long Grove, Illinois, where an uncle of his lived. Later, after he married a Barrington girl, he homesteaded in Minn. and the table went along and since I made good use of it while at home helping Grandfather with his insurance work, it was given to me for sentimental reasons."

Photographs exist of folding camp furniture used by soldiers of the American Civil War. Most of the photographs show officers seated around tables like this one. They were constructed of pine with screws and had movable dowell joints so the table could fold flat. These tables were primarily used in fixed camps and for winter quarters.