Short Bios | Peter Cappell

Captain Peter Cappell, 32nd Indiana
By Michael A. Peake

Peter Cappell was born in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany in 1828. On June 15, 1852, he wed Margaretha Zundorff at Cologne (Köln), Germany, and the following year she bore him twin daughters Margaretha and Nance, the first of six children.

In August 1861, he traveled to Indianapolis to muster into Company “F” and was elected 1st lieutenant in September. Cappell distinguished himself at Rowlett’s Station and again at Shiloh. Three days after the battle, Cappell was promoted to captain and was officially mustered into the rank when the regiment reached Corinth, Mississippi in June. At the battle of Chickamauga, a musket ball passed through is left hand. He mustered out of the 32nd Indiana in September 1864 and returned home to Cincinnati. Like so many of his comrades he suffered the effects of three grueling years of campaigning through the South. For 22 years, Cappell worked as a postman, all the while afflicted with a liver disease, chronic rheumatism and hearing loss in both ears that increased to nearly complete deafness as he aged. Cappell died January 1, 1903 and was buried at the Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati.

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Captain Peter Cappell
Library of Congress: LC-USZ62-129174