Private August Kellner was a twenty-nine-year-old Prussian immigrant three months into his second five-year enlistment when he was shot in the head at Wounded Knee. He was one of two soldiers in Captain Ilsley’s E Troop to be killed that day, while engaged with Lakota that were firing from concealed positions within the ravine in which the survivors of the initial melee had sought refuge. One of Kellner’s non-commissioned officers, Sergeant Albert W. McMillan, mentioned Kellner’s death in a deposition that McMillan provided for the purpose of documenting two other troopers’ gallant conduct, “Private Kellner Troop “E” 7th Cavalry, the skirmisher on his [Lieutenant Sickel’s] right had been shot by one of the Indians concealed in the above mentioned pocket. I was the skirmisher on Lieut Sickel’s left about 5yds distant from him.”
Kellner’s troop commander inventoried his personal effects, disposed of them through a council of administration probably by selling them to soldiers in the troop, and sent the monies along with retained pay and pay for clothing not drawn–in all about thirty-eight dollars–to the Adjutant General’s Office in Washington. The soldier’s mother, Frau Heline Kellner, almost certainly received her son’s monies at her home in Germany where she filed for a pension on 21 March 1891.August Kellner was born about 1861 in the small village of Klein Schönwalde on the Baltic Sea, which at that time was in the district of Stralsund in the Prussian province of Pomerania, what today is known as Groß-Schönwalde, Ostvorpommern, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. All that is recorded of his family is that his mother’s name was Heline. By the early 1880s Kellner was working as a fleischer or butcher in the city of Schwerin about 175 kilometers west of his birthplace. Kellner left his homeland in May 1883 when he made his way to Hamburg, boarded the steamship Gellert, and traveled up the Elbe River into the North Sea and across the Atlantic arriving in New York Harbor on 12 June.
Kellner enlisted in the Army at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, on 8 July 1885, again listing his occupation as a butcher. The twenty-four-year-old German emigrant stood just under five feet, five inches with grey eyes, light hair, and a fair complexion. He was assigned to H Troop, 7th Cavalry under the command of Captain Charles C. DeRudio where he served in the Dakota Territory at Forts Yates and Meade. Kellner completed his five-year enlistment on 7 July 1890 at Fort Sill, Indian Territory. He traveled to Germany and likely visited his mother before returning to America in August. On 19 September Kellner made his way to Fort Leavenworth where he enlisted again this time in E Troop, 7th Cavalry. Little more than two months later he arrived with his troop at the Pine Ridge Agency on that winter’s fateful campaign in which he lost his life.
Following his death at Wounded Knee, August Kellner was buried along with twenty-nine of his comrades in a makeshift cemetery next to the Episcopal church at the Pine Ridge Agency. He was recorded as being interred in grave number 14.More than fifteen years later his and his fellow fallen troopers’ remains were exhumed from South Dakota and returned to Fort Riley, Kansas, where they were reburied in the post cemetery.
 Omaha Daily Bee, January 1, 1891, 1; Adjutant General’s Office, Medal of Honor file for Mosheim Feaster and Thomas Sullivan, Principal Record Division, file 3466, Record Group: 94, Stack area: 8W3, Row: 7, Compartment 30, Shelf: 2. Research conducted by Vonnie S. Zullo of The Horse Soldier Research Service.
 National Archives, Adjutant General’s Office,Final Statements, 1862-1899, “Kellner, August,” at Fold3, http://www.fold3.com/image/271303471/ accessed 8 Nov 2014; National Archives and Records Administration, U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.
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 Ancestry.com, U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007, 1885-1890, image 578, line 218 and image 626, line 212; Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburg, Deutschland, Hamburger Passagierlisten, Volume: 373-7 I, VIII B 1 Band 084, Page: 0, Microfilm No.: S_13159.; New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Year: 1890; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897, Microfilm Roll: Roll 553, Line: 49, List Number: 1188.
 Adjutant General’s Officer, “7th Cavalry, Troop E, Jan. 1885 – Dec. 1897,” Muster Rolls of Regular Army Organizations, 1784 – Oct. 31, 1912, Record Group 94, (Washington: National Archives Record Administration).
 William R. Cross, photo., “Graves of Soldiers who were killed at battle of Wounded Knee, Dec. 29th, 1890, Pine Ridge Agency, S. D., 30 in number,” .
 Jana Mitchell, photo., “August Kellner,” FindAGrave (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=59151344) accessed 8 Nov 2014.
Citation for this article: Samuel L. Russell, “Prussian Butcher Private August Kellner, E Troop, 7th Cavalry – Killed in Action,” Army at Wounded Knee (Sumter, SC: Russell Martial Research, 2013-2015, http://wp.me/p3NoJy-Aj), updated 15 Dec 2014, accessed date __________.