Tamma Stine was born February 17, 1840 in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, the son of Henry Stine and Elizabeth Herber-Stine. His father died shortly after his birth. At the age of twelve, Tamma and his mother left Germany and came to Fort Wayne, Indiana. His mother remarried a man by the name of Melchior Kress in 1853.
Tamma, at the age of 21, mustered in with Company A of the 30th Indiana Regiment on September 24, 1861. Camp Allen was home base for the 30th, with Colonel Sion S. Bass as commanding officer. During the Civil War, as a member of the 30th Indiana, Tamma saw action at the Battle of Shiloh, the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi, the Battle of Stones River and the Battle of Chickamauga. After 3 years of service, he reenlisted as a veteran volunteer on February 12, 1864 in Nashville, TN. He was paid in full, back bounty-one month's pay of $13 in advance and $60 in advance of new bounty. He was also given 30 days furlough in his own state.
According to the biography of Tamma Stine, some of his comrades said he was wounded at Chickamauga. While on furlough Tamma fell ill, but mustered out with his unit. He traveled as far as Indianapolis, remained ill and therefore was sent home via a railroad car back to Fort Wayne, IN.
His home in Fort Wayne was at 29 Pine Street (near Taylor and Fairfield). He was sick in bed for 12 days. During that time he was treated by Isaac M. Rosenthal, MD of Fort Wayne. He died on June 3, 1864 at the age of 24. The medical report that was attached to his mother's request for a pension listed his cause of death as "Traumatic Hepaithisis" and "Hemorrhage of the Lungs."
During Civil War times, news of a loved one's death came by sign of the windows draped in black. Doorways were decorated with black crepe hanging outside. This was an open announcement to neighbors that there was a death in the family. Neighbors would respond with food and offer condolences. The deceased would be laid out in the parlor of the home.
The wake carried on for one to four days until the funeral or burial service was held.
Tamma Stine was buried on June 4, 1864, with Father John Wentz of St. Mary's Catholic Church officiating at the funeral and burial.
Paying tribute to the dead in the mid-1800s became a way of life in Civil War America.
And recently, we paid tribute once again in remembrance of Tamma Stine.
On Saturday, June 9, 2012, as if in Civil War time, members of the 30th Indiana Volunteer Regiment Civil War Re-Enactors and Sons of Union Veterans, Champion Hill Camp 17 and the Stine family gathered to dedicate this Civil War soldier's marker at the Catholic Cemetery, on Lake Avenue in Fort Wayne.
A nice welcome from the Stine family came from Lawrence Dwight Meier and Megan Evans Daniels. The Sons of Union Veterans made history live by playing tunes like Amazing Grace and The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Wearing their black slouch or field hats, four button sack coats, sky blue trousers and Federal issue brogans, the 30th Indiana Co. F, fired rounds from their 50/50 mix of 1858 .58 caliber Enfield and .577 caliber 1861 Springfield rifles for the military salute. The Dedication Service ended with family and friends saying a few words and placing a rose on the soldier's gravestone.
According to the geneological records, Elizabeth and Melchior Kress went on to have other children, one of whom was Theodore Kress. In 1879, Theodore married Eleanora Weyer; one of their children, Eva Kress, married Arthur Meier in 1914. Arthur and Eva had four children; Bob Meier, Mort Meier, Mary Ellen Meier Graham and Harriet Meier Swartz.