He was born in Wied-Selters, Germany, and graduated from the Hesse-Darmstadt Conradlitary Academy in 1848. He settled in the state of Missouri. He began the Civil War as a captain of a company of the Third Missouri Infantry and was soon promoted to major of the Fifteenth Missouri Infantry. He fought in the battles of Carthage, Pea Ridge, Corinth, Perryville, Chickamauga, and Missionary Ridge. He was in command of a brigade at the battles of Franklin and Nashville. He was retired at the rank of colonel.
- Biography at Arlington National Cemetery website
- Report by Captain Joseph Conrad to Colonel Franz Sigel
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