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Aaron Decker
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Birth: Oct., 1828
Death: Jul., 1865

Battery A, 1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery

Great-great-grandfather of Paul E. Lavrischeff

Aaron Decker was born about 1828 in Hamilton County, near Cincinnati, Ohio. He was the fourth of eight children born to Abijah and Tina (Jacobus) Decker, both natives of New Jersey. At the time of the 1850 census, the family was residing in Miller Township, Dearborn County, Indiana.

By 1860, Aaron Decker had moved as far west as the town of Cleveland, in LeSueur County, Minnesota. Here he married Lydia H. Miner on August 16th. Lydia was the sixth of eight children of Jedediah Peck Miner and Katy Ann Bennett, and was born on February 24, 1840 at Greenville, Jo Daviess County, Illinois.

When hostilities broke out between the North and South, Aaron Decker's Unionist sympathies quickly became apparent. On June 18, 1861 he named his first child Elmer Ellsworth Decker, evidently after the Union martyr, Col. Elmer Ellsworth. The latter was the first Union officer to die in the war, having been shot and killed the previous month when he removed a Confederate flag from the roof of an Alexandria, Virginia hotel.

Aaron and Lydia's family continued to grow, adding Alice Amanda on October 10, 1862, and Edith Josephine on July 18, 1864. By this time, Aaron Decker could no longer ignore his county's call for troops, and, leaving his young family behind, he enlisted on September 23, 1864 in Battery A of the 1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery, a one-year regiment.

This regiment was raised at St. Paul and Rochester, Minnesota, from September 1864 to February 1865. Once its organization was complete, the unit was ordered to Chattanooga, Tennessee where it was placed in charge of the heavy guns and forts. This was a responsible position as it was thought that Confederate General John Bell Hood would endeavor to retake the city. It remained at Chattanooga until the close of the war and was discharged by companies in June and September 1865.

During his duty at Chattanooga, Aaron Decker was taken ill with chronic diarrhea. Despite the condition, he remained with his regiment until his discharge on June 20, 1865. By that time, Aaron was quite weak and had to be carried the one half mile from camp to the waiting train. Army records indicate that Aaron was to be transported back home to LeSeuer County. From Chattanooga, he passed through Nashville, where he was treated at the hospital, and thence to Louisville, Kentucky. There it was decided that he was too ill to make the rest of the trip to Minnesota, and so he traveled with two comrades up to the Ohio River to his sister Mary's home at Aurora, Indiana.

One of those comrades, Barnabas Wilton, summarized Aaron's character by stating "he was a healthy, hardy man when he enlisted, one of the most rugged in the company, sound and healthy, and willing to do any duty required of a good soldier."

Just ten days after his discharge, Aaron Decker died at the home of his sister, at the age of thrity-seven, leaving behind a widow and three young children. It was determined that his death was caused by the disease he had contracted while in the service and Lydia (Miner) Decker and their children received a pension from the U.S. government for his sacrifice.

With the assistance of her brother, Marcus Alonzo Miner, Lydia was able to continue raising her children after her husband's death. She subsequently remarried, to David Bliss, and died on November 28, 1921 at American Falls, Power County, Idaho. She was 81 years of age and had outlived Aaron Decker by some 56 years.

Of interesting note is the fact that Aaron Decker served in the same regiment as Albert Woolson (1847-1956), the last surviving Union Civil War veteran.

Family links: 
  Alice Amanda Decker Fuller (1862 - 1934)*
*Calculated relationship
River View Cemetery
Dearborn County
Indiana, USA
Plot: permit # 1157
Created by: Pete Nocks
Record added: May 17, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14313707
Aaron Decker
Added by: Pete Nocks
Aaron Decker
Added by: Pete Nocks
Aaron Decker
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Quietude
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Tom Mauer
 Added: May. 24, 2014

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