Engler was born in Pennsylvania in April of 1836 to German parents. Engler became a tinsmith like his father. The family moved to Jersey City, New Jersey in the 1950's. He was a known championship ice skater before and after the war, often giving shows around Jersey City. After the Confederates bombarded Fort Sumter to start the Civil War, Engler, at age 25, enlisted on April 26, 1861, as a private in Company G of the 2nd New Jersey Regiment, commanded by Col. Henry M. Baker, for three months service. The regiment was stationed in Alexandria, Virginia in the defense of Washington D.C. until it's term of service was up. The 2nd Regiment returned to New Jersey where they were mustered out of service in Newark on July 31, 1861. A year later, Engler re-enlisted on August 29, 1862 for nine months service as a sergeant with Company D, led by Captain Jeffry W. Collins, 21st New Jersey Regiment of Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Gilliam Van Houten. He was one of two flag bearers of the 21st. The 21st Regiment joined the Army of the Potomac, and was assigned to the Third Brigade, Second Division of the Sixth Corps. In December of 1862, Engler and the 21st N.J., fought at the Battle of Fredricksburg, were they supported an artillery battery and thus avoided the devastating carnage that befell other Union troops. Later, in May of 1863, they were again engaged at Fredricksburg, during the Battle of Chancellorsville. There on May 3, led by General Thomas H. Neill, they advanced on Mayre's Heights. The next day, a Confederate counter-attack around Salem Church caused heavy casualties, including Colonel Van Houten who was mortally wounded. The 21st N.J., along with the rest of the Union Army was forced to withdraw north. Their last engagement was at Franklin's Crossing, Virginia, on June 5, 1863, where they attacked the Confederates, who were moving north toward Gettysburg, and captured 250 prisoners. It's nine months finished, Engler, who was wounded during his term of service, and the 21st N.J. returned to Trenton and was mustered out of service on June 19, 1863. After the war, Engler married a German women named Lavinia who had immigrated as a child to the United States in 1850. They had 14 children, eight of whom lived. He was employed as a tinsmith and lived with his wife and their children on Grand Street in Jersey City. Engler lived into his 80's and died in 1922.