Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. After emigrating from Germany at age 15, he became a cobbler in Allentown. Just days after the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861, he enlisted in the "Allen Guards", a Pennsylvania militia unit that would become part of the 28th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, a three-month enlistment regiment that served until July 1861. After the war stretched into its second year, he enlisted in the 128th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. A nine-month service unit, in August 1862, becoming a Corporal in Company D. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. His citation reads simply "While exposed to the fire of the enemy, carried from the field a wounded comrade". That comrade, Corporal William Henry Snowden, had been severely wounded in the attack of the 128th Pennsylvania's brigade on Confederate forces in the now infamous Cornfield early in the battle. After he went down, Corporal Gresser, braving the murderous fire pouring from the Confederate lines (the 128th Pennsylvania sustained 118 casualties that day), exposed himself while hauling Corporal Snowden and carrying him to safety. He was awarded his Medal on December 12, 1895, thirty three years later. The comrade he saved would survive until 1907 and serve two terms as a United States Congressman, and he himself lived until 1919, passing away at age 84. Today a monument to the 128th Pennsylvania stands on Cornfield Avenue in the Antietam National Battlefield. The Allentown Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which stands in the center of the town, came about largely through the efforts of Corporal Gresser.
Bio by: RPD2