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Salm Salm, Elizabeth Joy


Age: 0, credited to Franklin, VT
Unit(s): Nurse, 68th NY INF
Service: Nurse with 68th NY INF

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 12/25/1840, Franklin, VT
Death: 12/20/1912

Burial: Alter Friedhof, Bonn, Germany
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Credit Dadamax/Wikipedia

Findagrave Memorial #: 0
(There may be a Findagrave Memorial, but we have not recorded it)


Alias?: Joy, Elizabeth
Pension?: Not eligible
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None


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Copyright notice


Alter Friedhof, Bonn, Germany

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.

Library of Congress


Princess Agnes zu Salm Salm was the American wife of Prince Felix zu Salm Salm of Prussia. She was born Agnes Elisabeth Winona Leclerc Joy in Franklin, VT on December 25, 1844. She met Prince Salm Salm while visiting her sister in Washington DC. Once Prince Felix proceeded to the front during the Civil War, Agnes, not wanting to be apart from him, followed him to the battlefield. During that time she would care for the sick and wounded soldiers for four years as she traveled throughout Virginia. After the death of her husband, Agnes spent time collecting funds for military hospitals. She died December 21, 1912, and is buried in Bonn, Germany.

Summary created from Wikipedia

Courtesy of Heidi McColgan

Princess Salm-Salm

Who She Is and What She Does Now in America.

Heroine of Three Wars

Beautiful, Good, Clever and as Wild as the Winds.

New York, April 11 - The Journal says:

The Princess Salm-Salm has come back home.

The Princess is an American.

She is the heroine of three wars.

She has helped in the making of the history of Mexico, Germany, and America, and her adventurous life has unfolded itself in real chapters that would be deemed incredible in a novel.

She stepped off the gangplank of the Wilhelm der Grosse as lightly as a girl last Tuesday. She laughed from the very lightness of heart as she landed in America again.

She wore a close fitting black gown and a jaunty turban. She held her head high. Her dark eyes sparkled with good humor and excitement of homecoming. Life has silvered her hair very slightly. There were few lines on her face and those were about the eyes and were made by laughter. She looked less than forty. The Princess Salm-Salm is fifty-eight.

Yet for all her laughter, Her Highness has drunk deep of life.

"And who is the Princess Salm-Salm?" you ask.

She has been a circus rider.

She has been a rope dancer.

She has been a soldier in three wars.

She was an officer in the American rebellion.

She was an army nurse and a spy.

Common soldiers have died in her arms, but her hands have been kissed by kings.

She was a friend of President Lincoln, the friend of Emperor Maxmilian of Mexico, the friend of old Kaiser Wilhelm.

She has worn the soldiers' uniform of three countries.

She has been wounded twice in war.

She rode through the rebel lines in the south on a cowcatcher of an engine.

She stopped a train because she had forgotten to bring her lapdog.

She kissed President Lincoln at a public banquet in Washington, and ever afterward, Mrs. Lincoln referred to her as "that Mrs. Salm-Salm."

She obtained a reprieve for the Emperor Maxmilian and all but secured his escape. She was pensioned and publicly thanked by the Austrian government for her aid to the ill-fated Maxmilian.

She has seen many tragedies and many sorrows. She has never lost her cheerful philosophy. She is the "soldier princess," but she is the "laughing princess," too. The princess came from Bonn Germany. She brought with her six smoke stained old flags. Three of these she will present to the Eighth Regiment of New York Volunteers. The others she will give to the Sixty-eighth Regiment of New York Volunteers. Her husband, Prince Felix Constantine Alexander John Nepomucene Salm-Salm, who was killed at the battle of Cavelotte, in the Franco-Prussian war, commanded both these regiments. The presentation will be made at Vineland. It will be time for reminiscences and tears - and laughter. For the "soldier princess" is the "laughing princess," too. She will laugh in the face of death himself. She has laughed thus many a time.

It was in the early sixties that the beautiful Agnes Le Clerq appeared in Washington. The war cloud was hanging low and its shadows were reflected in every face - Every face but Agnes Le Clerq's. That bright, dark face dimpled and sparkle always.

"The brave are ever the merry," she said. Her face and her motto made Agnes Le Clerq welcome everywhere.

She was only a professional rider. But she rode like a cloud before the wind. She was one of the stars in a travelling circus. She gave some cross country exhibitions with other dare-devil riders. She is "the most beautiful woman in Washington," they used to say.

She frankly admitted that her name was Agnes Le Clerq for professional purposes only. She was plain Eliza Joy. Her father was a farmer of Phillipsburg, in the province of Quebec. She has learned to ride on the Canadian farm.

The circus manager asked Agnes Le Clerq to add a flying somersault to her equestrian act. Miss Le Clerq rebelled and became a tight rope walker instead.

She returned to Washington with the circus. There she met Prince Salm-Salm.

He was young and handsome and he had a war record that veterans thrice his age envied. He had served in the war between Austria and Denmark. The Emperor had presented him a sword in recognition of his valor. He had the scars of seven wounds received in battle.

He and Agnes Le Clerq fell in love at sight. It was like the meeting of flint and steel. They were married a week from the day they met.

The civil war had begun. The American Princess' soul, formed for riding upon storm clouds, burned with the fires of patriotism. President Lincoln embodied "the cause" to her. The impulsive young woman longed to show her admiration in emphatic fashion. Words were too feeble. She made a wager with a member of the Diplomatic Corps that she would kiss the President before the month was gone. A basket of champagne was at stake. Three days later she met the President at a banquet. She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him twice. The President made no protest. The women present followed her example. Mrs. Lincoln was angry. She never again spoke of the Princess Salm-Salm. She always referred to her as "that Mrs. Salm-Salm."

Prince Salm-Salm conceived the plan of organizing a German regiment to serve in the civil war. The Princess asked the President's permission. He told her he feared complication with Germany.

"Fear? Fear nothing, Mr. President," said the intrepid Princess.

The President told the Princess he would welcome the German regiment if the Prince would arrange the preliminaries with the Fatherland. And so it was that the German regiment, the Eighth New York Volunteers came into being.

The Princess Salm-Salm helped her husband in the work or organizing the new regiment. She refused to be separated from him and followed the fortunes of battle with him. The Eighth Volunteers idolized their Colonel's wife. They presented them a great tent that could be partitioned into twelve rooms. The Eighth Volunteers encamped (sic) resembled the retinue of a prince.

Governor Yates of Illinois, met the Princess in camp. He admired her beauty, her spirits, her bravery. He commissioned her a Captain of Illinois Volunteers. She received a captain's fee from that date. The princess' spirit of fun showed in the very front of war. Once she chanced to remain behind her husband for a brief visit in Baltimore. While she visited in Baltimore the rebel line closed about the Army of the Potomac, to which her husband's regiment belonged. Her friends begged her to remain with them. The Princess laughed.

She offered an engineer $100 to take her through the rebel lines on a "wild engine." Bethinking herself of the story of the army that placed its women and children in front of that it might pass safely through the enemy's country, the Princess laughed.

"Are you ready?" said the Princess to the engineer.

The engineer nodded and offered to help her into the cab.

"No thank you!" she said.

The princess Salm-Salm climbed upon the cowcatcher and calmly took her seat.

"Go!" said the princess. This time she stopped laughing and frowned.

The wild engine with the Princess sitting on the cowcatcher, dashed five miles through the enemy's country and into the camp.

The Eighth Volunteers were the only men in camp who were not amazed at the sight. The Princess climbed off the cowcatcher and ran laughingly into the arms of her husband.

"It is not half as bad as riding blooded stock," she said. "I never enjoyed a ride so much in my life." Once she made a journey through Virginia with a train load of troops. They had gotten well out of sight of the station when she remembered that she had left her lapdog, "Jimmy," behind. She jumped upon a seat and pulled the bell rope. The train stopped. She ran back for the poodle and returned with him in her arms. She was laughing of course.

A few days before the close of the war saw the Princess ambition gratified. Her husband was commissioned a brigadier-general.

"My husband made me a Princess, but I made him a general," she said. Garrison life was too monotonous for the Prince and Princess Salm-Salm. The fever of war could never cool in her veins.

Prince Salm-Salm and his soldier wife joined cause with Emperor Maxmilian of Mexico. In this as in the civil war the Princess was a ministering angel upon the field of battle. She raised the canteen to the lips of the wounded if they were wounded. She said words of cheer to the suffering, words of comfort to the dying. Many a poor fellow died with his head upon her knee. In the civil war she had won the blessed badge of the Red Cross. In the Mexican war she and her husband wore the gray and silver of the Belgian army.

She was trying to pass the lines of the Emperor's army one night when a sentry challenged her and demanded the password.

The Princess was not skilled in Spanish as in laughter. She stammered when she tried to say "Amigo." The sentry bullet struck the arm of the Princess.

Again she was at the head of a reconnoitering party that was looking for her husband, who had been separated from his command. The shot entered her shoulder. Her horsewomanship saved her life. She spurred her beast to a gallop and dashed away like the wind over the plain grasses. Three men who accompanied her were killed.

Emperor Maxmilian and the Empress Carlotta were very fond of the beautiful American. The audacity that shocked Mexican society charmed the ill-fated rulers.

The Emperor made Prince Salm-Salm his chief aid. He shared his prison with him and narrowly escaped his fate.

The Princess tried to escape to the United States to be the recognition by this country of Maxmilian's claim to the throne. Spies prevented her escape. She wrote appealing letters to all the powers. Her letters were intercepted. She hired some Indians to free the Emperor from prison. Her plot was exposed. She begged General Juarez to grant a reprieve. It was but a short one. Maxmilian's fate was sealed by the finger that has written the doom of monarchies.

The Prince and Princess left Austria when the unfortunate Maximilian was beyond the need of their ministrations. The Princess was pensioned by the Austrian government.

As in the American civil war, and as in the Mexican war, the laughing Princess followed the fortunes of her husband in the Franco-Prussian conflict. She followed him to his grave after the battle of Gravelotte. It was feared she would go mad. The castle was at Bonn was a castle of silence for two long, weary, dark years. Then the Princess paler than before and with more silver hairs in the shining brown coronet that nature had given her, emerged into the sunlight.

"He has gone," she said, "and with him my heart has gone. But there are others to be made happy, others who will laugh, though I have forgotten how. I will give my life to them."

So the silent castle at Bonn was awakened by the laughter of children of the tenants, and the lady of the castle made many fete days, and gave a little dowry to all the brides and a dainty baby's outfit to all the babies born on the estate. And by and by, very slowly and never quite in the same old way, she learned to laugh again.

Princess Salm-Salm will visit her sisters, Mrs. Adele Hunt and Mrs. Sarah Mendell, at Chicago, and perhaps her brother, Captain George Joy, who is a ship captain on Lake Chamberlain. She will go to Washington. And in every place where the Agnes Le Clerq of other days is known there will be some festival of rejoicing at her homecoming.

The Princess Salm-Salm after presenting her flags, will return to Germany.

The Princess Salm-Salm is now the Princess Salm-Salm only by honorary right, by sentiment and tradition. She is now Mrs. Hiniage (sic), the wife of Charle Hiniage (sic), of the Fatherland.

One cannot mourn always. But the wooing of Charles Hiniage (sic) was measured by as many years as the Prince Salm-Salm counted days of his courtship.

The Princess laughs still but not as she did, and she will never again do service on the wars.

Written by Ada Patterson

The Wichita Daily Eagle, Wichita, KS April 12, 1899

Courtesy of Heidi McColgan