Carl Peter Johnson
Carl Peter Johnson, aka Carl Peter Jørgensen-Temberg.
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Carl Peter Johnson, aka Carl Peter Jørgensen-Temberg, began a diary while stationed at Fort Bayard, New Mexico, with the 1st U.S. Cavalry. He was born in Skeby parish in Odense County in 1869, started working as a farm laborer as a 14-year-old, and came to Michigan at the age of 17. Being unskilled and not speaking English, he had difficulty finding work at first, taking odd jobs wherever they could be found. He later drifted down to southern Minnesota, working the harvests and in a sawmill. After several years of this he decided to try a soldier’s life and enlisted in the cavalry in St. Paul, Minnesota, because he thought it was better to ride than walk. He was sent to Ft. Custer, where he learned military drill and exercises, and how to handle a rifle for the first time. Shortly thereafter, his unit was sent to the U.S.-Mexico border, giving Carl Peter a look at “the wild west.” These pictures were taken sometime between 1892 and 1895. After a 3-year stint Carl Peter gave up on military life and returned to Michigan. He made a visit to Denmark, returned to the U.S., and then went back to Denmark to care for his step-mother. He married, and started a family, but following his step-mother’s death in 1912 he packed up his family to return to America once again. The family’s ticket was purchased for the Titanic, but due to the late arrival of the steamer from Denmark, the ship had already departed on its ill-fated voyage. The family settled in Muskegon, Michigan, where Carl Peter died in 1924.