Kyle’s blog: a brief military history of my lineage

back to Family Stories, Spring 2020

by Kyle Arquette

Across my research, I discovered a few relatives that participated in various parts of North America. In my written report and PowerPoint, I detail Jean Arcouet, a soldier fighting in Quebec in the 1600s, and Christian Strole, a Hessian soldier fighting in the American Revolution. I was also able to discover a few other people from the Strole line that participated in the Civil War. Hiram Philip Strole and Abraham Strole, grandchildren of Christian, fought for Confederate forces. I suspect that other Stroles participated as well because the pair had four brothers but am unable to confirm this. 

In my presentation to the class, I focused on Jean and Christian. Here, I will focus on Hiram and Abraham. I will also share new information about Jean and Christian. 

Hiram enlisted in the 1st Lt. Co. L, 97th Virginia Militia and the Co. H. 33rd Virginia Infantry. The 33rdVirginia Infantry was famed as it was part of the ‘Stonewall Brigade.’ Below we are able to see an artist’s depiction of part of the brigade.

Hiram would have participated in the First Battle of Manassas (Confederate name), or Bull Run (Union name), the first major land battle of the Civil War. Below, an artist’s depiction of the battle and a picture of the tactics used can be observed.

However, during the Second Battle of Manassas, Hiram was killed. He died as a private August 29, 1862 at 29 years old. He is currently buried in the George Summer’s family graveyard in Virginia. 

Hiram’s brother, Abraham, fought in Capt. John K. Booton’s Dixie Artillery. He then transferred to the Purcell Artillery regiment. According to, he was Absent Without Leave (AWOL) for almost 2 years. However, when he returned to service, he became a corporal. This makes little sense to me. I am confused as to why he was allegedly promoted after his long absence. Granted, he did return in 1865, the last year of the war, and Confederate forces were desperate for resources. Online records could be incorrect as well. He died within a few months of returning to service on April 2, 1865 at 22 years of age.

Abraham is buried in the Strole family cemetery in Virginia. The bottom picture shows the Battle of Richmond. While I am uncertain as to where Abraham met his demise, I suspect that it was there. The Battle of Richmond ended on April 2, 1865, the day that Abraham died. As Richmond was the Confederate capital, and Petersburg, a nearby city, was a strategic location, many Confederate forces were committed to the region.    

Christian Strole (or Strohl) came to America in 1776 from Hesse, Germany, fighting as an auxiliary in the British army. He was one of around 30,000 German troops that came to fight. While his exact experiences are unknown, it is very likely that he fought in the Battle of Saratoga. The picture below on the right show uniform that Christian and the other Hessians would have worn. 

Christian Strole homestead, Page County, Virginia

Christian was captured as the battle and subsequently held in several prisons. One of which was in Reading, Pennsylvania. The signpost in the picture below commemorates the location. He entered indentured servitude soon after. The picture on the right shows the exact location. After exiting indentured servitude, he bought land in Virginia and married Elizabeth Kiser. He bought land in Page County, Virginia, and built a house, which still stands to this day. 

Jean Arcouet came to Quebec as a soldier in 1665 to defend France’s new settlements from the Iroquois tribe. As a member of the Carignan-Salières Regiment, he operated in the Montreal region and along the Richelieu River. The map below shows the region. As many Iroquois raiding parties came from the river, forts were quickly built. Fort Chambly, seen below, still stands today. The fort can be seen below. 

The regiment fought in two winter campaigns, eventually signing a peace agreement with the Iroquois in 1667. Weather conditions were brutal, and many men perished. The bottom right picture shows the St. Lawrence River, which runs through the Montreal region, partially frozen during the winter. This demonstrates the extreme temperature the regiment could have faced.

After the peace agreement was signed, Jean elected to stay in the Quebec region. Those who did received a stipend and food rations for one year. Marriage was encouraged as this would further establish a French foothold in the region; land was often used as an incentive. Thus, Jean established the Arquette/Arcouet line in the New World.