|Above: Danish born Gotfred Christensen of "E" Troop, 8th United States Cavalry in a photo possibly taken soon after his enlistment in 1899.
4 1/2 Inches by 5 3/4 Inches
(11.3 cm x 14.6 cm)
Gortfred Christensen was one of the untold number of European immigrants who soon after arriving in the United States chose either out of desire or necessity to enlist in the United
Born in Denmark on 26 August, 1871 at Skarreso, Jutland to Johannes Christensen and Berthe Kirstine Andersen, Gotfred Christensen arrived in the U.S. in 1891 when he was about
20 years old. He enlisted in “E” Troop, 8th United States Cavalry at Peoria, Illinois on 2 October, 1899 and served his term of enlistment with “E” Troop as a blacksmith until
discharged at Jefferson Barrack, Missouri on 1 October, 1902. At the time of his enlistment the headquarters detachment and six troops of the 8th were already serving occupation
duties in Cuba. The United States Census for 1900 shows Christensen and the whole of “E” Troop serving at Camp R. A. MacKenzie near Puerto Principe, Cuba. At that time his rank
is given as that of Private. When discharged, blacksmith Gotfred Christensen’s character was listed as “Excellent”. He was entitled to the Army of Cuban Occupation Medal for his
service on the island.
With Gotfred being an immigrant it is instructive to note that of the fifty men "E" Troop listed on the same page of the 1900 census as Christensen 20 were born in a country other
than the United States. Their countries of origin included: France, Germany, England, Scotland. Ireland, Russia, Hungary, Switzerland, Sweden and of course Denmark.
Nothing has turned up regarding any additional military service by Christensen during World War One.
Christensen married Miss Bersine Nielsen at Chicago, Illinois on 1 June, 1904 and the couple has at least two children: a daughter named Johanna Sofie born in 1907 and son Louis
born in 1909, Bertha Christine born 1911, Edwin Peter born 1913.
Christensen seems to have followed several trades during his life. The 1899 enlistment register gives his civil occupation as machinist. As mentioned before his military trade was that
of a blacksmith. The census of 1910 shows him employed as a porter at a Chicago clothing store although by 1920 the census shows him with no specific employment.
Gotfred Christensen died at the age of 52 Orlando, Florida on 29 March, 1923 from uncertain causes and is buried at Greenwood Cemetery is Orlando.