Interesting, isn't it, that we started researching John Heach because of the similarity of his name to our family name, nothing more...but we found a real person and some real facts we could check out. As in family folklore, there seems to be a grain of truth+ in what John said about himself. Larry found him in the 1900 and 1910 Pierz censuses and then went to look for him in Civil War records, and wow--on the same page with John P SAND, there's an entry for what looks like "John H. Healh", but he was only enlisted for 3 months with a Wisconsin unit (and Ed Kerkhoff said John had a thorough knowledge of the Dane Co Wisconsin area). HERE'S the page (p 24) on Family Search. It's a Special Schedule of Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Widows from the 1890 census in Morrison Co, Minnesota. This first screen cap is from that page--
But then, the next page starts with John H. Healh (Heach), a private who served for 3 years and one day with a unit from Illinois. Line 41 below says he was "wounded at Gettysburg", specifically a "Bayonett through Left Hand".
In his front page autobiography in the Pierz Journal, John Heach claims Civil War service, but Dr. E. H. Kerkhoff, his friend and the editor, later said he checked but couldn't find documentation about that. Still, Kerkhoff wouldn't have had access to census records, and he certainly didn't have the internet or Larry. ☺