Seraphim Meyer was born on November 27, 1815 in the province of Alsace in France where he became fluent in German and French. Before the war he was a lawyer and prosecuting attorney in Canton Ohio, and was a presidential elector on the Douglas ticket in the 1860 election. He married Eleanora Elizabeth Schuchart, and together they had nine children.
On September 6, 1862 Meyer was appointed colonel of the 107th Ohio Infantry Regiment, which became part of the 11th Army Corps. Two of his sons would also serve in the Union Army.
At the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863 Meyer was wounded in the right wrist by a bayonet and was captured. He was paroled after three weeks in Richmond’s Libby Prison, returning to his regiment in time to command it at the Battle of Gettysburg. Meyer was wounded on the first day of the battle.
His division commander, Adelbert Ames, had him court martialled for his conduct in the batlle – apparently his horsemanship was terrible and his command voice a horrible screech. Meyer was exonerated, but in 1864 he was forced before an Examining Board. He failed, having been found to not have “sufficient knowledge of tactics and of military administrative duties.” Meyer resigned on February 17, stating his health was rapidly declining.
Meyer’s wife Eleanora died on July 11, 1865. He then married Rosalie Bour, and together had a daughter, also named Rosalie.
He went on to become Judge of the Cort of Common Pleas in Ohio’s 9th District from 1877 until 1892. He resigned due to ill health and moved to California, settling in Santa Cruz. He died there on April 12, 1894, and is buried there in Holy Cross Cemetery.