Michael Kalteisen was indeed a prominent member of South Carolina society from early times. In his work, St. John's Lutheran Church of Charleston, S.C.: An Historical Address (no publisher, 1918), John F. Ficken states that the exact date of the founding of the church is lost due to the destruction of the early documents which are related to the church itself. But, on page 7 of the address, he lists some of the early members of the church and the name of Michael Kalteisen appears in this list.
Also, the name Alexander Gillon appears in the list. Both of these men are spoken of as both being "... prominent in the community, and who later occupied distinguished public positions". Alexander Gillon, obviously, went on to command the naval forces of South Carolina and, more specifically, the South Carolina. Michael Kalteisen went on to become the Wagon-Master General and Commissary of Military Stores of the provincial forces of South Carolina. In later years, after the death of General Francis Marion, Michael Kalteisen became the commander of Fort Johnson, the chief defense of Charleston harbor. He is referred to as Major Michael Kalteisen at this point.
The text of St. John's next states that "having completed the building of their church structure, the members next resolved to form a charitable society to provide for the wants of their poor and needy ones"; specifically, to provide assistance to new immigrants and aid to widows and orphans. On January 15, 1766, Michael Kalteisen along with fifteen other members of the church met and organized the German Friendly Society in Charleson, SC. This society is still active today. The early minutes of this distinguished society are contained in Box 1, Folder 1 of the "Inventory of the German Friendly Society Records, 1766-1940" among the holdings of the College of Charleston Special Collections.
The next reference to Michael Kalteisen is related to the formation of the German Fusiliers. On May 3, 1775, the members of St. John's (Lutheran) Church formed this unit which at its inception contained 137 members. Alexander Gillon is listed as the Captain of this company and Michael Kalteisen is the first lieutenant. Another document mentions that Gillon and Kalteisen both served in these capacities until "...the later part of 1777..." when they both resigned to assume their further duties for the province as mentioned above.
Michael Kalteisen seems to have traveled to Europe as a part of the entourage that followed Commodore Gillon in search of naval vessels for service to the state of South Carolina. After the South Carolina was secured for this service, Michael Kalteisen was appointed as the Captain of Marines aboard the ship, along with one John Spencer, about whom little is known for sure. The presence of marines aboard a ship makes it a warship and separates it from the corsairs (pirates) and ship operating under letters of marque (privateers). Commodore Gillon was keen to have these troops aboard the South Carolina to lend this legitimacy to the ship as a warship. But, these were no the only marines available to Commodore Gillon. There were other marines present aboard the South Carolina - the Legion (or Volunteers) of Luxembourg. These marines were Dutch or German speaking troops and would have been under the command of their own officers. These marines far outnumbered those commanded by Kalteisen, numbering somewhere around 300 in total. Lewis's book, Neptune's Militia, states that when the South Carolina set sail from Texel, she had 350 marines aboard her. Certainly, only a portion, a rather small portion, of these were directly under Kalteisen's command. But, it was probably no mistake or unusual occurrence that Michael Kalteisen also spoke German and was the commander of the rest of the marine contingent aboard the South Carolina. Also, this writer thinks that it is not unusual that Gillon's and Kalteisen's acquaintance goes back at least until 1766 and involves both of them as "movers and shakers" in colonial Charleston and South Carolinian society.
At least one source (the Pension Application of John Mayrant S32390) mentions that after the South Carolina had docked in Philadelphia and the legal battle had begun against Commodore Gillon through numerous channel, that Gillon appointed John Mayrant and Michael Kalteisen to purchase a carriage and horse in Philadelphia and afterwards set out for Charleston, SC. This was in anticipation of the imminent evacuation of the city by the British forces stationed there. The purpose of this two-man expedition was that as soon as the city was evacuated, these two men were to open a rendezvous for sailors and marines of whom Gillon wanted about 100. The British evacuated the city on December 14, 1782 and Mayrant and Kalteisen reached Charleston, SC soon after this took place. Soon after they arrived in Charleston, they learned that the South Carolina had been captured and carried into New York City. John Mayrant's pension application mentioned that he remained there in Charleston, SC under the command of Commodore Gillon until the final peace was signed in 1783. Then, by an act of the Legislature of South Carolina, all forces under the control of the state, including the naval forces, were discharged. Being that Michael Kalteisen was there in Charleston, SC with John Mayrant, one can assume that he engaged in the same activities until the end of the war. Michael Kalteisen died on November 3, 1807. He was buried originally in front of the building housing the German Friendly Society but, later his remains were removed to Bethany Cemetery in Charleston, SC. His grave has a large, black obelisk erected over it. One of the inscriptions engraved on it states that he was the first president of the German Friendly Society in 1766.
(Note: In doing this research, the writer ran across a piece of genealogical research on families in Harlan County, KY. Specifically, this research dealt with the Coldiron family, which originally lived in North Carolina. This research was done by Otto Coldiron and can be found on RootsWeb.ancestry.com. It is entitled, "The Coldiron Family in America" and is the result of 32 years of research on this extended family. Mr. Coldiron states while doing his research, he has never located anyone by this name who is not related to an earlier Johan Georg Kalteisen who was born in Wurttemburg, Germany. According to his research, he has only located one individual outside the family who used the name Coldiron. This individual is Michael Kalteisen. "Coldiron" is a direct translation into English of the German name Kalteisen. Mr. Coldiron mentions that Michael Kalteisen was a prominent German in Charleston, SC society of the late 1700s and early 1800s. The article states that for a brief period of time, Michael Kalteisen used the name "Michael Coldiron" in his business transactions. He may have chosen to do this for the reason that some Americans were prejudiced against German immigrants. He may have seen this name as making his business transactions "easier". But, even back in the 1700s atmosphere of Charleston, he was known as Michael Kalteisen and is referred to as such now. He also states that Michael Kalteisen was married but, had no children. He closes by saying that there may be a relationship between Michael and Johan because they come from the same area of Germany - Wurttemburg.)