By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Dec 19, 2012 at 8:47 AM

If you read my meanderings on historic Milwaukee buildings, then you know who Henry Koch is.

Born in Germany, Koch is among the most influential architects in Milwaukee history. In addition to many great public schools like Golda Meir and Eighth Street Schools, Koch designed such buildings at City Hall, The Pfister, Turner Hall, Gesu Church at Marquette, the newly refurbished Wells Building and the Ward Theater at the V.A.

During the Civil War, Koch served as a draftsman under Gen. Philip Sheridan.

While researching Koch, who died in Milwaukee in 1910, I discovered that a Canadian bookseller is offering Koch's Civil War diaries for sale for $12,000. The manuscript is described, in part, as:

"Seven notebooks in full brown calf, dated between November 1863 and October 1866. ... The notebooks contain narratives and numerous hand-drawn maps mostly in Virginia. ... Various positions of Sheridan's headquarters (May 30-31, 1864 and Sept. 23, 1864) are also identified. ...Among the maps are those showing the location of the Battle of Five Forks, (April 1, 1865. Charles Town in present day West Virginia, with map references to John Brown. Harper's Ferry is only 11 miles away to the Northeast. As well Appomattox Courthouse with a sketch of the McLean House where Lee surrendered to Grant."

If that doesn't sound like a page – or seven notebooks – of Milwaukee history, then consider that ...

"The final pages of the last notebook contain his architectural sketches and made shortly after he returned from the war to Milwaukee."

Alright, Milwaukee, how can we raise $12,000 to bring these notebooks home to Koch's adopted American hometown?

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.