A native of Ostrowo, Prussia, Eugene Bandel came to the United States in 1853 and joined the Army in New York in 1854. In
1857, he accompanied an Army survey of the Kansas state boundary. In 1858, Bandel left Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, marched with
his company across Utah, arriving at the Benicia Arsenal, California in November of the same year. In 1859, he was stationed
in San Bernardino and participated in an expedition against the Mojave Indians near Yuma, Arizona. In August of that year,
he returned to Benicia and was discharged from the Army, although he remained at the Arsenal as a civilian machinist. In 1865,
he married Emilie Prahl and they had seven children.