[OL]Oldenburg Military History

Hello, Fred, Ingrid, Gerold and all listmembers:
I read with great interest all entries regarding "Oldenburg Military
History" and wanted to ask a few questions for some guidance. A family
history recently came into my possession which was written by a deceased
cousin (the son of one of several brothers, sister and parents who
emigrated from the Oldenburg area between 1882-1895). It noted that the
eldest son was conscripted into the Kaiser's army for 3 years at around
20 years of age, his service ending by 1882. The family lived in the
village of Hatterwusting and watched, at times, the Kaiser's army on
maneuvers in the area around them. The history said that Ernst Stalling
(the conscripted son) was a "Pioneer" in the army. Some time after his
service, he found out that they were coming back for him to serve for
another year...which he didn't want to do, so he deserted and went over
the border to the Netherlands and then on to America. This started the
emigration of the rest of the family.

My questions are these for anyone who might know: 1) What was a
"Pioneer?"; 2) Is there a good history book available that describes
service in the Kaiser's army?; and 3) Are there military service records
available for this time period that can be researched?

Thanks in advance for all your kind responses
Susan (Stalling) Dunaway
P.S. I did contact Dierk Feye and obtain his wonderful information on
my family ancestry!