Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Europeans in the Civil War

39th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment: commanded by a Hungarian colonel, assisted by an Italian lieutenant colonel. Ranks consisted of British, Swiss, Bavarians, Cossacks, Sepoys, and Algerians from the French Foreign Legion. A German was the regimental surgeon. They were known as the Garibaldi Guards.

The Comte de Paris and the Duc de Chartres were aides on Union General George McClellan’s staff.

Baron von Vegesach, of Sweden led the 20th New York in a charge at Antietam.

Prince Salm-Salm was among 57 titled Germans who served the Union.

Thomas Meagher was an Irish revolutionary who was condemned to death for inciting rebellion against the UK. He was exiled to Tasmania where he escaped and went to America in 1853. In the Civil War, he led Irish immigrants in what became known as the Irish Brigade

A Major Warrington was on General McClellan’s staff and disappeared in 1862. He was believed to be an illegitimate son of King George IV.

Major Heros von Borcke of Prussia served as an aide to Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart. Victor von Scheliha was an aide to Confederate General Simon Buckner.

Baron William Henry von Eberstein (German) was a sergeant in the 7th North Carolina.

The UK’s St George Grenfel fought in Turkey, India, Morocco, and South America before joining the staff of Confederate General John Morgan.

A German named Marcus Blum was on the staff of Confederate General Joseph Kershaw.

Frenchman Camille Armand Jules Marie de Polignac was commissioned a Confederate Major General and sent to Texas. His troops could not pronounce his name, calling him “Polecat”. His response was to lead his troops in a search for polecats (skunks).

Confederate Irishman Joseph Finnegan was in command of victorious Southern forces at Olustree, FL in 1864.

Peter Alexander Selkirk McGlashan, a Scot, received a brigadier’s commission in one of the last acts by Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

The 1st Louisiana had 37 nationalities represented.

A Confederate European Brigade, consisting of 2500 French, 400 Germans, 500 Italians, 800 Spaniards, and a grouping of Dutch, Scandinavians, Belgians, British, and Austrians, performed police duties in New Orleans prior to Union occupation.

The Honorable Augustus Charles Hobart-Hampden, a son of the Earl of Buckinghamshire, captained a blockade runner.

An Admiral Hewitt of the UK Royal Navy captained another blockade runner and was involved in trying to get Rebel spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow ashore at Wilmington, North Carolina, when she drowned.

Union Brigadier General John Basil Turchin, a brigade commander under Don Carlos Buell, was originally Ivan Vasilovitch Turchinoff of Russia.

Union General Alexander Schimmelfenning of Germany was knocked out during Day One of the Battle of Gettysburg and found himself in a pigsty in the middle of town, where he hid until the battles conclusion.

Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin was inspired to invent the airship by observing Thaddeus Lowe's balloons.

Some of the crews of both Union and Confederate warships were from Europe.

John Ericsson, a Swedish immigrant, designed and built the USS Monitor.

More to come.

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