Civil War Union Brigadier General. One of a number of Hungarian nationals to reach high rank in the Union Army, he served in the Hungarian Army as a Cuirassier (heavy cavalry soldier) before allying himself with Revolutionary Louis Kossth, and participated as his Aide-de-Camp in the failed 1848 Revolt to separate the nation from the Imperial powers of Austria. Traveling in exile first to Turkey, then to the United States, he became a naturalized citizen. After the outbreak of the Civil War he joined the staff of Major General John C. Fremont, who had appointed him as a Brigadier General and Chief of Staff in September 1861, but the commission was not recognized by the Army or Congress. In March 1862, however, he was duly appointed as a Brigadier General, US Volunteers by authorities in Washington, DC. At the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, he was wounded while leading the Army of Southwest Missouri’s 2nd Division. Upon his recovering he was assigned to command first the Union forces in Columbus, Kentucky, then the Army of the Tennessee’s XVI Corps, then finally the Department of West Florida. In the last capacity he participated in the October 1864 Battle of Marianna, Florida where he sustained two severe wounds to his cheek and left arm (he would carry a bullet in his face until its removal in Paris, France after the war; the surgeon who performed the operation did the same thing for Italian National Hero Guiseppi Garibaldi). This effective ended his field services, but he retained command of his Department until he was mustered out in August 1865, having been brevetted Major General, US Volunteers for “gallant and faithful services during the war” on March 13, 1865. In 1866, he was given the appointment of Unites States Minister to Argentina and Uruguay, but less than two years later he succumbed to the his 1864 wounds, which had never fully healed, and died at his post in Buenos Aires. He was interred in the British Cemetery after his death, and his remains laid there until the last half of the 20th Century, when the efforts of Hungarian-Americans discovered in his will his desire to be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. His last wish was honored, and he was re-buried there with full military honors on October 23, 1990.
Bio by: RPD2