Civil War Union Major General. A former Prussian Military officer, he fled to the US after the failed 1848 insurrection in Prussia. Appointed a Major General of Volunteers after the start of the Civil War, his political record was as good as his battle record was bad. He was defeated by Stonewall Jackson in the Valley campaign of 1862 (as were many other Union Generals), and had his troops soundly beaten at the Battle of New Market (3/15/1864), where cadets from VMI fought brilliantly against his men. Politically he was very important in enticing large segments of German immigrants to enlist in the Union Army. Native Germans enlisted by the thousands, and the phrase "I Fits Mit Sigel" became their watchword.
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