Gen August Willich

Gen August Willich

Birth
Braunsberg (Bergisch Gladbach), Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Death 22 Jan 1878 (aged 67)
Ohio, USA
Burial Saint Marys, Auglaize County, Ohio, USA
Memorial ID 8466331 · View Source
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The late August Willich, prominent Auglaize Co. Civil War Veteran, who won considerable acclaim as the commander of the "Boys in Blue" in their fight to stomp out slavery, before immigrating to this country from his native Germany, served as the commander of the revolutionary forces and a leader of the working class in an unsuccesssful attempt to overthrow the government of that country in 1848 and 1849. He was born in Braunsberg, Prussia. At the age of 12 was appointed cadet at a military school and three years later entered the military academy in Berlin where in 1828, he was commissioned lieutenant of the artillary. Democratic sentiments were prevalent among the officers and in 1848 he was forced to flee to Switzerland and decided to immigrate to America. He was captured on his way to England and returned to Germany where Napoleon released him in response to public demonstrations. In 1858, he accepted an editorial position with the "German Republican of Cincinnati" and at the start of the Civil war enlisted as a private. His daring and bravery won him promotions at Rich Mountain to Colonel, and Green River to Brigadier General. His career was crowned with one of the grandest feats of the war at Mission Ridge. " In the action of the third day, after Sherman's unsuccessful charges and Grant gave his well-known order for the center to take the enemy's works at the foot of the ridge and stay there. Willich's and Hazen's brigades were at the front with Sheridan's and other divisions at the rear."The whole line moved in double quick through woods and fields and carried works-Willich's brigades going up under concentrated fire of batteries at a point where the two roads met. At this point, General WIllich said that he saw to obey General Grant's order to remain at the works at the foot of the ridge would mean the destruction of the center. To fall back would mean the loss of the battle, with the sacrifice of Sherman. "Willich then issued his own orders by sending three aides to different regiments and rode himself to the 8th Kansas and gave the order to storm the top of the ridge. How brilliantly the order was executed is well known as it gave the northerners one of the greatest victories of the war" (Reid-"Ohio in the War") After the war he was placed in command of a post in Cincinnati, later returning to active duty and accompanied his brigade to Texas, returing as a Brevet Major General. He was elected auditor of Hamilton Co. and served one term before returning to Germany to study at the University of Berlin. In 1870, he requested re-entry to the army. He was denied and returned to the United States and was persuaded to settle in St. Marys, Ohio, by his army friend, Major Charles Hipp. He died in bed on Jan. 23, 1878. His funeral was reported in the St. Marys Argus Newspaper on Jan. 26, 1878, as one of the largest in St. Marys with hundreds and hundreds in the funeral procession.

Information from:
Condensed from the Lima News 12-17-1939 with additional information from:
St. Marys Argus Newspaper 1-26-1878
"Ohio in the War:Her Statesman, Her Generals, Her Soldiers" Whitelaw Reid @1868 pub.Moore, Wilstach & Baldwin
The Evening Leader (St. Marys, Ohio) 12-1-2005, 12-7-2005



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  • Created by: LKlaer
  • Added: 3 Mar 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8466331
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gen August Willich (19 Nov 1810–22 Jan 1878), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8466331, citing Elm Grove Cemetery, Saint Marys, Auglaize County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by LKlaer (contributor 46601603) .