Foreign Born Generals in the U.S. Army 1861-65

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From: Confederate Veteran, Volume 26, Issue 8, Published August 1918.

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CivilWarTalk

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hmm... As a note, Meade was born in Spain, but of an American family. (I can relate... I was born in Texas, but of an Ohio family...)

I hadn't realized that naval officer Richard W. Meade, Sr. was his brother until looking this up! Thanks for posting.
Yes, his father, Richard Meade, was stationed in Cadiz, Spain as a United States Naval Agent at the time of his birth.
 

Bruce Vail

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Not really a long list when you consider how many US generals there were.
 
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Also old Robert Patterson from Ireland. And many many brevet generals.

I think there were a few exotic ones born at sea (on shipboard); definitely some of the brevets and a couple of admirals as well. And wasn´t there some issue with Sheridan?
 

John Hartwell

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I'm wondering about the reason The Confederate Veteran printed this list. Looking at the August 1918 issue, it stands alone, with no attached article or commentary, within the "Historical Department, U.D.C." section. Was it inspired, perhaps, by the strong anti-immigrant sensibilities of the times -- particularly with the then-flourishing manifestation of the KKK? It might serve as an example of just how "foreign" the Yankee invaders were (are).

From what little I have seen, the CV seems, on the whole, remarkably (and admirably) free of content reflecting the preoccupations of that 20th century version of the Klan; though it occasionally praises the efforts of the original KKK as the perceived "heroic defenders of the southern people." Still, this list seems a bit out of the ordinary.
 

Pat Young

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I'm wondering about the reason The Confederate Veteran printed this list. Looking at the August 1918 issue, it stands alone, with no attached article or commentary, within the "Historical Department, U.D.C." section. Was it inspired, perhaps, by the strong anti-immigrant sensibilities of the times -- particularly with the then-flourishing manifestation of the KKK? It might serve as an example of just how "foreign" the Yankee invaders were (are).

From what little I have seen, the CV seems, on the whole, remarkably (and admirably) free of content reflecting the preoccupations of that 20th century version of the Klan; though it occasionally praises the efforts of the original KKK as the perceived "heroic defenders of the southern people." Still, this list seems a bit out of the ordinary.
The claim was pretty frequently made that the Union army consisted primarily of "the sweepings of the Five Points."
 
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My most favorite foreign born General not on the list, proving the list is not complete, is Gottifreid Weitzel (his father changed the first name to Godfrey upon arrival in America). This man was Ben Butler most secret weapon as his top military advisor, who graduated second in his Class at West Point, with Cyrus Comstock being first that year, and a dear friend to Godfrey. I can only assume the Confederate apologist left him off because of his reputation: highly feared by Confederates and their supporters in Louisiana, defeated Robert E. Lee in the Lee directed counter attack to recapture Fort Harrison in 1864, made Corp Commander of the 25th Corp in 1865 ( which was composed of Negro Federal troops) and it is they who had the honor of seizing Richmond the Capital of the Confederacy. There is more to say about him but that should be enough for now.
 
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I believe it would be either Osterhaus or Sigel, but I need to check.

According to this Wikipedia article, it was Osterhaus - and Matthies is missing on the above list.

"Six generals who fought for the Union were Prussian-born. The highest-ranking was Maj. Gen. Peter J. Osterhaus, a corps commander who served under William Tecumseh Sherman in the March to the Sea. Carl Schurz was a famous political appointment who later became Secretary of the Interior. Karl Leopold Matthies was involved in charging Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga, Tennessee, only to be wounded. Alexander Schimmelfennig avoided capture for two days at the Battle of Gettysburg by hiding in a pigsty. August Willich was captured at the Battle of Stones River, and was wounded at the Battle of Resaca. The other was Frederick Salomon, brother of the wartime governor of Wisconsin Edward Salomon."​


Oops, here Wikipedia says it was Sigel:

"A popular Union commander and native German, Major General Franz Sigel was the highest ranking German-American officer in the Union Army, with many Germans enlisting to "fight mit Sigel."


(I'm glad nobody has yet submitted that as Trivia question!!)
 

Tom Elmore

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The two highest ranking foreign-born Federal officers (of foreign-born parents) at Gettysburg were Brigadier Generals Adolph von Steinwehr and Alex. Schimmelpfennig, with Steinwehr hailing from the Duchy of Brunswick and Schimmelpfennig from Prussia (both German states). In the same battle, the highest ranking foreign-born Confederate officer was Colonel Collett Leventhorpe from Britain.
 
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According to this Wikipedia article, it was Osterhaus ... Oops, here Wikipedia says it was Sigel ...

And it is correct on both accounts. Osterhaus was the highest-ranking from Prussia. Carl Schurz, while technically outranking him with a far senior date of rank, didn´t regularly command a corps. And Sigel, being from Baden, was the highest-ranking and most senior German overall.
 
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And it is correct on both accounts. Osterhaus was the highest-ranking from Prussia. Carl Schurz, while technically outranking him with a far senior date of rank, didn´t regularly command a corps. And Sigel, being from Baden, was the highest-ranking and most senior German overall.
Thank you for explaining that!
I had hoped that you would chime in and lift the fog!
 

PJO

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I'd like to point out that Osterhaus was only a temporary corps commander by virtue of seniority, filling in for Black Jack Logan, who went on leave to do some stumping for Lincoln..
 

PJO

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From: Confederate Veteran, Volume 26, Issue 8, Published August 1918.

View attachment 339741
Albin Franz (Francisco, Franciszek) Schöpf (Schoepf) was born 1822 in Podgorze, Galizia (now Poland), then Austria, as the son of a German-Austrian surveyor and a Pole.

Research by Hungarian historian Gábor Sánta has established that Julius (Gyula) Ludovicus Emericus Számvald, afterwards Stahel, was born 5 November 1827, instead of 1825, the birth year usually given. On the other hand, both dates are at odds with Stahel's own statements. When accepting promotion to general officer rank, Stahel indicated that he had been born in 1822.
 
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