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HUNGARIANS IN THE 
AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 



BY 

EUGENE PIVANY. 



ILLUSTRATED BY 
JOHN KEMfiNY. 



REPRINTED FROM ..DONGO**. TENl'H 
ANNIVERSARY NUMBER 
CLEVELAND. O. 
I9I3. 



J'- 



I 

Although the Hungarian has but recently be- 
come an "element*' in the great American "melt- 
ing pot," he has been by no means a stranger on 
this continent. He seems to have even preceded 
here all European races except the Norsemen, for 
the Tyrker, or Turk, who, according to the Icelan- 
dic saga, discovered grapes at Vinland about the 
year 1000 A. D., could have been no other than an 
Hungarian^ In Sir Humphrey Gilbert's ill- 
fated expedition to New Foundland in 1583 we 
find an Hungarian humanist, Stephanus Par- 
menius Budaeus, who had been selected by Sir 
Humphrey, on account of his learning and his ele- 
gant Latin verse, to be the historian of the expe- 
dition. Even the "fake" Hungarian nobleman 
appeared quite at the beginnings of colonial his- 
tory, the first known example of this, fortunately 
not very numerous, species being no less a person- 
age than the redoubtable Captain John Smith, 
President of Virginia, Admiral of New England, 
etc. He alleged to have received a patent of no- 
^ bility, or grant of arms, from Sigismund Bathory, 
^^ Prince of Transylvania, a copy of which is on file 
in the College of Arms in London. Hungarian 
historians, however, pronounced it to be a for- 
gery, and a very clumsy one at that. 

1 Most of the latter translators and commentators of the Heim- 
skringla take Tyrker to have been German. The question hinges on the 
translation of the Icelandic words "4 thyrsku." It is difficult to see 
how they can be translated with "in German" instead of "in Turkish." 
(Turk and Turkish were then the appellations given to the Hungarians 
and their language.) 



2G0158 



y 



— 4 — 

I 

There are records of Hungarian settlers and 
travelers all through the colonial period and the 
first half-century of the United States. But they 
are only sporadic instances, as the Hungarians 
were not a sea-faring people and have never made 
any systematic attempt at colonization ; in fact, all 
the energy they possessed was needed in their own 
country to hold their own against the encroach- 
ments of the Habsburgs on their liberties. Of the 
Hungarian travelers who visited the United 
States in the first half of the nineteenth century, 
the most prominent was Alexander Farkas de 
Bolon, whose book, first published at Kolozsvdr 
in 1834, and particularly his observations on the 
political institutions of the American republic, 
made a deep impression on the Hungarian mind, 
the more so as they had a direct bearing on the 
political reforms then advocated in Hungary. 
Farkas's book was, no doubt, also one of the 
causes that induced an ever increasing number of 
Hungarians to emigrate to the American Land of 
Promise in the thirties and forties of the nine- 
teenth century; they were, however, still too few 
to engage the attention of the statistician. 

Hungary was then in the ferment of a grand lib- 
eral movement, in which the three greatest Hun- 
garians of the century, Szechenyi, Kossuth and 
Deak, took a leading part. This movement culmi- 
nated in the upheaval of 1848, which, starting in 
France, swept over the whole continent of 
Europe. It was successful only in France. The 
liberals of the German and Italian countries, with 
the exception of Venice, soon had to drop their 
swords. Hungary alone kept up the struggle for 
a year and a half, and was finally overcome only 
by the combined efforts of the two greatest mili- 
tary powers of the age. It was not merely the 
traditional military prowess and patriotic self- 
sacrifice of the Hungarians, admirable as they 
were, that made their magnificent struggle pos- 



— 5 — 

sible ; in these qualities the other peoples may not 
have been much behind them. It was their inbred 
constitutional instinct; it was their possession of 
a constitution which, alone on the Continent, was 
not a single written instrument based on the ex- 
periences of others, or the gift of a benevolent 
ruler, but was — like the English constitution — ^the 
natural growth of many centuries, making the 
sovereign nation the source of all legitimate au- 
thority; it was their experience in self-govern- 
ment in the counties which — when the rest of Eu- 
rope was groaning under the weight of feudalism 
— were semi-independent little republics ; in short, 
it was their poas^ession of free institutions and the 
memories of the blood and treasure which their 
fathers had spent in securing and defending them, 
that enabled the Hungarians to rally around their 
leader and to keep the banner of liberty flying 
long after the others had failed. 

The glorious Hungarian Honved Army was the 
hope and the object of admiration of the whole 
civilized world, and nowhere more so than in 
the United States. President Taylor acted only in 
accord with public sentiment when he dispatched 
Ambrose Dudley Mann, of Virginia, as special 
and confidential agent to Hungary to ascertain 
the true state of affairs with the view of recogniz- 
ing her independence. Mann's reports, published 
only recently^ are eloquent testimonials of 
American sympathy for the Hungarian cause, and 
offer a refreshing contrast to the reports of Lord 
Ponsonby, the British ambassador to Vienna, who 
appears to have been the dupe of Prince Schwarz- 
enberg. 

Hungary, at last, had to yield to the overwhelm- 
ing power of Russia. Some of the patriots went 
into exile at once ; others fell the victims of Aus- 
tria's insane vengeance; still others, seeing the 

2 Senate Document No. 279, 61st Congrress, 2nd Session. Sec also 
Senate Di»riinient No. 4R. 81 st Congjess. Ist Session. 



— 6 — 

fate of their brothers who had staid at home, kept 
in hiding, waiting for an opportunity to flee to for- 
eign countries. Most of those who followed Kos- 
suth to Kutahia and Bern to Aleppo eventually 
came to the United States to join, or to be joined 
later by, their fellow-exiles who had found refuge 
first in Turkey, Italy, France or England. Louis 
Kossuth himself was freed from his confinement 
in Kutahia by the United States and taken on 
board a national vessel. There was a veritable 
Hungarian cult in America in 1849 and the early 
fifties, which, when Kossuth reached New York 
harbor in December, 1851, "had become almost a 
frenzy." 

Since the Hungarians who, a decade later, of- 
fered their lives for the preservation of the Amer- 
ican Union, came mainly from among these refu- 
gees, some observations on the character of this 
Hungarian immigration will not be out of place. 
It stands in a class by itself among all the immi- 
grations of the nineteenth century. Its causes 
were purely political; its members came mostly 
from the middle and upper classes, and were 
thus superior in education and character to the 
average immigrant ; they had received knowledge 
of self-government as an inheritance from their 
ancestors ; they had seen actual service on the field 
of war ; they were firm believers in democratic in- 
stitutions, and they considered the United States 
as truly the Land of the Free. 

Of course, there were many immigrants of oth- 
er races in the same class, and the relations of the 
Hungarian, German, Bohemian and Polish refu- 
gees were very cordial, if not fraternal. But the 
other refugees were only a small minority of 
their countrymen who, particularly the Germans 
and the Irish, immigrated in the fifties in unpre- 
cedented numbers, being assisted therein by socie- 
ties organized especially for that purpose. Some 
German dreamers even conceived fanciful plans 



— 8 — 

for making German states out of Missouri and 
Wisconsin. 

The Hungarian immigration was entirely unor- 
ganized. The refugees generally arrived in small 
groups and, more often than not, met with a sym- 
pathetic reception, helpful advice or even financial 
assistance from noble-hearted Americans. Not 
unfrequently they were ceremoniously welcomed, 
enteitained by the authorities, and lionized by So- 
ciety. At first they hoped to be called back soon 
to take up anew the fight for the independence of 
their country, but before long they realized that 
events in Europe were drifting in an unfavorable 
direction for such action. Within a few years 
they were scattered all through the free states as 
farmers, engineers, journalists, lawyers, mer- 
chants, teachers, clerks, etc., ultimately attaining 
more or less success and becoming respected citi- 
zens of theij: several communities. 

Very few of them settled in the slave-holding 
states, except Missouri, as they instinctively de- 
tested slavery and were unwilling to employ slave 
labor. Probably the most prominent of the refu- 
gees was Ladislaus Ujhazy, the scion of a noble 
race, former Lord Lieutenant of Saros County 
and Commissioner of the District of Komarom, 
who in America was generally called "Governor" 
Ujhazy. He first founded an Hungarian settle- 
ment named New Buda in Iowa, but, having lost 
his wife there, moved to Texas where he and his 
children built their own house and cultivated their 
own land. He did not take part in the Civil War, 
having been appointed United States Consul at 
Ancona by President Lincoln in 1861. 

Another distinguished refugee was Col. John 
Pragr^v who had been Adjutant-General of the 
Honved Army. He arrived in New York in De- 
cember, 1849, and, assisted by a fellow-exile, Cor- 
nelius Fornet, immediately set himself to the task 



— 9 — 

of writing a history of the Hungarian War^ 
This was the first English book on the subject, it 
had a wide circulation and, although necessarily 
imperfect and partizan, it was used as an author- 
ity in the subsequent flood of English literature 
dealing with the Hungarian question. Noble 
Pragay! He found an opportunity sooner than 
most of his fellows to offer his sword for the cause 
of liberty. He joined Narciso Lopez's ill-fated 
expedition for the liberation of Cuba, was severe- 
ly wounded in the engagement at Las Pozas on 
the second anniversary of the surrender at Vi- 
lagos (August 13, 1851), and, to escape the igno- 
miny of the garote, ended his life with his own 
hand before the Spanish soldiers could take him 
prisoner*. 

n 

When the conflict between national unity and 
states' rights and between freedom and slavery 
came to an issue which could be fought out only 
on the field of battle, the Hungarians in America 
responded liberally to the call for volunteers. 
They came of a race proud of its military quali- 
ties; most of them, as we have seen, had taken 
part in the Hungarian War, some of them also in 
the Crimean and Austro-Italian Wars; they were 
devoted to the cause of liberty; they felt grateful 
for the sympathy shown their native land in its 
hour of distress and for the honors showered upon 
their late chief, Louis Kossuth. No wonder they 
were eager to enlist in the Union Army; no 
wonder they did useful, honorable and glorious 

3 The Hungarian Revolution. By Johann Pragay. New York, G. 
P. Putnam, 1850. 12-mo., 177 pp. An abridged German edition was 
simultaneously published by J. Helmich, New York, under the title Der 
Krieg in Ungarn. 

4 A full account of this expedition by Louis Schlesinger, one of 
the participants, can be found in the Democratic Review for Sept., Oct., 
Nov. and Dec, 1852. The final instalment of the series, dealing with 
the fate of some of the prisoners in Ceuta, was not published, because 
the magazine was discontinued. In Hungarian the matter is ably treated 
by Dr. G6za Kacziiny in the Ssabadsdg, Cleveland, Dec. 21, 1911. The 
Hungarians in the party were: John PrAgay, as lieut.-general and 
chief-of-staff; Major Louis Schlesinger, Captain Radnics, Lieutenant* 
Bontila, Eichler and Palank, and Privates Bir6, Nyikos and V'lrig. 



— 10 



service on the battlefield for their adopted coun- 
try. 

As already stated, hardly any of them had set- 
tled m the slave-holding states; consequently 
hardly any of them enlisted in the Confederate 
Ai my. In fact, the only Hungarian officer I have 
found record of on the southern side was B. Est- 
van, Colonel of Cavalry. Having served in the 
Austrian Army under Radetzky in Italy and taken 
part m the Crimean War (presumably in the Brit- 
ish Army) he could not well resist the call of his 
southern neighbors and friends to take up arms 
in behalt of their cause. But at heart he was a 
Unionist, and he ended his dilemma by resigning 
his commission as soon as he could do so with 
honor, and going to England. There he related 
his experiences in the South in an interesting 
book which was published in London, New York 
and Leipzig in 1863». 

It would be interesting to know the number of 
Hungarians in the United States at the outbreak 
of the Civil War and the number of Hungarian 
soldiers in the Union Army. For the former we 
should naturally look to the census of 1860, but 

with disappointing results, for that census at 

least as far as the nativity of the population is 
concerned — was not made up on scientific prin- 
ciples. Hungarians were not treated separately, 
and even Austria appeared only as a subdivision 
of "Germany." It is very likely that the Hungar- 
ians were included among the 25,061 shown as 
Austrians, although — as Secretary of State Se- 
ward aptly remarked^ — there were no confess- 
ed Austrians in America. Nearly one-third of 

5 IV ar Pictures from the South. New York, Appleton's, 1868. 
8-TO., VIII, 352 pp. This is a cheap reprint of the London edition in 
two volumes. The German edition was dedicated to Gen. McClellan, a 
rather strange proceeding on the part of a Confederate officer. 

6 "We meet everywhere here, in town and country, Italians, Hun- 
garians, Poles, Magyars, Jews and Germans, who have come to us from 
that ernpire. but no one has ever seen a confessed Austrian among us." 
Seward to Anson Burlingame ("Minister to Vienna), April 18, 1861, in 
The Diplomatic History of the War fnr the Union. Boston, 1884. Pag€ 
214. 






— II -^ 

these Austrians lived in Wisconsin, where Ger- 
man colonization was carried on systematically; 
so it is fair to presume that the majority were 
Austrian Germans. 

We get more enlightenment from the census of 
1870, in which the natives of the Dual Monarchy 
appear in a trialistic arrangement: Austria 
(proper) 30,508, Bohemia 40,289, and Hungary 
3,737. The Hungarian immigration from 1866 to 
1870 was so small as to be negligible (officially re- 
ported as 79) , because this was a period of revival 
in Hungary, when many exiles returned to their 
native land, taking advantage of the political am- 
nesty announced on the re-establishment of the 
constitution in 1867. This small immigration was 
undoubtedly more than offset by the deaths and 
re-migrations of the decade ; we can not err much, 
then, if we estimate the average number of Hun- 
garians during the War at 4,000. This is hardly 
more than a drop in the bucket, considering that 
the total free population of the United States in 
1860 was 27,489,461, of whom 23,353,286 were 
natives and 4,136,175 foreign-born. Of the latter 
about 1,300,000 were Germans. 

It is more difficult to answer our second ques- 
tion : What was the number of the Hungarian sol- 
diers in the Union Army? The original muster- 
rolls are, for very good reasons, now practically 
inaccessible; and even if they were not, no com- 
plete record of the nativity of the men could be 
obtained from them, for the state or country of 
birth was not systematically required on the en- 
listment rolls until the Provost Marshal General's 
Bureau began its activity, after the war had been 
waged for some time. Often the place of resi- 
dence was given instead of the place of birth. 
Francis B. Heitman's Historical Register and Die- 
tionary of the U. S, Army is a very useful compi- 
lation, stating the nativity of the general and staff 
officers ; but it refers only to officers and, as I have 



— 12 — 

had occasion to find out, is far from complete. 
The rosters published by the various states shed 
little light on the subject, for as a rule they con- 
tain no data as to the nativity of the men. 

Shortly after the war, the U. S. Sanitary Com- 
mission started an investigation on these lines, 
which was under the direction of its iactuary, 
Benj. Apthorp Gould. He was assisted by a large 
staff and had, to a certain extent, the co-operation 
of the War Department and the Adjutants-Gen- 
eral of the various states. For more than half 
the enlistments he got the official figures, for near- 
ly 300,000 men he obtained data from various 
commanders, and the rest he estimated in the pro- 
portions thus arrived at. His figures, while neces- 
sarily not exact, are more trustworthy than any 
other calculations made on the subject, and are 
given here for their general interest, although 
they contain no specific information about Hun- 
garians. They refer only to white soldiers in the 
Union Army, and leave out of consideration 92,- 
000 men from certain western states and territor- 
ies. 

Natives . 1,523,267 

Germans , 176,817 

Irish 144,221 

British Americans .... 53,532 

English 45,508 

Other Foreigners 48,410 

"Foreigners" not other- 
wise designated 26,445 

494,933 



2,018,200' 



These are impressive figures, but it is to be 
borne in mind that they do not take account of 
the numerous re-enlistments. As to Hungarians, 

7 Investigations in the Military and Anthropological Statistics of 
American Solditrt. By B«nj. Apthorp Oould, New York, 18(6©. Page 27. 



~ 13 — 

their number was so small that the statistician, 
who deals with quantity rather than quality, did 
not consider them separately. We have to resort, 
then, to other means to make an estimate of their 
number. 

Nearly one-half of the Garibaldi Guard or 39th 
New York InfantryS and about one-half of the 
Lincoln Riflemen, incorporated later in the 24th 
Illinois Infantry% were Hungarians. This 
makes about 400. For additional data I examined 
the published regimental rosters of some of the 
states, only one of which (Iowa) contained rec- 
ords of the nativity of the men. It was a rather un- 
satisfactory investigation, because there was 
nothing to go by but the names. The Hungarians 
being a composite race, many of them have non- 
Hungarian names ; many of the refugees, on flee- 
ing their country, changed their names ; many of 
the names were misprinted or had undergone 
more or less recognizable changes toward "Angli- 
cisation." Nevertheless I found about a hundred 
Hungarian names in the regiments of Iowa, Ohio 
and part of Illinois. So I believe that the total 
number of Hungarian soldiers could not have been 
much above or much below 800, of whom from 
80 to 100 were officers. 

This is certainly a small number compared with 
the imposing figures above quoted. But it is 
about 20 per cent, of the Hungarian population, 
a ratio not approached by any of the other races 
and explainable only by the unique character of the 
Hungarian immigration of that period. And 
could an>i:hing prove more the eminent military 
fitness of the Hungarians than that this handful 
of men produced 



8 Stated to me by Gen. Julius Stahcl. 

9 Reminiscences of an Octogenarian Hungarian Bxile. By Julian 
Kun«. Chicago, 1011. Page OS. 



— 14- 

2 major-generals, • 
5 brigadier-generals, 
15 colonels, 

2 lieutenant-colonels, 
13 majors, 
12 captains, 

besides a number of subaltern officers and two 
surgeons? General Stahel commanded an army 
corps, General Asboth a division and a district, 
General Schoepf a division and a fort ; while Gen- 
erals Knefler, Kozlay, Mundee and . Pomucz and 
Colonel Zsulavszky had charge of brigades. 

The appended partial list contains the public 
records, more or less complete, of 61 officers. In 
compiling this list and the biographical sketches, 
use was made of Heitman's Register, the Official 
Army Register of the Volunteer Force of the U. S. 
Army, Dyer's Compendium of the War of the 
Rebellion, reports of the Adjutants-General of 
several states, and the Rebellion Record; also of 
various English, Hungarian and German books, 
memoirs, magazine and newspaper articles, and 
the oral or written communications of some of 
the participants or their descendants. No claim 
is made to absolute accuracy or completeness ; and 
any correction or additional information will be 
gratefully received. 

Ill 

Since the Hungarians, few as they were, were 
scattered all over the country, enlisted from near- 
ly every state and served in various armies, de- 
partments and corps, it is impossible to present 
their story in a continuous narrative. We must 
be satisfied, therefore, with individual sketches, 
unconnected, or but loosely connected at the best. 

There was no purely Hungarian organization in 
the Union Army. The nearest to one were the 
Garibaldi Guard of New York and the Lincoln 



— IS — 

Riflemen of- Chicago. The latter were organized 
as an independent company of Hungarians and 
Bohemians by Geza Mihaloczy, a former honved 
officer, with another Hungarian, Augustus Ko- 
vats, as his lieutenant. This was in February, 
1861, more than two months before Lincoln's first 
call for troops ; and the far-seeing Mihaloczy drill- 
ed his men night after night to be prepared when 
the call should come. His request to the Presi- 
dent-elect to permit the company to be named af- 
ter him was presented to Mr. Lincoln at Spring- 
field, 111., by Julian Kune, also a honved officer, 
and was gladly granted. Within 48 hours from 
the receipt of Gov. Yates* order to send a force to 
Cairo, Gen. Swift left Chicago with several com- 
panies, among them the Lincoln Riflemen. 

In Cairo there was much confusion at first, ow- 
ing to the lack of experienced officers and the un- 
trained condition of the troops. This was partly 
overcome by the energy of Gen. McClellan, who 
wrote^*^ that "the artillery, especially, made 
very good progress under the instruction of Col. 
Wagner, an Hungarian officer, whom I had sent 
there for that object." Col. Gustave Wagner had 
been a major of artillery in the Honved Army, and 
accompanied Governor Kossuth co Kutahia. He 
was the son of a heroic mother, for it was his 
mother who, under great personal danger, re- 
turned from Turkey to Hungary, and, in disguise 
and with a false passport, effected the escape of 
Mme. Kossuth from Hungary. 

He was in charge of the expeditions to Belmont 
and Lucas Bend, Mo., and when he was appointed 
chief of ordnance on Gen. Fremont's staff, Gen. U. 
S. Grant wrote to Fremont that "his loss from this 
post will be felt." Later, he commanded the 2nd 
New York Artillery. William Howard Russell, 
"war-correspondent of the London Times, spoke of 

10 McClellan' s Own Story. By George B. McClellan. New Yorlr 
IW7. Pa«e 46. 



— i6 — 

him and the other Hungarians in Missouri (in his 
Pictures of Southern Life) as of "a fine, soldierly- 
looking set of men." The soldierly looks of the 
Hungarians were commented on also by several 
other writers of the period. 

In the West it was of vital importance to secure 
the two border states, Missouri and Kentucky, for 
the Union and to free the Mississippi from Con- 
federate control. In St. Louis, independently of 
the volunteer regiments raised for the Federal 
army, several regiments of Home Guards (a lit- 
eral translation of the word Honved) were organ- 
ized "for the protection of the home and family, 
for the free exercise of the franchise and the su- 
premacy of the Union," the leading idea being "to 
make this body strong enough to prevent even the 
chance of a fight within the limits of the city." 
The plan originated with three Hungarians, An- 
selm Albert, Robert and Roderick Rombauer, who 
met early in January, 1861, to form such an or- 
ganization. Eventually five regiments of such 
Home Guards were organized in St. Louis. They 
not only fully accomplished their object, but 
sometimes volunteered to do duty outside of 
the city also, and were known officially as the U. 
S. Reserve Corps, Missouri Volunteers. The tac- 
tical development of the first regiment was at- 
tended to by Lieut.-Col. Robert J. Rombauer, and 
that of the second regiment by Lieut.-Col. John 
T. Fiala, who had also been a honv6d officer. 

Anselm Albert had served in the Engineering 
Corps of the Honved Army as lieut.-colonel, after 
Vilagos followed Gen. Bem to Aleppo, and came 
to the United States in 1850, where he eventually 
settled in St. Louis. He was lieut.-colonel of the 
3d Missouri Infantry, became an aide-de-camp to 
Gen. Fr6mont in the West with the rank of colonel 
and later his chief-of-staff in the Mountain De- 
partment. 



— 17 — 

The Rombauers are a remarkable family. Orig- 
inally of Saxon stock, they settled in Hungary 
some 500 years ago, and gave several promi- 
nent citizens and stanch patriots to Hungary. 
Theodore Rombauer was director of the Hungar- 
ian Government's ammunition factory at Nagy 
Varad during the revolution, and, after the sur- 
render of Gen. Gorgei, had to flee for his life. 
Four of his sons had served the Hungarian cause, 
and four of his sons fought in the Union Army. 
They were, however, not the same four sons, for 
one of them, Richard, had lost his life in the bat- 
tle of Vizakna, in Transylvania, and his place was 
taken in America by a younger brother. 

Robert J. Rombauer, the oldest son, was an ar- 
tillery lieutenant in the Honved Army. When 
that army was crushed by the Russians, he stayed 
in the country, believing, like many others, that 
it would be impossible for Austria to wreak ven- 
geance on every subaltern officer. He was mis- 
taken, however, for he was taken prisoner and 
pressed into the Austrian Army as a private. 
After ten months his devoted mother succeeded in 
getting his release, and the whole family was soon 
re-united in Iowa, whence, after an unsuccessful 
effort at farming, they moved to St. Louis in 1853. 
There, as already stated, he took a leading part 
in organizing the Home Guards, and, when their 
term expired, re-enlisted for three years, becom- 
ing colonel of the 1st U. S. Reserve Corps, Mis- 
souri Volunteers. In 1863 he published a mili- 
tary treatise^S and in the centennial year of 
St. Louis a history of the conflict in St. Louis 
during 1861, with a thoughtful and judicious re- 
view of the causes leading to the Civil War, as an 
introduction^^^ jjg ^^s also engaged in jour- 

11 The Contest. By R. J. Rombauer, St. Louis, February 1, 1888. 
16-mo., 106 pp. 

18 The Union Cause in St. Louis in 1801. By Robert J. Rom- 
bauer, St. Louis, 1909. 8-TO., XIV, 475 pp. The appendix contains the 
rosters of the St. Louis re«imenU. 



nalism, and held several offices of trust and honor 
in St. Louis, as President of the Board of Asse*- 
soi s, member of the School Board, Commander of 
the Grand Army of Missouri, etc. Now, at the pa- 



Col. John T. limla 

triarchal age of eighty-two, he is still hale and 
hearty, and devotes himself to literary work. 

Roderick E. Bombauer, although at that time 
"wretchedly poor" (as he states in his autobiog- 
raphyt"^. managed to study law at Harvard, 
and returned to St. Louis m 1858. He was a 

13 Tk, Hittory Bl Lift. By Roderick E. Romtttuer, St. Louii. 



^19 — 

struggling lawyer when the Civil War broke out, 
and enlisted as a private in the 1st Missouri In- 
fantry and was afterwards commissioned captain. 
His company took part in the capture of Camp 
Jackson and did some service in Southeast Mis- 
souri, when he was taken violently ill with camp 
fever. After his recovery he served on Gen. Fre- 
mont's staff in West Virginia for several months. 
In 1863, after an exciting personal canvass, he was 
elected judge of the Law Commissioners Court of 
St. Louis County, which was the beginning of a 
very successful judicial career, in the course of 
which he became judge of the Circuit Court and 
of the Court of Appeal^. In 1897 he returned to 
his law practice and, although he has nearly 
reached four-score, is still at his desk every day. 
Of magnetic personality, he is a forceful and pop- 
ular public speaker, a publicist of note, and recog- 
nized as one of the ablest jurists of Missouri. 

Roland T. Rombauer enlisted also in St. Louis, 
served as sergeant in the 1st Missouri Infantry, 
commanded a battery in Virginia, became captain 
of the 1st Florida Cavalry and Provost Marshal of 
the District of West Florida under Gen. Asboth. 
After the war, he was active in politics, and was 
a delegate to the Republican National Convention 
of 1868 and a member of the Montana Legisla- 
ture. He was a successful mining engineer and 
the author of several treatises on mining. 

The youngest brother, Raphael Guido Rom- 
bauer, was sergeant in the Home Guard, and be- 
came Major of the 1st Illinois Light Artillery and 
an aide on Gen. Grant's staff. He was an engi- 
neer, and was at one time superintendent of the 
Southwest Branch of the Missouri Pacific Rail- 
road. Later he engaged in coal-mining, and was 
at the head of the Rombauer Coal Company at 
Kirksville, Mo., when he died in 1912. 



— 20 — 

IV 

Towards the end of July, 1861, General John C. 
Fremonr took command of the Western Depart- 
ment, comprising Missouri, Kansas, Illinois and 
Kentucky, with headquarters at St. Louis. His pio- 
neer work in the exploration of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, which gained him the title of Pathfinder, his 
part in the conquest of California, his romantic 
marriage, and his gallant fight as the first presi- 
dential candidate of the Republican Party, had 
made him one of the most popular men of the pe- 
riod. Most of his critics believe that he was not 
the right man for the orgg^nization and command 
of a whole army. Yet it is certain that in the agi- 
tation and intrigues, which lead to his temporary 
removal after /exactly one hundred days of com- 
mand, both politics and the unreasonable expecta- 
tion of quick and decisive results with inadequate 
means, had a prominent part. He was also often 
criticised for appointing many foreign-born offi- 
cers. Yet there was no other way open for him, 
for there were no militia organizations in the 
West, and lie could get but a few West Point 
graduates. Most of his officers had to be selected 
from among "green" native civilians and the for- 
eign-born citizens who had had military expe- 
rience abroad^*. Whatever his shortcomings 
may have been, even his severest critics admit 
that he was a man of charming personality, able 
to win and hold the devotion of his men and to fire 
them with enthusiasm. 



14. "A shameful number of regular officers had deserted; those 
who remained were nearly all on duty east of the Mississippi Valley; 
and the difficulty of officering and rendering efficient the masses of 
untrained troops was a serious embarrassment. Fortunately our adopted 
citizens recognized that Freedom was of no nationality; and the swords 
that had been used in its behalf in Germany and Hungary were taken 
down and offered to aid in saving its very hearth-stone, as the United 
States had seemed to them." Mrs. Fremont in The Story of the Guard, 
Page 28. 



— 21 — 

Of his staff officers the following were Hungar- 
ians: Brig.-Gen. Alexander Asboth, Chief -of- 
Statf ; Col. John T. Fiala, Chief Topographical En- 
gineer; Coi. Gustave Wagner, Chief of Ordnance; 
Major Charles Zagonyi, Commander of the Body 
Guard ; Col. Anselm Albert, Capt. Leonidas Has- 
kell and Capt. Joseph Remenyfi, Aides-de-Camp. 

Col. Fiala was one of the ablest engineers in the 
country. Born at Temesvar, Hungary, in 1822, he 
received his education at the Military Academy 
of Gratz, Austria, joined the Honved Army in 
1848, and attained the rank of major. He follow- 
ed Gen. Bem to Syria, after whose death he sought 
refuge in France, but left that country for the 
United States in 1851. He made and published 
the first large sectional and topographical map 
of Missouri, and suggested to Gen. Lyon the St. 
Louis forts subsequently built by Fremont. Gen. 
Fremont entertained a high opinion of this offi- 
cer's abilities, and had him appointed on his staff 
again when he got command of the Mountain De- 
partment the following year. There Col. Fiala 
was seized with a dangerous disease and had to re- 
tire from the service. Although the army sur- 
geons had given up his life, he recovered under 
the care of a physician in Davenport, Iowa, and 
settled eventually in San Francisco, where he 
ended his useful life in 1911. 

Toward the end of September, Gen. Fremont 
moved to Jefferson City, whence he began his 
march southward to Springfield. His Army of 
the West contained approximately 50,000 men in 
five divisions, the fourth of which, with 
about 6,500 men, was under the command of 
Gen. Asboth. After crossing the Osage River, the 
Prairie Scouts, a mounted body of about 150 men 
under Major Frank White, a gallant officer hardly 
out of his teens, and a detachment of Fremont's 
Body Gtmrd, about 150 mounted men, under Ma- 
jor Charles Zagonyi, were sent forward to recon- 
noitre in the direction of Springfield. 



Charles Zagonyi was born at Szatmar, Hungary, 
in 1826, espoused the national cause in 1848, and 
rose to be captain of hussars in Gen. Bern's army 
in Transylvania. He was wounded and taken pris- 
oner in an engagement, and spent two years in an 



Austrian dungeon before his escape to America. 
He was the true representative of that superb type 
of hght cavalrymen which Hungary has given to 
the world : The Hussars. Imbued with the spirit 
of ancient chivalry, full of dash, devoted to his 
commander and able to impart his spirit to his 
men, he was eminently fit for the position for 
which Fremont selected him. He was to organize 
a company of horse to act as the General's body 



— 23 — 

gfuard, but so many were the applicants that four 
companies were organized. The men were clad in 
blue jackets, trousers and caps. They were armed 
with light German sabres, the best that at that 
time could be procured, and with revolvers; be- 
sides which, the first company carried carbines. 
They were mounted upon bay horses, carefully 
chosen from the government stables by Zagonyi, 
who, in less than a month's time, drilled his men 
into a well-disciplined and efficient corps of caval- 
ry. Their uniforms were simple enough compar- 
ed with the braided dolmans and breeches of the 
, Hungarian hussars, but to their poorly equipped 
comrades they looked "showy." Instilled with 
pride and esprit de corps by Zagonyi, the Guards 
carried themselves rather proudly and were dub- 
bed holiday soldiers by the envious This attitude 
of ridicule towards the Guard, however, was soon 
to be changed into one of respect and admiration. 
The officers were all Americans, except three, — one 
Dutchman and two Hungarians, Zagonyi and 
Lieut. Theodore Majthenyi. 

Zagonyi got permission from Fremont to attack 
the Confederate garrison at Springfield, which 
was thought to number about 300. When report 
was received that it was 1,900 strong, the General 
revoked his permission, but finally was persuaded 
by Zagonyi's appeals to let him go, promising to 
send him re-enforcements. Fremont was afraid 
that the impetuous hussar would do something 
"rash"; Gen. Sigel also entertained such fears, 
and sent Zagonyi word not to make an attack un- 
til he could send him aid. SigeFs note, however, 
reached Zagonyi only after it was all over. 

Major White, having been taken sick, was left 
with a few^ men in a farmhouse, and Zagonyi 
took command of both troops. On approaching 
Springfield they saw the enemy's infantry, about 
1,200 strong, posted on top of a hill, with about 
300 horse on the left and a little lower. To reach 



— 24 — 

the field they had to pass a narrow lane lined with 
underbrush, cross a brook, and jump a fence. Za- 
gonyi halted his men and told them that, if any of 
them was tired or sick, he could turn back. No 
one moved. Then he said : "Our honor, the honor 
of our General and our country, tell us to go on. I 
will lead you. We have been called holiday sol- 
diers for the pavements of St. Louis; today we 
will show that we are soldiers for the battle. 
Your watchword shall be: The Union and Fre- 
mont! Draw sabre! By the right flank, — quick 
trot, — march !'* Little did the honest hussar think 
that this little speech would be given a sinister 
meaning by the General's enemies. 

The underbrush lining the lane was packed with 
Confederate sharpshooters. It took the Guards 
only a minute to dash through the lane, but when 
they emerged at the other end, some fifty bodies 
of men and horses were writhing in the lane ; the 
sharpshooters had done murderous work. On 
reaching the field, Zagonyi ordered Lieut. Maj- 
thenyi with thirty men to attack the enemy's cav- 
alry to their right. "With sabres flashing over 
their heads, the little band of heroes spring to- 
wards their tremendous foe. Right upon the cen- 
tre they charge. The dense mass opens, the blue 
coats force their way in, and the whole Rebel 
squadron scatter in disgraceful flight through the 
cornfields in the rear. The boys follow them, 
sabring the fugitives." 

Zagonyi then charged with the rest of his men 
the infantry on the hill. "Steeds respond to the 
ardor of their riders, and quick as thought, with 
thrilling cheers, the noble hearts rush into the 
leaden torrent which pours down the incline. 
With unabated fire the gallant fellows press 
through. Their fierce onset is not even checked. 
The foe do not wait for them. — they waver, break 
and fly." The Guardsmen follow them to the vil- 
lage. Zagonyi leads them. A desperate hand-to- 



— ^5 ~ 

hand fight ensues, ending with the utter rout of 
the enemy. 

V 

It may have been a "rash" act, but it was a glor- 
ious victory and one of the most heroic deeds re- 
corded in the annals of warfare^^ It was gen- 
erally referred to as **Zagonyi's death-ride," and 
Gen. Fremont wrote to his wife : "This was really 
a Balaklava charge." It is now officially desig- 
nated as a "skirmish," but it is certain that no 
skirmish has ever had such moral effect as this 
one, for it gave tone and spirit to the western 
army, instilled courage and a feeling of safety into 
the hearts of the loyal population of Missouri, and 
had a much-needed, bracing effect all the country 
over. 

Mrs. Fremont jotted down in what she kindly 
called Zagonyi's "quaint Hungarian-English" his 
ideas on the subject of "rashness." He said: 
"They call it a 'rash act.* How is it possible to say 
it so? From half -past eleven till half -past four 
we knew we were to meet nineteen hundred men, 
was time enough to consider and cool down every 
rashness. Blood cools in five hours. It is so. 
Very naturally it could not be 'rashness.* " 

A week later Gen. Fremont was removed from 
the command of the Western Department and re- 
placed by Gen. Hunter. The Guard was shame- 
fully treated for its heroism. On its return to St. 
Louis, it was denied rations and forage, and was 
promptly disbanded by order of Gen. McClellan. 
The wild rumors about Fremont's alleged dicta- 
torial ambitions and the "dangerous sentiments" 
said to be uttered by the Guardsmen were prob- 

15. The best account of the battVe was written by Major W. Dors- 
hcimer, of Fremont's staff, in The Atlantic Monthly for Jan., Feb. and 
March, 1862, under the title "Fremont's. Hundred Days in Missouri" 
It contains a plan of the field and many incidents and sidelights on As- 
b6th and Zagonyi. It was largely drawn upon by the earlier historians 
of the Civil War, as Greeley, Abbott, etc. 



— 26 -. 

ably responsible for these acts. Zagonyi was of- 
fered the colonelcy of a regiment, but out of loyal- 
ty to his general he declined it. The following 
year, however, he served again on Gen. Fremont's 
staff in the East. Mrs. Fremont, in her mortifi- 
cation and to aid the families of the fallen Guards- 
men, wrote a story of the Guard, a book charm- 
ing by its directness and interesting for the many 
letters not published elsewhere^®. 

Theodore Majthenyi, Zagonyi's gallant lieuten- 
ant, was the son of Baron Joseph Majthenyi, a 
prominent refugee, and was but a boy when they 
made their new home in Davenport, Iowa, in 
1851. After the Guard was disbanded, he obtain- 
ed a commission as captain in the 1st Indiana Cav- 
alry, anu in 1866 he entered the regular army as 
lieutenant in the 6th United States Cavalry. His 
father returned to Hungary on the re-establish- 
ment of the Hungarian constitution, and persuad- 
ed him to go with him. There he enlistea in the 
new Honved Army ; but he was too much Ameri- 
canized to like the conditions in Europe, and re- 
turnea to the United States about 1875. 

Gen. Hunter not finding any enemy in the vi- 
cinity, decided to return with his army to St. 
Louis. It was a sad retreat and harmful in its 
effects, as it undid nearfy all that Fremont had 
accomplished and left the loyal population of 
Southern Missouri unprotected against the guer- 
rilla bands of the Confederates. Gen. Curtis, 
who soon replaced Hunter in command, had to 
do Fremont's campaign over again, and under 
more unfavorable conditions, because of the cold 
weather. He had hardly more than 12,000 men in 
his army, which was composed of four divisions, 
the second division being under the command of 
Gen. Asboth. Two other ex-honveds had com- 
mands under Curtis: Major Emeric M6szaros, 

16 The Story of the Guard. By Jessie Benton Frimont, Boston, 
1RA8. 12-mo.. XII-329 pp. It contains Z&gonyi's own report, too. 



— 28-^ 

who commanded the Fremont Hussars or 4th Mis- 
souri Cavalry, and Col. Joseph Nemeth, in com- 
mand of the Benton Hussars or 5th Missouri Cav- 
alry. Col. Nemeth had been a captain in the 
Honved Army, and in Kossuth's suite at Kutahia. 

Gen. Curtis re-occupied Springfield without op- 
position about the end of February, 1862, and 
thence, with continued skirmishing, followed the 
enemy under Generals Price and McCuUoch over 
the border into Arkansas. Gen. Asboth occupied 
Fayetteville and Bentonville with little resistance, 
but was soon ordered to join the main army at Pea 
Ridge, or Elkhorn Tavern, where a decisive en- 
gagement was expected. The first day of the 
battle, March 7, was very sanguinary, but undeci- 
sive. Gen. Asboth was wounded in the left arm, 
but in spite of his wound was again in the saddle 
the next morning^^ The enemy, however, 
whose numbers were variously estimated as from 
16,000 to 26,000, had suffered more, particularly 
on its right wing and through the death of Gen. 
McCuUoch, and was badly defeated in the second 
day's fighting. This ended the campaign which 
secured Missouri for the Union and in which sev- 
eral Hungarian offi/cers had had a distinguished 
part. 

Alexander Asboth came from a family promi- 
nent in the history of Hungary. He was bom in 
Keszthely on December 18, 1811, and had from 
childhood on the ambition of becoming a soldier, 
like his elder brother Louis (who became a gen- 
eral in the Hungarian War.) His mother, how- 
ever, was averse to the thought of exposing both 
of her sons to the dangers of a military career, 
and persuaded him to study engineering. Yet 
Fate willed that he should fight on the battlefields 
of two hemispheres and achieve his greatest suc- 
cess as a soldier. After graduating from the En- 

17 The Pea Ridge Campaign. By Franz Sigel, in Battles and 
Leaders of the Civil War. I, 8?8- 



— 29 — 

gineering Academy at Selmecbanya, he entered 
the government service, and had already made 
himself a national reputation when the revolution 
of 1848 broke out. He enlisted as a honv6d, be- 
came colonel in the Engineering Corps, and, later, 
aide to Governor Kossuth. He followed the Gov- 
ernor to Kutahia, and was brought to this country 
on the U. S. Frigsite Mississippi in 1851. In New 
York he met with some success as the inventor of 
a new process for making steel castings, and was 
also a surveyor in the service of New York State. 
John C. Fremont, who had known him in New 
York, was so favorably impressed with him that, 
when he was assigned to the command of the 
Western Department, he selected Asboth for his 
chief-of-staff and appointed him brigadier-gen- 
eral. 

The Senate considered this appointment — like 
several others that Fremont had made — "irregu- 
lar" and refused to confirm it until the report ©f 
Asboth's gallantry at the battle of Pea Ridge was 
received. In the meantime, however, as we have 
seen, he was actually in command of a division un- 
der Fremont, Hunter and Curtis. He was a tall, 
well-built man, with a firm, but kindly expres- 
sion in his face, over which would, at times, come 
a shadow of melancholy, probably when he was 
thinking of the fate of his native land. Yet he 
was essentially a man of action, and enjoyed 
hard, physical exercise. Major W. Dorsheimer de- 
scribed him as an excellent horseman, who, at the 
age of fifty, loved to ride his horse at top speed, 
so that the Major, who was considerably young- 
er, could not keep up with him. 

After the Missouri campaign he was assigned 
to the command of the District of Columbus in 



— 30 — 

Kentucky, and in 1863 was 

appointed commander of the 

District of West Florida, with 

headquarters at Fort Pickens, 

near Pensacola, which com- 
mand he held until August, 

1865.. In the engagement at 

Marianna (September 27, 

1864), he rushed forward to 

encourage his retreating sol- 
diers. The battle was won, 

but he was seriously wounded, 

one bullet shattering his right Aieiaoder A>b6tb 
arm and another lodging under Brevet Hiu«r-o«ifrai, 
his right cheekbone. He was v. & \ 

breveted major-general in March, 1865, for gall- 
ant and meritorious service, 

Asboth was one of those generals whom the 
Government wished to reward for their distin- 
guished services with a diplomatic post. Al- 
though there was much dickering about such ap- 
pointments, hia nomination as minister to the Ar- 
gentine Republic went through the Senate with- 
out opposition. He made the journey to Buenos 
Ayres via Paris, where he had his wound exam- 
ined by the famous surgeon, Nelaton, because no 
American surgeon would undertake the removal 
of the bullet from under his cheek-bone. Dr. Ne- 
laton could not tell him more than the American 
surgeons had told him. and the leaden memento 
from Marianna, which he carried in his head, be- 
came the cause of his untimely death two years 
later. He was then only a short distance from his 
native land, which, under the protection of the 
stars and stripes, he could have entered without 
molestation. He longed to visit his parents' grave, 
to see his only sister, to meet his old comrades; 
but that peculiar pride which many of the exiles 
felt, prevented him from setting foot on Hun- 
gary's soil before she was free again. 



— 31 — 

In Buenos Ayres he acquitted himself of his 
new duties so creditably that after seven months' 
service he was appointed also minister to Uru- 
guay, and held both posts until his death, Janu- 
ary 21, 1868. The President of the Argentine Re- 
public ordered extraordinary military and civil 
honors to be paid at his funeral, and his remains 
were sent to the United States, where they rest 
in Arlington National Cemetery. 

In the Armies of the Ohio, Cumberland and 
Tennessee there was also quite a number of Hun- 
garians who distinguished themselves. First 
among them was Brig.-General Albin Schoepf, 
who commanded a brigade of three regiments in 
the division of Gen. Thomas in Eastern Kentucky, 
with which he successfully repulsed the attacks of 
about 8,000 Confederates under Gen. ZoUicoffer 
near Mill Springs until Gen. Thomas could come 
to his aid, January 19, 1862. It was an important 
victory which caused great rejoicing in Wash- 
ington, for it opened Cumberland Gap and East- 
ern Tennessee to the Federals. The Senate at 
once confirmed Gen. Schoepf's appointment, 
which had been before it for four months. 

The career of Gen. Schoepf is an interesting 
illustration of the hardships and the opportuni- 
ties of the American immigrant. He had received 
a thorough military education at an Austrian mil- . 
itary academy, joined the Honved Army and, af- 
ter the catastrophe, had to flee the country. He 
arrived in America penniless and friendless, a 
stranger in a strange country, and, unable to 
speak the language of the country, had to take a 
job as porter in a fashionable Washington hotel, 
carrying the baggage of the patrons. His noble 
cast of features and his gentlemanly bearing at- 
tracted the attention of Joseph Holt, then Patent 



— 3^ — 

Commissioner, who, on hearing his story, pro- 
cured a small position for him in the Patent Office. 
Through his intelligence and faithful work he 
gradually advanced, and, when Holt became sec- 
retary of war in Buchanan's cabinet, was trans- 
ferred to the War Department. There he could 
use his military education and experience to good 
advantage, and his abilities were recognized even 
by Lieut.-Gen. Scott^^ It was probably due 
to the influence of Holt that, soon after the begin- 
ning of the war, he was appointed brigadier- 
general and given a command in Holt's home 
state, Kentucky. In September, 1862, he was en- 
trusted with the command of a division in the 3d 
Army Corps under Gen. Gilbert. The following 
year he became commander of Fort Delaware, on 
Pea Patch Island, near Newcastle, which was 
used as a Federal prison. After the war, he re- 
turned to the Patent Office, and was chief-exam- 
iner there until his death in 1886. 

George Pomucz, ex-honved captain and farmer 
in Iowa, enlisted in the 15th Iowa Infantry and; 
as major, commanded a brigade in the 17th Army 
Corps. He was wounded in the battle of Shiloh, 
and breveted brigadier-general for gallant and 
meritorious service. 

Frederic Knefler, recte Knopfler, rose from first 
lieutenant to colonel of the 79th Indiana Infantry 
and brevet brigadier-general. He was assistant 
adjutant-general to Gen. Lew Wallace at Shiloh, 
was conspicuous for bravery at Chickamauga, and 
was twice commander of a brigade. Gen. Knef- 
ler was an Hungarian Hebrew, born at Arad, and 
he was the only Hebrew to achieve the rank of 
brig.-general in the United States^^ 

We have already heard of G6za Mihaloczy, in 
a preceding chapter, as captain of the Lincoln 

18 Frank Leslie's Illustrirte Zeitung, February 8, 1862. 

19 The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier and Citizen. By Simon 
Wolf, Philadelphia, 1895. Page 179. 



— 33 — 

Riflemen. Hardly had he left for Cairo, 111., when 
his friend and fellow-exile, Julian Kune, was re- 
quested by a deputation of German-Americans to 
organize a regiment, which he did. This regiment 
became the 24th Illinois Infantry, and the Lincoln 
Riflemen, having been recalled by special permis- 
sion of Gen. McClellan, were incorporated into it. 
Mihaloczy was its lieut.-colonel and, afterwards, 
its colonel, Kune its first major; two other Hun- 
garian officers in the regiment were Major Augus- 
tus Kovats and Captain Alexander Jekelfalussy. 

Mr. Kune, after a successful career in politics, 
journalism and business, was induced to publish 
a volume of reminiscences last year^^. It is 
interesting reading and throws many sidelights 
also on the lives of other exiles. He had been a 
honved lieutenant, followed Gen. Bem to Aleppo 
and came to America in 1852. Sympathetic 
friends helped him to lessen the hardships which 
every immigrant has to go through; he settled 
in Chicago, became affiliated with the Board of 
Trade, was active in politics and journalism, and 
was war-correspondent for the Chicago Tribune 
in the Franco-Prussian War. 

He was ordered with the 24th Illinois Infantry 
to Alton, but soon returned to St. Louis to or- 
ganize a company of mounted artillery. Owing to 
the intrigues of Col. Hecker, he was prevented 
from rejoining his regiment, and resigned toward 
the end of the year. 

The 24th Illinois Infantry, under the leadership 
of Col. Mihaloczy, made a glorious record for it- 
self, and fought in all the important engage- 
ments in Tennessee. At Chickamauga Mihaloczy 
was shot through the hand while waving his 
sword to encourage his men. About midnight on 
February 24, 1864, he went to the front at Buz- 
zard Roost Gap, Tenn., to make, as was his wont, 

20 Reminiscences of an Octogenarian Hunganan Exile. By Julian 
Kun6, Chicago, 1911. 12-mo., VIII-216 pp. 



— 34 — 

a personal inspection of the picket line, when a 
single shot was fired, which wounded him danger- 
ously in the right side. An investigation was or- 
dered, but it could never be ascertained whence 
the shot had come. He died of his wound at Chat- 
tanooga March 11, 1864, and was buried there in 
the National Cemetery^^ 

Nicholas Perczel de Bonyhad organized and 
commanded the 10th low^ Infantry. He had had 
a very prominent part in the Hungarian revolu- 
tion, both as a politician and a soldier, having 
been a member of the diet and commander of the 
fortress of Arad. 

Andrew Gallfy was major of the 58th Ohio In- 
fantry, and had the misfortune to be captured at 
the battle of Chickasaw Bayou, Miss. He was ex- 
changed, however, and was later on detached ser- 
vice on the gunboat Mound City. 

In the Department of the Gulf, where Gen. As- 
both commanded the District of West Florida, 
several Hungarian officers were engaged in organ- 
izing the Corps d'Afrique or United States Colored 
Troops. Among them was Peter Paul Dobozy, 
who organized the 4th U. S. Colored Heavy Artil- 
lery, and became its lieut.-colonel. He was being 
educated for the priesthood, when the Hungar- 
ian revolution broke out ; he ran away from the 
seminary and enlisted as a honv^d. He was se- 
verely wounded when fighting in the Hungarian 
Legion in the Austro-Italian War, and was still 
suffering from his wounds when he arrived in the 
United States in 1861. He is now eighty years 
old, and is a respected citizen of West Plains, Mo. 

Col. Ladislaus L. Zsulavszky, a nephew of Kos- 
suth, organized the 82d U. S. Colored Infantry 
at Port Hudson, La., and commanded the first 
brigade in the District of West Florida. Two 

21 Report of the Adjutant-General of the State of Illinois. Spring 
field. 111., 1886. Volume II. 



— 35 — 

other Zsulavszkys, probably his brothers, served in 
the same regiment as lieutenants: Emil A. and 
Sigismund Z. The latter died of disease during the 
war. Joseph Csermelyi, a former honved lieuten- 
ant, was major of the same regiment, while A. P. 
Zimandy served as lieutenant in the 4th U. S. Col- 
ored Cavalry. 

In the 1st Florida Cavalry there appear to have 
been four Hungarian officers: Major Albert Rutt- 
kay, probably one of Kossuth's American neph- 
ews, and Captains Alexander Gaal, Emeric M6szd- 
ros and Roland T. Rombauer. 

Captain Alexander Gaal belonged to the de 
Gyula branch of the Gaals, which is famous in 
Hungarian history for the many great soldiers it 
has given the country. One of the family, Peter 
Gaal de Gyula, raised a regiment of Hungarian 
and Croatian carbineers for Wallenstein, which 
had an important part in the battle of Dessau 
[1626]. Another, Nicholas, was a general in the 
Honved Army in 1849, and was sentenced to 
twenty years in an Austrian dungeon, where he 
lost his eyesight and died in 1854. Alexander 
Gaal himself was a lieutenant in the Honved 
Army, and was severely wounded in one of the 
engagements. After the catastrophe he fled to 
Turkey, but was induced by a promise of im- 
munity to return to Hungary. He was seized, 
however, and pressed into the Austrian Army as 
a private. In 1863 he joined the Polish revolu- 
tionists, but fell into the hands of the Russians 
who turned him over to Austria. At that time 
Austria was endeavoring to reconcile Hungary; 
so they let him go free on the condition that he 
leave the country. He then came to the United 
States, enlisted in the Federal army, and, after 
the war, made his home in Louisiana, 



-36- 

VII 

In the eastern campaigns — in fact, in the whole 
Union Army — no native of Hungary achieved 
more than Julius H. Stahel, who, in less than two 
years, rose from lieut.-colonel to major-general 
and from the command of a regiment to that of 
an army corps, and received from Congress the 
medal of honor. 

He was born in Szeged, in the heart of the 
Hungarian Lowland, on November 5, 1825. In 
America he was often believed to have been a 
Count Sebastiani, and McClellRn thoueht h^s name 
had been Count Serbiani. How this legend origi- 
nated is unknown, as his Huncrarian name had 
been Szamvald. As quite a young man he kept 
a bookshop in Pest, and it was he to whom PetiSfi 
wrote his poem, Egy Konyvdnis Emlekkonyvebe 
[For the Souvenir-Book of a Bookseller]. He 
naturally espoused the patriotic cause, joined the 
Honved Army, served under Gen. Guyon as lieu- 
tenant, and was wounded at the battle of Bra- 
nyiszk6. He was also awarded the Cross of Brav- 
ery by the Hungarian Government. After the 
revolution, he found refuge first in England, then 
in the United States, where he arrived in 1856 and 
engaged in journalism, working on the staffs of 
Lexo's Belletristische Zeitung and the New York 
Illustrated Nev)s. 

In response to Lincoln's first call for volunteers, 
he. with Louis Blenker, at once began to organ- 
ize the 8th New York Infantry, of which he was 
elected lieut.-colonel. His American baptism of 
fire he received in the first battle of Bull Run, July . 
21, 1861, where his regiment was part of the re- 
serve at Centreville. At first the Union force." 



— 37 — 

had the best of it, but in the afternoon a re- 
verse set in, which ended in their utter rout. 

Stahel was commanded to cover the retreat, and 
formed his regiment in line of battle on both sides 
of the road. In this position he was twice attack- 



ed by the enemy's cavalry, which he repulsed each 
time, and held his position until the following 
morning, when he received orders to fall back on 
Washington. He reached the Potomac in the 
evening, bringing with him all the field pieces the 
flying troops had left on the road, also two stands 
of Union colors. 

It is evident that but for the firm stand and 
resistance of Stahel'a command the enemy could 



-38- 

have followed up the retreating Union Army to 
Washington, for the official report of the Confed- 
erate commander, Gen. Johnston, says: "The ap- 
parent firmness of the United States troops at 
Centreville checked our pursuit"". When the 
report of the conduct of Stahel's regiment reach- 
ed headquarters, both President Lincoln and 
Lieut.-General Scott sent for Blenker and Stahel, 
and expressed their appreciation and gratitude for 
the protection of the rear of the army at a time 
when all apprehended a furious assault from a 
pursuing enemy. 

In recognition, Stahel was commissioned colonel 
and was entrusted with the organization of a regi- 
ment of heavy artillery. He was appointed briga- 
dier-general in November, 1861, and was placed in 
command of a brigade in the Army of the Poto- 
mac under Gen. McClellan. Next April his bri- 
gade was transferred to the Army of West Virgin- 
ia to the command of Gen. Rosecrans, and in May 
to that of Gen. Fremont at Petersburg, a change 
which both he and Gen. McClellan sincerely re- 
gretted. On June 1 StaheFs advance came upon 
Gen. Jackson's rear guard near Strassburg, where 
he engaged the enemy, driving and following him 
up, until ordered by Fremont to halt. A week 
later the battle of- Cross Keys was fought with 
great obstinacy and violence until dusk, when both 
armies rested on their arms, Stahel's command 
having borne the brunt of the fight. 

In the second battle of Bull Run, August 29 and 
30, 1862, in which he commanded Schenck's divi- 
sion, it fell to his lot again to cover the retreat of 
the Union Army. Towards the end of November 
he encountered the enemy at Ashley Gap and at 
Snickers Gap, and after a sharp fight drove him 
across the Shenandoah River, pursuing him so 
rapidly that he surprised a cavalry regiment in 

28 Rebellion Record. S«ries I, II. 478. 



— 39 — 

camp and captured many prisoners, horses and 
the regimental colors. 

In January, 1863, he was given the command of 
the 11th Army Corps, but soon yielded it to Carl 
Schurz. In March he was promoted to major- 
general and, by the express wish of the President, 
was assigned to the command of a cavalry division 
in front of Washington. Toward the end of the 
year he was transferred to the Department of the 
Susquehanna, where, for the protection of Harris- 
burg, the capital of Pennsylvania, he concentrated 
and organized the cavalry, which was distributed 
all over the state. 

The following spring he was again transferred 
to the Department of West Virginia in command 
of the 1st Cavalry Division, and led the advance 
column down the Shenandoah Valley. He drove 
the enemy across the river near Mount Jackson, 
and took part in the battle of New Market. On 
June 5, near Staunton, he was ordered by Gen. 
Hunter to charge the Confederate cavalry and 
check its advance. On the first charge Gen. Stahel 
broke the enemy and pursued him as far as Pied- 
mont, where he found the main force of the Con- 
federates in a strong entrenched position, and held 
them there until the arrival of Gen. Hunter with 
his army. Hunter soon commenced the attack, 
and ordered Stahel, whose troops were somewhat 
exhausted, to form the reserve. The battle raged 
furiously for some time, when Stahel received or- 
ders to dismount three of his cavalry regiments 
and send them to the support of the infantry. He 
lead this dismounted force himself into action, was 
badly wounded, and taken to the rear to have his 
wound dressed. While he was in the surgeons' 
hands, Gen. Hunter expressed great regret and 
disappointment, for he wanted Stahel to charge 
the enemy's flank, while he would attack the front 
in full force. Gen. Stahel, seeing the need of a 
quick, concerted and strong action, told Hunter 



-46-- 

that he would lead the charge. So he had his 
wound dressed to stop the bleeding and, being 
helped to mount his horse as he had no use of his 
left arm, he charged with his entire mounted 
force the enemy's flank, dislodged him from his 
entrenched position and created a general stam- 
pede. For his heroism at Piedmont he was 
awarded by Congress a medal of honor, the high- 
est distinction an American soldier can receive. 
Being invalided for several months, he was or- 
dered to Baltimore, where he did duty as president 
of a General Court Martial, until he resigned 
from the army in February, 1865. 

In his military career he had risen rapidly, and 
gained the confidence and respect of his superiors, 
which they never had cause to regret. He was 
now to show his fitness for an entirely different 
and, to him, new line of work in the public serv- 
ice. There had been many irregularities in the 
consulate at Yokohama, Japan, and Secretary of 
State Seward selected him, in 1866, for the task 
of reorganizing that consulate, bringing it to a 
satisfactory status, and entering into arrange- 
ments with the Japanese authorities for the open- 
ing of new ports. Stahel was eminently success- 
ful in both directions; he reorganized the con- 
sulate on a basis of efficiency, and in 1869 the 
ports of Osaka and Hiogo were thrown open to 
American commerce. 

He then returned to the States and became in- 
terested in some mining concerns in the West. In 
1877 he was sent again to Japan as U. S. Consul 
at Osaka and Hiogo, which post he held until ap- 
pointed consul-general at Shanghai, China, in 
1884. He was twice temporarily detached and en- 
trusted with special duties of a delicate nature 
in the Far East. He also sent the State Depart- 
ment lengthy reports and recommendations as to 
the reorganization of the service in the Far East, 
with particular reference to the judicial system; 



— 41 — 

they formed the basis of several reforms which 
were subsequently carried out. Incessant work 
and an uncongenial climate having impaired his 
health, Stahel resigned in 1885, and returned to 
New York, where he became connected with one 
of the largest financial institutions of the country. 

Unlike his friend, Alexander Asboth, he was 
blessed with a long life, and thus had more oppor- 
tunities to bring his abilities into full play. He 
lived up to his high ideals of honor and duty, he 
was a cheerful companion and a loyal friend, and, 
in a delicate and unostentatious manner, did much 
to help his less fortunate brethren. He visited 
Hungary during the Millennium in 1896; and 
among his souvenirs of an eventful life there was 
none which he valued more highly than a picture 
of Louis Kossuth with his autograph dedication. 
He died in New York on December 4, 1912, and 
was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with 
full military honors. 

VIII 

The Garibaldi Guard, or 39th New York Infan- 
try Regiment, was the most cosmopolitan organi- 
zation in the War for the Union. It was compos- 
ed of Hungarians, Germans, Italians, Frenchmen, 
Spaniards and men of various other nationalities, 
but the Hungarians had a plurality over any of 
them and constituted nearly one-half of the regi- 
ment. This gave it sometihing of an Hungarian 
character, which came to expression also at the 
presentation of colors. Three flags were present- 
ed : An American, an Hungarian, and an historical 
Garibaldi flag. On one side of the Hungarian, red, 
white and green standard "was the motto, with- 
in a wreath, Vincere aut morire; and on the oppo- 
site side, in English, the same motto, Conquer or 
die. The regimental name appeared on each side, 
over and underneath the wreath, in English. This 



elegant present was from Misa Grinnell. It had 
four beautiful silk pendants of colors and in- 
scriptions, the latter embroidered as follows: 
White, Sylvia Grinnell; red, Presented to the 



— 43 — 

Garibaldi Guard; blue, Neiv York, 23d May, 1861; 
red, white and blue. Brethren before, brethren 
again"^^. 

At the beginning of the war many regiments 
chose showy or fanciful uniforms, the general fav- 
orite being the costume of the Zouaves. Reading 
the papers of that period, one gets the impression 
that each state must have furnished at least half 
a dozen Zouave regiments. The uniform of the 
Garibaldi Guard was something unique, being 
modeled after that of the Italian Bersaglieri, and 
they wore hats with big cock-feathers. They 
were a soldierly-looking lot, and carried their flags 
with honor all through the eastern campaigns, 
their list of battles including: First Bull Run, 
Cross Keys, Gettysburg, North Anna, Bristow 
Station, Po River, Mine Run, Spottsylvania, Wil- 
derness, Tolopotomoy, Coal Harbor, Petersburg, 
Strawbury Plains, Ream's Station, and Deep Bot- 
tom. 

The first colonel of the regiment was an Hun- 
garian, Frederic George Utassy ; among the other 
Hungarian officers were Major Anthony Vekey, 
Captains Victor Sandory, Francis Takacs and An- 
thony Utassy, and Lieutenants Louis Tenner, 
Charles Utassy and Charles Zerdahelyi. 

Zerdahelyi came from a noble family, and was 
a pupil of Liszt and a pianist of some note. He 
was a captain in the Honved Army, and was en- 
trusted by the Hungarian Government with a con- 
fidential mission to Germany; but on his way 
thither he was captured by the Austrian police, 
and kept in a dungeon at Kufstein in heavy irons 
for two years. Through his refined manners and 
accomplishments as a musician he made many 
friends among cultured Americans, and support- 

28 Harper's Weekly, June 8, 1861. 



1 



— 44 — 

ed himself as a teacher of music^*. But the 
horrors of Kuf stein had left an indelible mark of 
sadness on his genial face. 

Quite different in temperament was his close 
friend, Col. Philip Figyelmessy, a true representa- 
tive of the Hungarian hussar at his best. He was 
handsome, chivalrous, dashing, reckless, of win- 
ning manners; and his devotion to Kossuth was 
little short of adoration. He had been a major of 
the Bocskay Hussars, and, having belonged to the 
garrison of Komarom, received a safe-conduct, 
with which he could stay in Hungary. But he 
soon aroused the suspicions of the Austrian po- 
lice, and had to flee the country. Kossuth trusted 
him implicitly, and sent him on several important 
missions to Hungary. He entered the country in 
various disguises, as a Galician Jew or a Servian 
pig dealer, and, although he had some hair- 
breadth escapes, he always managed to deceive 
the Austrian police. One day in 1853 he was tak- 
ing breakfast with Capt. Mayne Reid in London, 
when the latter, glancing at a paper, noticed a 
news item according to which "the famous emis- 
sary, Figyelmessy" had been captured in Hatvan 
and hanged. It turned out later that it was a 
Capt. Thury, with a fatal likeness to him, who had 



/ 24 There are many interesting reminiscences about Zerdahelyi and 

other Hungarian exiles in The Life and Public Services of George Lu- 
ther Steqgns, by Frank Preston Stearns, Lippincott's, Philadelphia, 1907. 
It appears that there was a little Hungarian Club in Stearns' home-town, 
Medford, Mass., and Mr. Stearns and his friends extended much sym- 
pathy and help to the Hungarian refugees. Besides Zerdahelyi. Col. and 
Mme. Thuolt, Capt. (Stephen) Kinizsi, "General Kalapkur," the Rev. 
"Achs." and M. and Mme. Zulavsky are mentioned by name. I do 
not know the evolution of the name Thuolt. "General Kalapkur" — 
for whom George Luther Stearns, Henry W. Longfellow and others or- 
ganized a riding school, and who seems to have been an impostor — was 
perhaps identical with John Kalapka, Lieutenant of Hussars, who had 
been with Kossuth at Kutahia. The Rev. "Achs," whose Unitarian 
leanings seem to have pleased Mr. Stearns a great deal, was none other 
than Gideon Acs, Kossuth's chaplain. Being a fine orienUl scholar, he 
gave a courte of lectures on Egypt and the Aisyriani. 



— 45 — 

been mistaken for him by the watchful Austrian 
police and actually hanged. 

Through his connection with Kossuth and 
Pulszky he became acquainted with many promi- 
nent Britons, and his exploits and adventures were 
so much talked about in London at that time 
that Edwin Lawrence Godkin — who had written a 
history of Hungary"-^* and was then connected 
with Cassel's publishing house — offered to write a 
story of his life with the Hungarian struggle for 
independence as the background. 

In Italy, in 1859, Figyelmessy was Kossuth's 
aide-de-camp. The following year he organized 
and commanded a squadron of Hungarian hus- 
sars, with which he fought through Garibaldi's 
Sicilian campaign. He treasured to his last day a 
letter from Garibaldi, in which the latter wrote of 
him as the bravest of the brave. 

Finding the prospects of a renewal of the war 
and of carrying it into Hungary gone, he came 
to America in 1861 to offer his sword to the 
Union. He was well supplied with letters of in- 
troduction, among which was one from Kossuth 
to Secretary Seward. He did not think much of 
the volunteers, and declined the colonelcy of a 
regiment of dragoons on that account. All his 
compatriots belonged to the volunteer force; but 
he was commissioned colonel in the regular army, 
and was ordered to report to Gen. Fremont at 
Wheeling, who made him inspector-general. La- 
ter he became inspector-of-outposts to his coun- 
tryman and friend, Gen. Stahel. 

He did also a few Hungarian hussar stunts dur- 
ing the war, as when he "with only fifteen men 
brilliantly charged and put to flight a body of 

25 Tht History of Hungary and the Magyars. By Edwin L,aw- 
rence Godkin, New York, 1863. 8-vo., 380 pp. A reprint of the Eng- 
lish edition. 



-46- 
cavalry commanded by Ashby in person"*'. 
But he sulfered a double hernia in an accident, 
which troubled him a great deal and hampered 
him in his movements for some time. 

After the war, he was rewarded with a consul- 
ship, and he chose Demerara, in British Guiana, 



Fblllp FtrTDlmcHT. Colonel, IT. S. A. 

which post he kept under various administrations 
from 1865 to 1888. One of his consular reports 
on the evils of coolie labor attracted wide atten- 
tion in Great Britain, and the agitation which fol- 
lowed it. did much toward the amelioration of 
the condition of the coolies. In his last years he 
lived in Philadelphia, and longed to see his native 
land once more; but, true to his word, he would 

ae Ribtlliim Rtcerd, Siriei I, V. ei, June I, IgSS, 



— 47 — 

not set foot on her soil unless she was independent. 
He died in 1907 at the age of eighty-five2^ 

Among his friends was Emeric Szabad, who 
had been a government official during the Hungar- 
ian War, fled to England, served in Figyelmessy's 
Hungarian squadron in Sicily, and came to Amer- 
ica early in 1862*^. Here he got a commission 
as captain, and was made inspector of outposts 
to Gen. Sickles, whom he had known in London. 
He had the ill-luck to be captured and put into 
that place of horrors, Libby Prison. His happy 
disposition made him a favorite, and even won the 
good- will of Turner, the jailer, who allowed him 
to write to Figyelmessy. In this letter the prison- 
er described himself as in danger, through sheer 
hunger, of eating his dilapidated boots. Figyel- 
messy and Gen. Stahel responded with a box of 
eatables, which arrived safely at its destination 
and was delivered intact. After his release from 
Libby, Szabad returned to the front, and was 
breveted colonel for gallantry in the battles before 
Petersburg. The war ended, he went to Texas as 
assistant collector of the port of Galveston. 

Col. Cornelius Fornet had gone through many 
vicissitudes before the Civil War. He was an en- 
gineer, served in the Honved Army with the rank 
of major, and was decorated for gallantry. With 
great difficulties he made his way to America, and 
first assisted Pragay in writing his book. In 1850 
he went with three fellow-exiles, Count Samuel 
Wass, Gustave Molitor and John Juhos, to Califor- 
nia, where they met with some success in the gold 
fields. Being skilled engineers they found it, how- 

27 Figyelmessy's memoirs were written by his wife, n€e Eliza Hal- 
deman, during his lifetime, but not published. I had the privilege of 
reading the manuscript, and had also the pleasure of a personal ac- 
quaintance with the Colonrl. 

28. Szabad was a man of literary and scholarly attainments. He 
wrote: Hungary Past and Present', Edinburgh, 1854; Hungarian 
Sketches in Peace and War (a translation of some of Jokai's stories), 
Edinburgh, 1854; The State Policy of Modern Europe, 2 vols., London. 
1857; and Modern War, New York, 1863. " 



-48- 

ever, more profitable to coin the gold that others 
had dug up, and, having obtained a government 
license, operated a mint for that purpose under 
the firm of Wass, Molitor and Company. In 1852 
Fornet went to Bruxelles to wed his fiancee, from 
whom he had been separated through the war, and 
returned with her to New Jersey, where they 
founded their home. In the Civil War he was first 
a major of engineers in Fremont's Army of the 
West. Having received serious injuries in an ac- 
cident at Camp Lily, near Jefferson City, he was 
sent East, and after his recovery was ordered by 
Gen. Halleck to organize the 21st New Jersey In- 
fantry Regiment, of which he became the colonel. 

In the eastern campaigns were also engaged 
Brig.-Generals Kozlay and Mundee, Col. Kor- 
ponay, Majors Decsy, Stephen Kovacs and Sem- 
sey. Captains Menyhart and Rozsafi, and several 
others, whose names and records can be found in 
the appendix. 

There were several officers in the Union Army, 
who, while not natives of Hungary, may be classi- 
fied as Hungarians, for they had been identified 
with the Hungarian cause, spoke the Hungarian 
language, and attached themselves in America to 
the Hungarians. Among them were : Constantin 
Blandovski, a Pole, who had served in the Honved 
Army, and was captain in the 3d Missouri Infan- 
try. He was mortally wounded at the capture of 
Camp Jackson, near St. Louis, May 10, 1861, and 
died fifteen days later. — Nicholas Dunka, a native 
of Jassy, Rumania, who had been Figyelmessy's 
lieutenant in Sicily, and accompanied him to 
America. He was an aide on Gen. Stahel's staff 
with the rank of captain, and a brave soldier, 
though always in trouble on account of his un- 
controlable temper. He lostliis life in the battle 
of Cross Keys, Va., June 8, 1862, and was buried 
there in the yard of the Union Church. — George 
von Amsberg, a native of Hannover. He entered 



— 49 — 

the Austrian service as an officer of a crack Hun- 
garian hussar regiment, and got there so Hungar- 
ianized that he spoke Hungarian in preference to 
German, went. over with his regiment to the Hon- 
ved Army, and fought for Hungarian indepen- 
dence. In the Civil War he was colonel of the 45th 
New York Infantry. 

IX. 

The services of Hungary's sons for the preser- 
vation of the Union seem not to have been limited 
to the military field. It is impossible at the pres- 
ent time to determine the full importance of what 
Louis Kossuth has done to prevent the threatening 
intervention of Great Britain, because the docu- 
ments relating thereto are still inaccessible ; but it 
is evident that Kossuth did use his influence in 
behalf of the United States at that critical 
period. 

When Louis Kossuth came to America in 1851, 
one of his warmest admirers and supporters was 
William H. Seward, then senator from New York. 
What his friend and partner, Horace Greeley, did 
for Kossuth and the Hungarian cause in the Trib- 
une, Seward tried to do on the floor of the Senate 
and in the realm of politics. 

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Great Brit- 
ain's attitude towards the United States was any- 
thing but friendly. Lord Palmerston — who, in 
1849 had refused to acknowledge victorious Hun- 
gary, a thousand-year-old nation, as a belligerent 
— had no such scruples in regard to the Confeder- 
ate States, which had won no victories as yet and 
were but the embryo of a nation never to be born ; 
he was, in fact, in very great haste to acknowl- 
edge them. During the excitement of the Trent 
affair. Great Britain openly made warlike prepa- 
rations, and, although an armed conflict was then 
averted, grave apprehensions were entertained in 



— so — 

Washington lest Great Britain, and, perhaps, 
France also, would intervene. 

It is known that Secretary of State Seward 
"conceived the idea of sending to Europe, in an 
unofficial capacity, three representative and influ- 
ential men to meet the impending danger of for- 
eign intervention. He chose for this mission 
Archbishop Hughes, Bishop Mcllvaine and Mr. 
Thurlow Weed''^'. It is less well known that 
he also sought to enlist the aid of Louis Kossuth. 

This was a very natural idea, for, while he could 
not know then the inner history of Kossuth's re- 
lations to Napoleon and Cavour, he did know that, 
in 1859, Kossuth had prevented the intervention 
of Great Britain in the Austro-Italian conflict 
through his speeches at public meetings in Eng- 
land and Scotland and his influence with the Brit- 
ish Liberals, which caused the downfall of Lord 
Derby's cabinet'®. 

Seward had a great liking for the gallant and 
straight-forward Col. Figyelmessy, who had 
brought him letters from Kossuth and Pulszky, 
and of whom he knew that he had the confidence 
of Kossuth. One day in February, 1862, he asked 
Figyelmessy, if he would be willing to go to Ge- 
noa, and request Kossuth to use his influence with 
the Liberals of England and suggest to them 
the expediency of beginning an agitation in favor 
of non-intervention, by holding public meetings 
and through the press. Figyelmessy consented, 
and went a few days later again to the State De- 
partment for his final instructions. Seward was 
then very much encouraged by the latest news 
from the West, and thought the voyage would be 
unnecessary for the present. Later he came back 

29 Tht Diplomatic History of the War for the Union, By William 
H. • Seward, Boston, 1884. Pages 6 and 7. 

30 The matter is fully treated in Kossuth's Memories of My Ex- 
ile, New York, 1880. pp. 188-276. 



— si- 
te his original design, when Figyelmessy suggest- 
ed that it would be just as well to state the facts 
by letter, as this way he would not lose the spring 
campaign and Kossuth would surely not require 
any persuasion to act. The suggestion being ap- 
proved, Figyelmessy wrote the letter, and Kos- 
suth returned an answer which the Secretary of 
State said was very satisfactory'^ 

In the Austro-Italian War it was quite proper 
for Kossuth to make public speeches in Great Brit- 
ain against intervention, for that war was in close 
connection with the aspirations for Hungarian in- 
dependence, of which he was the acknowledged 
representative; but no such connection existed 
with the American Civil War. His agitation, 
therefore, was restricted to one by private corre- 
spondence only. 

In the five volumes of Kossuth's letters, which 
have been published, there is no reference to the 
subject. A large part of his correspondence, how- 
ever, is still unpublished, and is deposited in the 
Hungarian National Museum, in Budapest. In re- 
ply to my inquiries I was informed that it will not 
be accessible to investigators until fifty years after 
Kossuth's death, t. i. 1944. Thus there is little 
chance of obtaining more information on the ques- 
tion until that time, unless some letters should 
turn up from other sources. 

31 From Figyclraessy's unpublished memoirs. The Colonel had 
also related the incident to me personally. 




A PARTIAL LIST 

OF HUNGARIAN OFFICERS IN THE 
UNION ARMY DURING THE CIVIL WAR 



GENERAL OFFICERS: 

ASBOTH (Asboth), Alexander 

Bom in Keszthely Dec. 18, 1811. In the Honved Army 
col. of engineers and aide to Gov. Kossuth. With Kossuth 
in Kutahia. 

Col. 2nd Mo. Inf., May, 1861; Gen. Fremont's chief-of- 
staff and appointed by him brig.-gen. Sept. 3, 1861, which 
was not recognized and ceased as such March, 1862; brig.- 
gen. March 31, 1862; commander of District of Columbus, 
1862 ; of District of West Florida, 1863. Wounded at Pea 
Ridge March 7, 1862, and at Marianna Sept. 27, 1864. 
Breveted major-gen. for gallant and faithful service dur- 
ing war March 13, 1865. Mustered out August 24, 1865. 

U. S. Minister to Argentine Republic 1866 and also to 

Uruguay, 1867. Died in consequence of wounds in Buenos 
Ayres Jan. 21, 1868. Buried in Arlington National Cem- 
etery. 

KNEFLER (Kndpfler) , Frederic 

1st It. 11th Ind. Inf. April 24, 1861; capt. June 5, 1861; 

capt. asst. adj.-gen. Oct. 21, 1861; major May 16, 1862; 

col. 79th Ind. Inf. Sept. 28, 1862; breveted brig.-gen. March 

13, 1865, for gallant and meritorious service during war; 

mustered out June 7, 1865. 

Died in Indianapolis June 15, 1901. 

KOZLAY, Eugene 

Bom 1828. Capt. in Honved Army. 



— S3 — 

Enrolled Aug. 30, 1861, at Hudson City, N. J. ; col. 54th 

N. Y. Inf. Oct. 16, 1861; brevet brig.-gen. March 13, 1865, 

for gallant and meritorious service during war; mustered 

out April 14, 1866. 
Died April 1, 1883. 

MUNDEE (Mdndy?), Charles 

Enrolled in Kansas. Capt. asst. adj.-gen. Aug. 24, 1861; 
major Aug. 16, 1862; breveted col. Oct. 19, 1864, for gal- 
lant conduct in the battles of Winchester, Fisher's Hill and 
Cedar Creek; breveted brig.-gen. April 2, 1865, for gallant 
and meritorious service before Petersburg; mustered out 
Sept. 15, 1866. 

Died June 4, 1871. 

POMUTZ (Pomucz), George 

Born 1826. Capt. in Honved Army. 
1st It. 15th Iowa Inf. Dec. 23, 1861; wounded at battle 
of Shiloh April 7, 1862; major June 3, 1863; lt.-col. March 

23, 1865; breveted brig.-gen. March 13, 1865, for gallant 
and meritorious service during war; mustered out ' July 

24, 1865. 

Died Oct. 12, 1882. 

SCHOEPF, Albin 

Honved officer. 

Brig.-gen. Sept. 30, 1861; commander of Fort Delaware 
1863; mustered out Jan. 15, 1866. 

Chief examiner in U. S. Patent Office. Died May 10, 
1886. 

STAHEL (Szdmvald), Julius H. 

9 

Born in Szeged, Nov. 5, 1825. 1st lieut. in Honved Army; 
wounded in battle of Branyiszko. Received Cross of 
Bravery. 

Lt.-col. 8th N. Y. Inf. May 13, 1861; col. Aug. 10, 1861; 
brig.-gen. Nov. 12, 1861; commander of 11th Army Corps 
Jan 15, 1863; major-gen. March 14, 1863; repugned Feb. 8, 
1865. Awarded medal of honor Nov. 4, 1893, for having 
led his division after he was severely wounded at Pied- 
mont, June 5, 1864. 



— 54 — 

U. S. consul at Yokohama 1866-1869; U. S. consul at 
Osaka and Hiogo 1877-1884; U. S. consul-general at 
Shanghai 1884-1885. Died in New York Dec. 4, 1912; 
buried in Arlington National Cemetery. 

STAFF AND LINE OFFICERS: 

ALBERT, Anselm 

Lt.-col. in the Honved Army; with Gen. Bern in Aleppo. 

Lt.-col. 3d Mo. Inf. April 22, 1861; col., aide-de-camp 
July 12, 1861; col., Gen. Fremont's chief -of-staff March 
31, 1862. 

CHANDORY (Sdndory), Victor 

Capt. 39th N. Y. Inf. May 28, 1861 ; resigned Sept. 10, 
1861. 

CORMANY (Kdrmdny), George N. 

Private 6th Ohio Inf. June 8, 1861; sergeant March 1, 
1862; 2d It. Feb. 14, 1863; 1st It. April 1, 1864; mustered 
out June 23, 1864. 

CSERMELYI, Joseph 

Lieut, in Honved Army. 

Capt. 45th N. Y. Inf. Aug. 25, 1861; resigned Oct. 2, 
1862; capt. and brevet major 82d U. S. Colored Inf. Jan. 
9, 1863; mustered out Sept 10, 1866. 

DETSHY (Decay), Edward 

Lieut, in Honved Army. 

Major add. aide-de-camp June 16, 1862; mustered out 
Dec. 14, 1865. 

DOBOZY, Peter Paul 

Bom in Szombathely 1832; lieut. in Honved Army; of- 
ficer of the Hungarian Legion in Italy. 

Lt.-col. 4th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery June 16, 1863 ; 

DOLEZICH, Charles 

Sergeant 9th Ohio Inf. May 27, 1861; 1st It. July 24, 
1862; on detached service Dec. 9, 1862; mustered out June 
7, 1864. 

ESTI, William M, 
Bom 1826. 



— 55 — 

2d It. 26th Ohio Inf. Dec. 17, 1861; 1st It. Dec. 5, 1862; 
resigned April 5, 1863. 

FIALAy John T. 

Bom in Temesvar 1822; major in the Honved Army; 
with Gen. Bern in Aleppo. 

Lt.-col. 2d Mo. Inf., U. S. Reserve Corps, May 7, 1861; 
coL, chief top. eng. Sept. 20 to Nov. 19, 1861; col, add. 
aide-de-camp March 31, 1862; resigned June 8, 1864. 

Died in San Francisco Dec. 8, 1911. 

FIGYELMESSY, Philip 

Born in Pest Jan. 1, 1822; major of Bocskay Hussars in 
the Honved Army; aide-de-camp to Louis Kossuth in Italy; 
Iieut.-col. of Hungarian Legion in Italy. 

Col. U. S. A., inspector-general to Gen. Fremont March 
31, 1862; inspector of outposts to Gen. Stahel March 25, 
1863 ; resigned Dec. 20, 1864. 

U. S. Consul at Demerara, British Guiana, 1865-1888; 
died in Philadelphia July 25, 1907; buried at Marietta, 
Pennsylvania. 

FORNET, Cornelius 

Major in Honved Army. 

Major of eng. in Mo. ; wounded at Camp Lily, near Jef- 
ferson City, in Oct., 1861; col. 21st N. J. Inf. Sept 1, 1862; 
resigned Dec, 1862. 

GA AL (Gadl), A lexander 

Lieut, in Honved Army. Pressed into Austrian Army as 
private. Took part in Polish Revolution of 1863. Cap- 
tured by Russians. 

Capt. 1st Fla. Cavalry (no date) ; resigned Nov. 27, 1864. 

Died in New Orleans, La., February 29, 1912; buried in 
Chalmette National Cemetery. 

GALLFY, Andrew {Gdllfy Gdllik Endre) 

Bom 1821; officer in the Honved Army. 

Enrolled Oct. 2, 1861; capt. 58th Ohio Inf. Jan. 8, 1862; 
major Oct. 20, 1864; captured at battle of Chickasaw 
Bayou, Miss., Dec. 29, 1862; detached on U. S. gunboat 
Mound City from May 22, 1863, to Aug. 1, 1863; mustered 
out Jan. 4, 1865. 



-S6- 

HASKELL, Leonidas 

io^fi*i;' «''^r*'«-''«™P to Gen. Fremont Sept. 20 to Nov. 
June 4 iser*""' *''*'' *'*'^-*'*-'^*™P *''"»« l^' 18«2; resigned 
Died Jan. 15, 1873. 

^^ '^^ifexaj^/' "^^ *^^ KALFALURY [uuifalr^ny), 

Enrolled June 29, 1861; 1st It. 24th 111. Inf. July 8, 1861: 
capt. July 3, 1862; mustered out Aug. 6, 1864. 

KORPONA Y, Gabriel de 
Honved officer. 

IrJ;*:"!?'' f *^ f^"""- ^"'- •'""^ 28, 1861; col. April 25, 
18«,2, discharged on surgeon's certificate March 26, 1863. 

KOVACS (Kovdcs), Stephen 

Born in 1823. Major in Honved Army; with Kossuth in 
Kutahia. 

Enrolled Sept. 7, 1861, as capt. of Barney Rifles at Hud- 
.«»on City N. J.; capt. 54th N. Y. Inf. Sept. 23. 1861; ma- 
jor June 3, 1862; captured and paroled prior to March 11, 
1864; mustered out April 14, 1866. 

KOVATS (Kovdts), Augustus 

Honved officer. 

Lt Lincoln Riflemen Feb., 1861 ; capt. 24th III. Inf. July 
8, 1861; severely wounded at Jasper, Tenn., June 12, 1862- 
resigned on account of wounds Jan. 19, 1863; breveted 
major. ' 

KUNE\ Julian 

Born in Belenyes in 1831. Lieut, in Honved Army 
awarded medal of third class; with Gen. Bem in Aleppo. 

Enrolled June 17, 1861; major 24th 111. Inf. July 8 1861 • 
resigned Oct. 31, 1861. ' 

MANYHARDT, Joseph 

Capt. 45th N. Y. Inf. Aug. 25, 1861 ; resigned June 14 
1862. 

Seems to be identical with Menyhdrt G. Jdnos, honved 
It. (mentioned in Laszlo's Napl6-T6redekek, page 138, and 
in Pesti Hirlap, Jan. 4, 1907) , who died in Brooklyn. N. Y 
in Dec, 1906. *' 



MAYTHENY (Majthenyi), Theodore 

1st sergeant 2nd Iowa Inf. May 28, 1861; transferred to 
Fremont's Body Guard Aug. 21, 1861 ; 2d It. Sept. 15, 1861 ; 
mustered out Nov. 30, 1861; capt. 1st Ind. Cav. April 18, 
1862; mustered out Dec. 13, 1864; 2d It. 6th Cav., U. S. A., 
Feb. 23, 1866; 1st It. Oct. 20, 1866; resigned Dec. 23, 1868. 

MESZAROS (Meazdros), Emeric 

Honved officer. 

Major 4th Mb. Cav. (Fremont Hussars) May 18, 1861; 
capt. 1st Fla. Cav. June 27, 1864. 

MIHALOTZY (Mihaloczy), Geza 

Honved officer. 

Capt. Lincoln Riflemen Feb., 1861; It. col. 24th 111. Inf. 
July 8, 1861; col. Dec. 23, 1861; shot through hand at 
Chickamauga Creek, Tenn., Sept. 19, 1863; shot at Buzzard 
Roost Gap, Tenn., Feb. 24, 1864; died of wound at Chat- 
tanooga, Tenn., March 11, 1864; buried there in National 
Cemetery. 

MOLITOR, Albert 

1st It. 13th Battery, N. Y. Light Artillery Oct. 15, 1861; 
resigned Dec. 8, 1862. 

NEMETT (Nemeth), Joseph 

Capt. in Honved Army; with Kossuth in Kutahia. 

1st It. 5th Mo. Inf. May 18, 1861; mustered out Aug., 
1861; col. 5th Mo. Cav. (Benton Hussars) Feb. 14, 1862; 
honorably discharged by reason of consolidation with 4th 
Mo. Cav. Nov. 15, 1862. 

PERCZEL, Nicholas 

Born in Bonyhad 1812. M. P., col. in Honved Army; 

commander of Fortress of Arad; with Kossuth in Kutahia. 

Col. 10th Iowa Inf. Sept. 1, 1861; resigned Nov. 11, 1862 

PETRI, Charles 

Major 16th 111. Inf. Aug. 6, 1862; declined commission 
as It.-col.; mustered out Jan. 21, 1865. 

POKORNY, Anthony 

Major 8th N. Y. Inf. April 23, 1861 ; It.-col. 7th N. Y. 
Inf. Nov. 12, 1864. 



58 



REMINYFY {Rem&ny fyf) , Joseph 

Capt., aide-de-camp on Gen. Fremont's staff, July 12, 
1861. 

May be misprint for Kemenyfi, for there was a honved 
officer by that name among the refugees. 

ROME AVER, Raphael Guido 

Sergeant 1st Mo. Inf., U. S. Res. Corps May 7, 1861; 
major 1st 111. Light Art. March 25, 1864; mustered out 
Oct. 26, 1864. 

Died at Kirksville, Mo., 1912. 

ROME AVER, Robert J, 

Bom 1880. 1st It. of Art. in Honved Army; pressed into 
Austrian Army as private. 

Lt.-col. 1st Mo. Inf., U. S. Res. Corps, May 7, 1861; col. 
Sept. 12, 1861. 

ROM BAUER, Roderick E. 

Bom 1833. 

Capt. 1st Mo. Inf., U. S. Res. Corps, May 7, 1861; aide- 
de-camp on Gen. Fremont's staff in 1862. 

ROMBAUERy Roland T. 

Born in Munkacs, 1837. 

Sergeant 1st Mo. Inf. April 22, 1861; provost marshal 
of District of West Florida; capt. 1st Fla. Cav. Aug. 27, 
1864; mustered out Nov., 1865. 

ROSAFY, Ernest M. {Rozsafi Mdtyds) 

Born in Komarom, 1828. Honved officer. 

Capt. Battery B, W. Va. Art., Oct. 1, 1861; honorably 
discharged April 18, 1862. 

Clerk in U. S. Bureau of Census. Died in New York, 
1893. 

RUTTKAY, Albert 

Capt. 3d U. S. Colored Heavy Art. June 16, 1863 ; major 
1st Fla. Cav. Aug. 24, 1864; honorably discharged May 
31, 1865. 



— 59 — 

SEMIG (Simig ?), Bernard Gustave 

Private 9th N. Y. Inf. May 4, 1861 ; hospital steward U. 
S. A. May 20, 1863; medical cadet July 2, 1864; asst. sur- 
geon Nov. 10, 1874. 

Died Aug. 11, 1883. 

SEMSEY, also SEMPSEY (Semsey) , Charles 

Born in Karacsonmezo 1830. 1st It. of Art. in Honved 
Army; capt, in British Army in Crimean War. 

Capt. 20th N. Y. Inf. May 6, 1861; resigned June 6, 
1861; major 45th N. Y. Inf. Aug. 25, 1861; resigned June 
14, 1862. 

In U. S. Customs Service; chairman of Board of Special 
Inquiry in U. S. Immigration Service at Ellis Island. Died 
in New York 1911. 

SERINI (Szerenyi), Philip 

2d It. 8th N. Y. Inf. April 23, 1861; transferred to 2d 
Battery N. Y. Art. Sept. 1, 1861; resigned June 4, 1862. 

Seems to be identical with Szerenyi Antal, honved cap- 
tain, who was with Kossuth in Kutahia. 

SZABAD, Emeric 

Secretary in War Department in Hungary. In Hungar- 
ian Legion in Italy. 

Capt., aide-de-camp to Gen. Sickles June 16, 1862; cap- 
tured and in Libby Prison; breveted It.-col. March 13, 1865; 
breveted col. March 26, 1865, for gallant conduct in the 
battles before Petersburg; mustered out Oct. 7, 1865. 

Assistant Collector of the port of Galveston. 

TAKA TS ( Takdcs) , Francis 

Bom 1826. Captain in Honved Army. 

Capt. 39th N. Y. Inf. May 28, 1861; discharged Nov. 19, 
1861. 

TAUSZKY, Rudolf 

Assistant surgeon Sept. 24, 1863 ; mustered out July 27, 
1865. 

Captain in Honved Army. 
Died September 21, 1889. 

TENNER, Louis 

2d It. 39th N. Y. Inf. May 28, 1861 ; capt. 7th N. Y. Inf. 
Aug. 27, 1861; resigned April 15,1862. 



— 6o — 

UTASSY, Anthony Von 

Bom 1831. Honved officer. 

Ist It. 39th N. Y. Inf. Sept. 1, 1861; capt. Sept. 22, 1862. 

Died in Philadelphia Feb. 15, 1911. 

UTASSY, Carl Von 

2d It. 39th N. Y. Inf. June 1, 1862; Ist It. Sept. 22, 1862; 
mustered out May 31, 1863. 

UTASSY, Fred. George De 

Bom 1827. Honved officer. 

Enrolled May 17, 1861; col. 39th N. Y. Inf. May 28, 
1861; dismissed May 29, 1863. 

VANDOR (Vdndor), Joseph 

Captain in Honved Army. 

Col. 7th Wise. Inf. June 24, 1861 ; resigned Jan. 30, 1862. 

WAAGNER (Wagner), Gustave 

Major of Art. in Honved Army; with Kossuth in Kuta- 
hia. 

Col., instructor of art. at Cairo, 111., May, 1861 ; chief of 
ordnance on Gen. Fremont's staff July 12, 1861 ; col. 2d N. 
Y. Art. 

WEEKEY, also VEKEY (Vekey), Anthony 

Born 1833. 

1st It. 39th N. Y. Inf. May 28, 1861; capt. July 15, 1861; 
major Feb. 1, 1862; died April 28, 1862, in hospital at Win- 
chester, Va. 

ZAGONYl, also SEAGOYNE (Zdgonyi), Charles 

Bom in Szatmar 1826. Capt. of Hussars in Honved 
Army. 

Major Fremont's Body Guard, Mo. Cav., July 12 
to Nov. 30, 1861; col., add. aide-de-camp March 31, 1862; 
resigned June 4, 1864. 

ZERDAHELYI, Charles 

Capt. in Honved Army; in Kuf stein Prison. 
2d It. 39th N. Y. Inf. July 30, 1862. 
Died in Philadelphia, 1906. Buried in Holy Sepulchre 
Cemetery, Mount Airy, Philadelphia. 



— 6i " 

ZIMANDY {Zimdndy), A. P. 

2d It. 4th U. S. Colored Cavalry Sept. 5, 1864. 
ZULAVSKY (ZaulavKky), Emit A. Z. 

1st It. 82d U. S. Colored Inf. May 7, 1864; mustered out 
Sept. 10, 1866. 
ZULAVSKY (Zgulavezky) , Laduilas L. 

Col, 82d U. S. Colored Inf. Nov. 1, 1863; commander of 
1st Brigade, District of West Florida; mustered out Sept. 
10, 1866. 
ZULAVSKY [Zautavezky), Sigiamund Z. 

2d It. 82d U. S. Colored Inf. Sept. 1, 1863; died of disease 
at Port Hudson, La., Sept. 16, 1863. 



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