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Civil War Soldiers - Schurz

Schurz, Carl, major-general, U.S. Army, was born at Liblar, near Cologne, Prussia, on March 2, 1829. He was educated at the Gymnasium of Cologne and the University of Bonn, entering the latter in 1846. Being concerned in the publication of a revolutionary journal during the troubles of 1848, he was forced to fly from Bonn in consequence of the failure of an insurrection he had been instrumental in fomenting. He entered the revolutionary army in the south of Germany and took part in the defense of Rastadt, escaping to Switzerland on the surrender of this fortress and returning secretly to Germany. On the night of Nov. 6, 1850, he succeeded in liberating his friend and former editorial partner from the fortress of Spandau, and together they reached Scotland, going thence to Paris, where, during the spring of 1851, Schurz acted as correspondent for several German journals. Later in that year he removed to London, where he occupied himself as a teacher, married, and came to America, locating first in Philadelphia, but settling finally in 1855 in Watertown, Wis. Entering politics and connecting himself with the newly formed Republican party, as early as 1856 he was known as an effective orator through the speeches he had made in the German language, being one of the most potent factors in turning the German element in the state against the extension of slavery. He was an unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant-governor of his adopted state in 1857, and took part in the senatorial canvas in Illinois between Douglas and Lincoln, making his first political speech in English, which was widely circulated as a campaign document. He next established himself in the practice of law at Milwaukee, but made many electioneering tours throughout the country. He was a member of the national Republican convention of 1860 and had great influence in shaping its platform, particularly that part which related to the citizens of foreign birth. In the subsequent campaign he spoke both in English and German, and when Mr. Lincoln became president Schurz was sent as minister to Spain, but he resigned his post in Dec, 1861, to enter the army. He was made brigadier-general of volunteers in April, 1862, and took command of a division in the corps of Gen. Franz Sigel. He distinguished himself at the second battle of Bull Run, was commissioned major-general of volunteers on March 14, 1863, was given command of a division of O. O. Howard's corps and took part in the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg and Chattanooga. After the close of the war President Johnson sent Gen. Schurz through the southern states to inquire into the workings of the Freedmen's bureau. In Jan., 1869, he was chosen U. S. senator from Missouri for the term ending in 1875. With Senator Sumner he vigorously opposed some of President Grant's measures, and in 1872 presided over the convention which nominated Mr. Greeley for the presidency. Many of the members of the "liberal party" affiliated with the Democrats after the election of 1872, but in 1876 Mr. Schurz supported Gen. Hayes, who, after becoming president called Mr. Schurz into his cabinet as secretary of the interior. After the close of the Hayes administration, Mr. Schurz became editor of the "Evening Post" in New York and remained in that position until 1884. He continued to take an active interest in public affairs and was noted for his earnestness and independence up to the time of his death, which event occurred in the city of New York on May 14, 1906.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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