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Civil War Soldiers - Willich

Willich, August, brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born near Konigsberg, Prussia, in 1810, and at the age of twelve years entered the military academy at Potsdam. Three years later, in 1825, he entered the military academy at Berlin, completed his education in 1828, in 1841 passed the requisite examination, was commissioned second lieutenant of the royal artillery and received a commission as captain. In 1846 he tendered his resignation, but it was not accepted and he was assigned to duty at a distant point in Pomerania. He refused to act under the king's order, renewed his application for a discharge every month, and at the end of a year sent an open letter to the king, for which he was court-martialed and discharged from the service. He at once entered into active cooperation with the revolutionists and commanded the forces at the battle of Candarn, where he was defeated. In 1849 he commanded a corps in the German revolution, but the campaign of fourteen weeks proving unsuccessful, he fled to Switzerland and afterward to England. In 1853 he came to the United States and began work as a carpenter, at which trade he wrought about a year in eastern New York. He finally procured a position on the U. S. coast survey, and in 1858 became the editor of the "Republikana," a working-men's paper in Cincinnati. On May 8, 1861, he was commissioned first lieutenant and adjutant of the 9th Ohio infantry and was commissioned major when the regiment was mustered into the service June 13. With this regiment he served in West Virginia, being in the engagement at Rich mountain. He was then called to Indiana, where he organized the 32nd Ind. infantry, of which he was appointed colonel, moved with his regiment to Munfordville, Ky., in December, as part of R. W. Johnson's brigade, McCook's division, and was engaged in picket duty on the south side of Green river. He was stationed at Bowling Green and Nashville in Feb., 1862, and participated in the battle of Shiloh, for gallantry in which engagement he was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers July 17, 1862. He continued to serve in that capacity until the close of the war, being mustered out Jan. 15, 1866, and then resumed his residence in Cincinnati, where he died Jan. 23, 1878.

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

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