phone: 844-280-6518 fax: 912-662-8776|sales@dixieoutfitters.com

Search For Foreign Adventurers

//Search For Foreign Adventurers

Search For Foreign Adventurers

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

Seward’s Search for Foreign Adventurers

From: bernhard1848@att.net

With some of its major cities boasting nearly 50% foreign populations, it came as no surprise that the North would rely upon foreign mercenaries to war against Americans in the South, many of the latter being descendants of the Founders. New York City in 1860 held nearly 400,000 foreigners out of a total of 805,000 — Irishmen and Germans amounted to 323,000 of that total number. Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William Seward, would recruit from Europe’s socialist revolutionary officers to help lead those foreigners against Americans.

Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
www.ncwbts150.com
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"

*****************************************************************************

Seward’s Search for Foreign Adventurers:

“Probably no war has ever been fought in modern times…

[which has] drawn men in whom justice burns brightly – knights errant; and no war has ever been fought to which have not gravitated men to whom fighting was as the
breath of life – soldiers of fortune. Europe poured into the Union army hundreds of her best artillery, cavalry, and infantry officers.

Perhaps no better picture of the situation in regard to these adventurers is to be found than the one presented by the English journalist William Howard Russell. Writing on August 4, 1861, he said, “There are daily arrivals at Washington of military adventurers from all parts of the world, some of them with many extraordinary certificates
and qualifications; but, as Mr. Seward says, it is best to detain them with the hope of employment on the Northern side, lest some legally good men should get among the rebels. Garibaldians, Hungarians, Poles,
officers of Turkish and other contingents, the executory devises and reminders of European revolutions and wars, surround the State Department, and infest unsuspecting politicians with illegible testimonials in unknown tongues.”

There can be no question but that Seward approved and sought the enrollment of trained European officers in the undisciplined and raw American army. Through the American consuls abroad and through agents
expressly sent to Europe, Seward encouraged war-eager officers of the Old World to cross the sea to find the fighting for which their souls thirsted.

{General George B.] McClellan received from General George Klapka, who had distinguished himself in the Hungarian [socialist] revolutionary army of 1849, a communication in which that Hungarian leader revealed
that he had been invited by one of Seward’s agents to enter the Union army. Klapka was indeed ready to come, but shamelessly stipulated such conditions in his letter sent McClellan storming to President Lincoln,
furiously demanding prohibition of such dabbling in military affairs by the Secretary of State.

As a matter of wonder and interest it should be recorded that Klapka demanded merely advance payment of a bonus of $100,000, a later salary of $25,000 a year, for a short period the position of chief of general staff, and later, after he had acquired a greater facility with the English language, appointment to McClellan’s place as general in chief of all armies! How many German and Austrian officers were sought out through Seward’s agents cannot be established. Seward felt that volunteers should not be refused because they could not speak English.”

(Foreigners in the Union Army and Navy, Ella Lonn, LSU Press, 1951, pp. 273-274)

 

2017-03-25T00:49:04+00:00

About the Author:

mm

Rhett Barber is President, Artist and Programmer at Dixie Outfitters. A country boy, now 40 years old, grew up working and building the finest line of Southern Heritage Apparel the world has ever seen. Long live Dixie! I <3 }-K