1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sigel, Franz

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SIGEL, FRANZ (1824-1902), German and American soldier, was born at Sinsheim, in Baden, on the 18th of November 1824. He graduated at the military school at Carlsruhe, and became an officer in the grand ducal service. He soon became known for revolutionary opinions, and in 1847, after killing an opponent in a duel, he resigned his commission. When the Baden insurrection broke out, Sigel was a leader on the revolutionary side in the brief campaign of 1848, and then took refuge in Switzerland. In the following year he returned to Baden and took a conspicuous part in the more serious operations of the second outbreak under General Louis Mieroslawski (1814-1878.) Sigel subsequently lived in Switzerland, England and the United States, whither he emigrated in 1852, the usual life of a political exile, working in turn as journalist and schoolmaster, and both at New York and St Louis, whither he removed in 1858, he conducted military journals. When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, Sigel was active in raising and training Federal volunteer corps, and took a prominent part in the struggle for the possession of Missouri. He became in May a brigadier-general U.S.V., and served with Nathaniel Lyon at Wilson's Creek and with J. C. Frémont in the advance on Springfield in the autumn. In 1862 he took a conspicuous part in the desperately fought battle of Pea Ridge, which definitely secured Missouri for the Federals. He was promoted to be major-general of volunteers, was ordered to Virginia, and was soon placed in command of the I. corps of Pope's “Army of Virginia.” In this capacity he took part in the second Bull Run campaign, and his corps displayed the utmost gallantry in the unsuccessful attacks on Bald Hill. Up to the beginning of 1863, when bad health obliged him to take leave of absence, Sigel remained in command of his own (now called the XI.) corps and the XII., the two forming a “Grand Division.” In June 1863 he was in command of large forces in Pennsylvania, to make head against Lee's second invasion of Northern territory. In 1864 he was placed in command of the corps in the Shenandoah Valley, but was defeated by General John C. Breckinridge at Newmarket (15th of May), and was superseded. Subsequently he was in command of the Harper's Ferry garrison at the time of Early's raid upon Washington and made a brilliant defence of his post (July 4-5, 1864). He resigned his commission in May 1865, and became editor of a German journal in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1867 he removed to New York City, and in 1869 was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for secretary of state of New York. He was appointed collector of internal revenue in May 1871, and in the following October he was elected register of New York City by Republicans and “reform Democrats.” From 1885 to 1889, having previously become a Democrat, he was pension agent for New York City, on the appointment of President Cleveland. General Sigel's last years were devoted to the editorship of the New York Monthly, a German-American periodical. He died in New York City on the 21st of August 1902. A monument (by Karl Bitter) in his honour was unveiled in Riverside Drive, New York City, in October 1907.