The New International Encyclopædia/Sigel, Franz

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SIGEL, sē'gel, Franz (1824-1902). A German-American soldier, born at Sinsheim, in Baden. In 1848 he took a prominent part in the revolutionary movement in Baden, and on the renewed outbreak of the insurrection, in the spring of 1849, commanded the troops on the Neckar. In May he was made a member of the provisional government and Minister of War; later he became Mieroslawski's adjutant-general, and after that general's retirement, in July, Sigel led the remainder of the revolutionary army, which retreated into Switzerland. In 1852 he emigrated to the United States; and in 1858 he went to Saint Louis, where he taught in a German military institute, and edited a military periodical. On the outbreak of the Civil War he espoused the side of the North, and organized a regiment of infantry and a battery of artillery, which rendered good service in the occupation of Camp Jackson. On July 5, 1861, he was defeated in the battle of Carthage; later he took part in the battle of Dug Springs; and after the death of General Lyon at Wilson's Creek, conducted the retreat of the army. He was made a brigadier-general of volunteers, and at the battle of Pea Ridge, March 8, 1862, he ordered a well-timed charge which decided the day. Soon afterwards he was made a major-general of volunteers, and was placed in command of Harper's Ferry. He commanded the First Corps in the campaign which terminated with the second battle of Bull Run, August, 1862, and in February, 1864, was given command of the Department of West Virginia. He soon afterwards led an expedition into the Shenandoah Valley, but on May 15th was defeated at New Market by a superior force under General Breckenridge. In consequence he was relieved of his command by General Hunter, and was put in charge of the division guarding Harper's Ferry. In the following July, he successfully defended Maryland Heights against General Early, but the Administration had lost confidence in him, and he was relieved of command. He resigned from the army in May, 1865, and was for a short time editor of the Baltimore Wecker. From 1871 until 1874 he was register of New York City, and from 1886 until 1889 was United States pension agent at the same place. He also lectured, engaged in the advertising business, and for several years published the New York Monthly, a German-American periodical.