Alexander Schimmelfennig

Ranked #88 on the list Best Military Person of All Time

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About Alexander Schimmelfennig

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Alexander Schimmelfennig (July 20, 1824 – September 5, 1865) was a German soldier and political revolutionary, and then an American Civil War general in the Union Army. Schimmelfennig was born in Bromberg (Now Bydgoszcz in Poland) in the Prussian Province of Posen. He enrolled in the military and served in both the 29th Infantry Regiment (von Horn) and the 16th Infantry Regiment (Freiherr von Sparr), which was stationed in Cologne, Germany. There, he became acquainted with some of the more radical German political sources. He was very supportive of the 1848 revolution, but came disillusioned with the outcome of the peace treaty that ended the Schleswig-Holstein War of 1848. He supported the opposition to Prussian attempts to put down unification efforts and was part of the Palatinate military commission that led the defense against the subsequent Prussian invasion. He was twice wounded in the Battle of Rinnthal, rescued, and eventually fled to Switzerland. For his involvement, he was tried in absentia and sentenced to death by the Prussian authorities. He remained in exile in Switzerland, where he met fellow expatriate Carl Schurz, and ultimately these two fled to London via Paris.

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