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Alexander Asboth
Alexander Asboth
Born (1811-12-18)December 18, 1811
Died January 21, 1868(1868-01-21) (aged 56)
Place of birth Keszthely, Hungary
Place of death Buenos Aires
Place of burial initially Argentina
later Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
Allegiance  Kingdom of Hungary
 United States of America
Service/branch Hungarian Army
Union Army
Years of service 1836 - 1849 (Hungary)
1861 - 1865 (USA)

American Civil War

Alexander (Sandor) Asboth (Hungarian: Asbóth Sándor, December 18, 1811 – January 21, 1868) was a Hungarian military leader best known for his victories as a Union general during the American Civil War. He also served as United States Ambassador to Argentina and as United States Ambassador to Uruguay.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Asboth was born in Keszthely, Hungary.[1] When Asboth was 8, his family moved to Zombor (now Sombor in Serbia). Asboth wanted to be a soldier, like his elder brother Lajos, but instead his parents decided he should be an engineer. He studied at the Mining Academy of Selmecbánya and the Institutum Geometricum in Pest.[2] He then trained at the Hungarian military academy. In 1836, Asboth enlisted to the newly formed Hungarian Army.[2] He worked as both a soldier and an engineer for the army. He joined with freedom-fighter Lajos Kossuth in the 1848 revolutionary movement.[2] In December 1848 he was promoted to captain.[1] During his time as captain, he took part in the battles of Kápolna and Nagysalló. Asboth traveled with Kossuth to the Ottoman Empire and then to the United States in 1851, after the revolution failed.[3]

United States and Civil War[edit | edit source]

Asboth remained in the United States and joined the Union. Starting in July 1861, he served as chief of staff for General John C. Frémont. Asboth originally was nominated brigadier general to rank from September 3, 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln on December 26, 1861, but the U.S. Senate confirmed the promotion on March 24, 1862 to rank from March 21, 1862 as the President did not formally make the appointment until March 22, 1862.[4] Asboth was assigned commanded of the 4th Division in Frémont's western campaign.[5] Asboth later led a division under Samuel Curtis, and during the Arkansas campaign he occupied Bentonville and Fayetteville. He participated in the Battle of Pea Ridge, leading troops at the Little Sugar Creek position.[6] His arm was seriously wounded while bringing reinforcements to support Colonel Eugene A. Carr. Reinforcements were transferred to Henry Halleck from the Army of the Southwest and during the Siege of Corinth, Asboth commanded a brigade in the Army of the Mississippi.[2]

Asboth later commanded garrisons in Kentucky and Ohio. In August 1863, Asboth was assigned to the District of West Florida, with his headquarters at Fort Pickens. He was badly wounded in the Battle of Marianna on September 27, 1864, his left cheek-bone being broken and his left arm fractured in two places.[7] Asboth was mustered out of the volunteer service on August 24, 1865.[8] On January 13, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Asboth for the award of the brevet grade of major general to rank from March 13, 1865 and the U.S. Senate confirmed the award on March 12, 1866.[9]

Later life and death[edit | edit source]

In 1866 he was appointed U.S. Minister to Argentina and Uruguay, and died in Buenos Aires in 1868, likely due to his wounds received in Florida.[2] Though he was buried in Argentina,[2] his remains were returned to the United States in 1990 for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.[7]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cox, pp. 5-6
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Warner, pp. 11-12
  3. Watson pg. 307
  4. Eicher, 2001, p. 717
  5. Grant, pg. 3
  6. Gracza, pg. 26
  7. 7.0 7.1 Welsh, pg. 8
  8. Eicher, 2001, p. 109
  9. Eicher, 2001, p. 710

References[edit | edit source]

  • PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1891) "article name needed" Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography New York: D. Appleton 

External links[edit | edit source]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Robert C. Kirk
United States Minister Resident, Argentina
October 20, 1866–January 21, 1868
Succeeded by
Henry G. Worthington
United States officially recognized
Uruguay on October 2, 1867
United States Minister Resident, Uruguay
October 2, 1867–January 21, 1868

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