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ably responsible for these acts. Zágonyi was offered the colonelcy of a regiment, but out of loyalty to his general he declined it. The following year, however, he served again on Gen. Frémont's staff in the East. Mrs. Frémont, in her mortification and to aid the families of the fallen Guardsmen, wrote a story of the Guard, a book charming by its directness and interesting for the many letters not published elsewhere16.
Theodore Majthényi, Zágonyi's gallant lieutenant, was the son of Baron Joseph Majthényi, a prominent refugee, and was but a boy when they made their new home in Davenport, Iowa, in 1851. After the Guard was disbanded, he obtained a commission as captain in the 1st Indiana Cavalry, and in 1866 he entered the regular army as lieutenant in the 6th United States Cavalry. His father returned to Hungary on the re-establishment of the Hungarian constitution, and persuaded him to go with him. There he enlisted in the new Honvéd Army; but he was too much Americanized to like the conditions in Europe, and returnea to the United States about 1875.
Gen. Hunter not finding any enemy in the vicinity, decided to return with his army to St. Louis. It was a sad retreat and harmful in its effects, as it undid nearly all that Frémont had accomplished and left the loyal population of Southern Missouri unprotected against the guerrilla bands of the Confederates. Gen. Curtis, who soon replaced Hunter in command, had to do Frémont's campaign over again, and under more unfavorable conditions, because of the cold weather. He had hardly more than 12,000 men in his army, which was composed of four divisions, the second division being under the command of Gen. Asbóth. Two other ex-honvéds had commands under Curtis: Major Emeric Mészáros,
The Story of the Guard. By Jessie Benton Frémont, Boston, 12-mo., XII-229 pp. It contains Zágonyi's own report, too.
who commanded the Frémont Hussars or 4th Missouri Cavalry, and Col. Joseph Németh, in command of the Benton Hussars or 5th Missouri Cavalry. Col. Németh had been a captain in the Honvéd Army, and in Kossuth's suite at Kutahia.
Gen. Curtis re-occupied Springfield without opposition about the end of February, 1862, and thence, with continued skirmishing, followed the enemy under Generals Price and McCulloch over the border into Arkansas. Gen. Asbóth occupied Fayetteville and Bentonville with little resistance, but was soon ordered to join the main army at Pea Ridge, or Elkhorn Tavern, where a decisive engagement was expected. The first day of the battle, March 7, was very sanguinary, but undecisive. Gen. Asbóth was wounded in the left arm, but in spite of his wound was again in the saddle the next morning17. The enemy, however, whose numbers were variously estimated as from 16,000 to 26,000, had suffered more, particularly on its right wing and through the death of Gen. McCulloch, and was badly defeated in the second day's fighting. This ended the campaign which secured Missouri for the Union and in which several Hungarian officers had had a distinguished part.
Alexander Asbóth came from a family prominent in the history of Hungary. He was born in Keszthely on December 18, 1811, and had from childhood on the ambition of becoming a soldier, like his elder brother Louis (who became a general in the Hungarian War.) His mother, however, was averse to the thought of exposing both of her sons to the dangers of a military career, and persuaded him to study engineering. Yet Fate willed that he should fight on the battlefields of two hemispheres and achieve his greatest success as a soldier. After graduating from the En
17 The Pea Ridge Campaign. Leaders of the Civil War. I, 328.
By Franz Sigel, in Battles and
gineering Academy at Selmecbánya, he entered the government service, and had already made himself a national reputation when the revolution of 1848 broke out. He enlisted as a honvéd, became colonel in the Engineering Corps, and, later, aide to Governor Kossuth. He followed the Governor to Kutahia, and was brought to this country on the U. S. Frigate Mississippi in 1851. In New York he met with some success as the inventor of a new process for making steel castings, and was also a surveyor in the service of New York State. John C. Frémont, who had known him in New York, was so favorably impressed with him that, when he was assigned to the command of the Western Department, he selected Asbóth for his chief-of-staff and appointed him brigadier-general.
The Senate considered this appointment—like several others that Frémont had made—“irregular" and refused to confirm it until the report of Asbóth's gallantry at the battle of Pea Ridge was received. In the meantime, however, as we have seen, he was actually in command of a division under Frémont, Hunter and Curtis. He was a tall, well-built man, with a firm, but kindly expression in his face, over which would, at times, come a shadow of melancholy, probably when he was thinking of the fate of his native land. Yet he was essentially a man of action, and enjoyed hard, physical exercise. Major W. Dorsheimer described him as an excellent horseman, who, at the age of fifty, loved to ride his horse at top speed, so that the Major, who was considerably younger, could not keep up with him.
After the Missouri campaign he was assigned to the command of the District of Columbus in
age ord him as an recise, Major Won, and enjoy
Kentucky, and in 1863 was appointed commander of the District of West Florida, with headquarters at Fort Pickens, near Pensacola, which command he held until August, 1865. In the engagement at Marianna (September 27, 1864), he rushed forward to encourage his retreating soldiers. The battle was won, but he was seriously wounded, one bullet shattering his right arm and another lodging under Brevet Major-General, his right cheekbone. He was breveted major-general in March, 1865, for gallant and meritorious service.
Asbóth was one of those generals whom the Government wished to reward for their distinguished services with a diplomatic post. Although there was much dickering about such appointments, his nomination as minister to the Argentine Republic went through the Senate without opposition. He made the journey to Buenos Ayres via Paris, where he had his wound examined by the famous surgeon, Nelaton, because no American surgeon would undertake the removal of the bullet from under his cheek-bone. Dr. Nelaton could not tell him more than the American surgeons had told him, and the leaden memento from Marianna, which he carried in his head, became the cause of his untimely death two years later. He was then only a short distance from his native land, which, under the protection of the stars and stripes, he could have entered without molestation. He longed to visit his parents' grave, to see his only sister, to meet his old comrades; but that peculiar pride which many of the exiles felt, prevented him from setting foot on Hungary's soil before she was free again.