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cavalry commanded by Ashby in person"26. But he suffered a double hernia in an accident, which troubled him a great deal and hampered him in his movements for some time.
After the war, he was rewarded with a consulship, and he chose Demerara, in British Guiana,
Philip Figjelmessy, Colonel, U. S. A.
which post he kept under various administrations from 1865 to 1888. One of his consular reports on the evils of coolie labor attracted wide attention in Great Britain, and the agitation which followed it, did much toward the amelioration of the condition of the coolies. In his last years he lived in Philadelphia, and longed to see his native land once more; but, true to his word, he would
26 Rebellion Record, Series I, V. 21, June 1, 1862.
not set foot on her soil unless she was independent. He died in 1907 at the age of eighty-five27.
Among his friends was Emeric Szabad, who had been a government official during the Hungarian War, fled to England, served in Figyelmessy's Hungarian squadron in Sicily, and came to America early in 186228. Here he got a commission as captain, and was made inspector of outposts to Gen. Sickles, whom he had known in London. He had the ill-luck to be captured and put into that place of horrors, Libby Prison. His happy disposition made him a favorite, and even won the good-will of Turner, the jailer, who allowed him to write to Figyelmessy. In this letter the prisoner described himself as in danger, through sheer hunger, of eating his dilapidated boots. Figyelmessy and Gen. Stahel responded with a box of eatables, which arrived safely at its destination and was delivered intact. After his release from Libby, Szabad returned to the front, and was breveted colonel for gallantry in the battles before Petersburg. The war ended, he went to Texas as assistant collector of the port of Galveston.
Col. Cornelius Fornet had gone through many vicissitudes before the Civil War. He was an engineer, served in the Honved Army with the rank of major, and was decorated for gallantry. With great difficulties he made his way to America, and first assisted Pragay in writing his book. In 1850 he went with three fellow-exiles, Count Samuel Wass, Gustave Molitor and John Juhos, to California, where they met with some success in the gold fields. Being skilled engineers they found it, how
27 Figyelmessy's memoirs were written by his wife, nee Eliza Haldeman, during his lifetime, but not published. I had the privilege of reading the manuscript, and had also the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with the Colonel.
28. Szabad was a man of literary and scholarly attainments, lie wrote: Hungary Past and Present, Edinburgh, 1854; Hungarian Sketches in Peace and War (a translation of some of Jokai's stories), Edinburgh, 1854; The Slate Policy of Modern Europe, 2 vols.. London, 1857; and Modern War, New Yofk, 1863.
ever, more profitable to coin the gold that others had dug up, and, having obtained a government license, operated a mint for that purpose under the firm of Wass, Molitor and Company. In 1852 Fornet went to Bruxelles to wed his fiancee, from whom he had been separated through the war, and returned with her to New Jersey, where they founded their home. In the Civil War he was first a major of engineers in Fremont's Army of the West. Having received serious injuries in an accident at Camp Lily, near Jefferson City, he was sent East, and after his recovery was ordered by Gen. Halleck to organize the 21st New Jersey Infantry Regiment, of which he became the colonel.
In the eastern campaigns were also engaged Brig.-Generals Kozlay and Mundee, Col. Korponay, Majors Decsy, Stephen Kovacs and Semsey, Captains Menyhart and Rozsafi, and several others, whose names and records can be found in the appendix.
There were several officers in the Union Army, who, while not natives of Hungary, may be classified as Hungarians, for they had been identified with the Hungarian cause, spoke the Hungarian language, and attached themselves in America to the Hungarians. Among them were: Constantin Blandovski, a Pole, who had served in the Honved Army, and was captain in the 3d Missouri Infantry. He was mortally wounded at the capture of Camp Jackson, near St. Louis, May 10, 1861, and died fifteen days later.—Nicholas Dunka, a native of Jassy, Rumania, who had been Figyelmessy's lieutenant in Sicily, and accompanied him to America. He was an aide on Gen. Stahel's staff with the rank of captain, and a brave soldier, though always in trouble on account of his uncontrolable temper. He lost^vis life in the battle of Cross Keys, Va., June 8, 1862, and was buried there in the yard of the Union Church.—George von Amsberg, a native of Hannover. He entered the Austrian service as an officer of a crack Hungarian hussar regiment, and got there so Hungarianized that he spoke Hungarian in preference to German, went over with his regiment to the Honved Army, and fought for Hungarian independence. In the Civil War he was colonel of the 45th New York Infantry.
The services of Hungary's sons for the preservation of the Union seem not to have been limited to the military field. It is impossible at the present time to determine the full importance of what Louis Kossuth has done to prevent the threatening intervention of Great Britain, because the documents relating thereto are still inaccessible; but it is evident that Kossuth did use his influence in behalf of the United States at that critical period.
When Louis Kossuth came to America in 1851, one of his warmest admirers and supporters was William H. Seward, then senator from New York. What his friend and partner, Horace Greeley, did for Kossuth and the Hungarian cause in the Tribune, Seward tried to do on the floor of the Senate and in the realm of politics.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Great Britain's attitude towards the United States was anything but friendly. Lord Palmerston—who, in 1849 had refused to acknowledge victorious Hungary, a thousand-year-old nation, as a belligerent —had no such scruples in regard to the Confederate States, which had won no victories as yet and were but the embryo of a nation never to be born; he was, in fact, in very great haste to acknowledge them. During the excitement of the Trent affair, Great Britain openly made warlike preparations, and, although an armed conflict was then averted, grave apprehensions were entertained in Washington lest Great Britain, and, perhaps, France also, would intervene.
It is known that Secretary of State Seward "conceived the idea of sending to Europe, in an unofficial capacity, three representative and influential men to meet the impending danger of foreign intervention. He chose for this mission Archbishop Hughes, Bishop McIIvaine and Mr. Thurlow Weed"29. It is less well known that he also sought to enlist the aid of Louis Kossuth.
This was a very natural idea, for, while he could not know then the inner history of Kossuth's relations to Napoleon and Cavour, he did know that, in 1859, Kossuth had prevented the intervention of Great Britain in the Austro-Italian conflict through his speeches at public meetings in England and Scotland and his influence with the British Liberals, which caused the downfall of Lord Derby's cabinet30.
Seward had a great liking for the gallant and straight-forward Col. Figyelmessy, who had brought him letters from Kossuth and Pulszky, and of whom he knew that he had the confidence of Kossuth. One day in February, 1862, he asked Figyelmessy, if he would be willing to go to Genoa, and request Kossuth to use his influence with the Liberals of England and suggest to them the expediency of beginning an agitation in favor of non-intervention, by holding public meetings and through the press. Figyelmessy consented, and went a few days later again to the State Department for his final instructions. Seward was then very much encouraged by the latest news from the West, and thought the voyage would be unnecessary for the present. Later he came back
29 The Diplomatic History of the War for the Union. By William H. Seward, Boston, 1884. Pages 6 and 7.
30 The matter is fully treated in Kossuth's Memories of My Exile, New York, 1880. pp. 188-S76.