Monuments Across America Honor General Wlodzmierz Krzyzanowski

Krzyzanowski, Wlodzmierz B.
Military Leader: 1824 - 1887

Wlodzmierz B. Krzyzanowski, the best known Polish personality of the American Civil War, was born in Poland on July 8, 1824. He was a first cousin to Frederick Chopin. He took part in the 1848 Polish Revolt against Prussia and fled Poland to avoid arrest. He went to Hamburg, Germany and sailed from there to the United States. He worked as an engineer and surveyor in Virginia and was instrumental in pushing America's railroads westward. In Washington, D.C., he enlisted as a private two days after President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers. He recruited a company of Polish immigrants which became one of the first companies of Union Soldiers. Krzyzanowski then moved his company to New York and enlisted more immigrants and soon became a Colonel of the 58th Infantry Division, listed in the official Army Register as the "Polish Legion." He participated in the Civil War battles of Cross-Keys, Bull Run, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. President Lincoln promoted him to General.

After the war, he served as an administrator in the newly acquired territory of Alaska. He died on January 31, 1887. On October 13, 1937, the 50th anniversary of his death, his remains were transferred with military honors from Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York to Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. President Franklin D. Roosevelt broadcast his tribute to the nation via radio, and Poland's President, Ignacy Moscicki, transmitted his esteem from Warsaw.


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