His troops were defeated by the cadets of V.M.I. at the Battle of New Market, Va. in 1864
(1824-1902) Born in Baden, Germany, he graduated from a military academy at Karlsruhe in 1843, and became a subaltern in the service of Grand Duke Leopold. During the 1848 insurrections he acted as minister of war for the revolutionary forces which were overthrown by the Prussians. He fled to New York in 1852, and during the years before the Civil War he taught school, and was a major in the 5th New York Militia. He was a professor at the German-American Institute in St. Louis, Missouri, and was elected director of the St. Louis public schools in 1860. Sigel became a brigadier general on August 7, 1861, and a major general on March 22, 1862. Despite his military shortcomings, he did much to unify the very large German population living in the Northern states, and contributed greatly in raising thousands of recruits to the Union ranks, and he openly supported antislavery causes. "I fights mit Sigel," became almost a password among the Dutch and his strong influence with them never waned. He performed well at the capture of Camp Jackson, and the engagement at Carthage, Mo., and at the battle at Elkhorn Tavern he contributed greatly to the Union victory. He saw action in the 1862 2nd Bull Run campaign where he was wounded in the hand. Over the winter of 1862–63, General Sigel commanded the 11th Corps, in the Army of the Potomac, which consisting primarily of German immigrant soldiers. President Lincoln, for political reasons, directed Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to place General Sigel in command of the Department of West Virginia. On May 15, 1864, he had the misfortune to fight the battle of New Market, Va., against the young cadets of the Virginia Military Institute, by whom he was soundly trounced which became what is now one of those legendary events that occurred during the Civil War. In July 1864, Sigel fought General Jubal A. Early forces at Harpers Ferry, Va. He resigned his commission from the Union army on May 4, 1865. After the war he worked as a newspaper editor in New York City, became involved in New York State politics, served as a collector of internal revenue, and in 1887, President Grover Cleveland appointed him pension agent for the city of New York. He also lectured, worked in advertising, and published the "New York Monthly," a German-American periodical, for several years. General Franz Sigel died in New York in 1902, at the age of 77, and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York.
Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph, mounted to 2 3/8 x 4 card. Superb quality standing view in uniform with rank of major general with one hand resting on his hip. Back mark: E. & H.T. Anthony, 501 Broadway, New York, From a Photographic Negative in Brady's National Portrait Gallery. Very sharp and desirable image.