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Albin Francisco Schoepf
[[Image:File:AlbinFSchoepf.jpg|center|200px|border]]Albin F. Schoepf
Personal Information
Born: March 1, 1822(1822-03-01)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: May 10, 1886 (aged 64)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
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Other Information
Allegiance: Ottoman Empire
United States of America
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Branch: Ottoman Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Brigadier General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Battles: American Civil War
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Albin Francisco Schoepf (March 1, 1822  – May 10, 1886) was an European-born military officer who became a Union brigadier general during the American Civil War, best known as the commanding officer of Fort Delaware, a wartime camp for Confederate prisoners of war.

Early life[]

Schoepf was born in Podgórze, Poland. He entered the Vienna Military Academy in 1837, became a lieutenant of artillery in 1841, and served in Hungary as a captain in the Austrian Army. At the beginning of the Hungarian Revolution in 1848, he resigned his commission and enlisted as a private in the Hungarian Revolutionary Army under Lajos Kossuth. He was soon promoted to captain. When Kossuth abdicated in 1849, Schoepf was exiled to Turkey, where he served served under Gen. Jozef Bem against the insurgents at Aleppo, and afterward became instructor of artillery in the Ottoman Empire's army with the rank of major.

Washington, D.C.[]

He emigrated to the United States in 1851. Befriended by Joseph Holt, Schoepf served as a clerk first in the U.S. Coastal Survey and later in the U.S. Patent Office and the War Department (working under Holt). While working in Washington, D.C. Schoepf married Julie Bates Kesley in 1855; they had 9 children together.

Civil War[]

Appointed a brigadier general of volunteers on 30 September 1861, Schoepf's brigade fought well at the Battle of Camp Wildcat, repulsing Confederates under Brig. Gen. Felix Zollicoffer. This was followed a few weeks later by Schoepf's precipitate retreat, by order of his superior officer, from London, Kentucky to Crab Orchard, which the Confederates called the “Wild-Cat stampede.” Schoepf and his troops later fought Zollicoffer at the Battle of Mill Springs.

Proving himself an aggressive and able field commander, Schoepf was promoted to division command in August 1862, but often found himself at odds with Army of the Ohio commander Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, especially after being denied orders to attack until late in the Battle of Perryville. Appointed to a military board of inquiry investigating Buell's conduct during the campaign, Schoepf made no secret of his disapproval of his commander's actions — so much so that Buell raised Schoepf's hostility as an issue. Not wanting his involvement to affect the Buell investigation's outcome, Schoepf asked Army general-in-chief Henry W. Halleck to transfer him to another assignment.

On April 13, 1863, Schoepf was ordered to report to Fort Delaware as commanding officer and served the balance of the war in that command. He was mustered out of service on 15 January 1866.

According to historian, Thomas Flagel, Fort Delaware was one of the deadliest prisons during the Civil War. With a capacity of 10 000 prisoners, it held up to 12 600 at its peak, claiming 2 460 lives. Worsening the camp conditions of dismal rations and exposure was the occurrence of torture. With the permission of Schoepf,camp guards employed gagging, hanging by thumbs, clubbing, random shootings, and other transgressions.

Postbellum career[]

After the war, Schoepf returned to the U.S. Patent Office and died after a long illness, likely stomach cancer. He is buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C.


  • Boatner, Mark Mayo, III. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: McKay, 1959; revised 1988. ISBN 0-8129-1726-X.
  • Fetzer, Dale and Mowday, Bruce E. Unlikely Allies: Fort Delaware's Prison Community in the Civil War. Mechanicsville, PA: Stackpole Books, 2000. ISBN 0-8117-1823-9.
  • Flagel, Thomas "The History Buff's Guide to the Civil War", Nashville, Tennessee: Cumberland House, 2000. ISBN 1-58182-371-1
  • Welsh, Jack D. Medical Histories of Union Generals. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-87338-552-7.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Schoepf, Albin Francisco". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900. 

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