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August Kautz
[[Image:File:August Kautz - Brady-Handy.jpg|center|200px|border]]August Kautz
Personal Information
Born: January 5, 1828(1828-01-05)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: September 4, 1895 (aged 67)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Major General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit: 6th U.S. Cavalry
Battles: Mexican-American War
Rogue River Wars
Puget Sound War
American Civil War
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

August Valentine Kautz (January 5, 1828 – September 4, 1895) was a German-American soldier and Union Army cavalry officer during the American Civil War. He was the author of several army manuals on duties and customs eventually adopted by the U.S. military.

Early life and career[]

Born in Ispringen, Baden, Germany,[1] Kautz as a young boy immigrated with his parents to Brown County, Ohio. He later enlisted as a Private in the 1st Ohio Infantry during the Mexican-American War.

Entering the United States Military Academy following the war, Kautz graduated in the class of 1852. He primarily served at Fort Steilacoom in the Pacific Northwest, where he was wounded twice with the 4th U.S. Infantry during Rogue River Wars with Indians along the Snake River in 1855, and also served in the Puget Sound War in 1856. For his gallantry, he was rewarded with a commission as a lieutenant in the regular army.

During his time in the Pacific Northwest, Kautz became a fierce advocate of Chief Leschi, who was executed in 1858. Kautz believed the execution was illegal and that Leschi should have been considered a prisoner of war. Shortly before Leschi's execution, Kautz published two issues of a newspaper defending him. The newspaper was called the Truth Teller, and its masthead stated: "Devoted to the Dissemination of Truth and the Suppression of Humbug."

From 1859 to 1860, he traveled in Europe. He returned to the Eastern United States in April 1861, shortly after the outbreak of hostilities between the Union and Confederacy.

Civil War[]

Kautz saw action as a captain with the 6th U.S. Cavalry during the Peninsula Campaign from April to July 1862. Transferred to the Western Theater, Kautz later assisted in operations as a colonel with the 2nd Ohio Cavalry against Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's highly successful raid behind Union lines in Indiana and Ohio during June-July 1863 and under the command of Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside at the Battle of Knoxville from September to December 1863.

Promoted to brigadier general of volunteers in April 1864, Kautz led cavalry operations of the XXIII Corps under the command of Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler during Ulysses S. Grant's campaigns against Richmond and Petersburg between April and June 1864. His cavalry division was a part of the Army of the James and was forced to withdraw from its position at White's Tavern following an attack by Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, on October 7. Kautz was brevetted major general of volunteers in October 1864.

In early April 1865, Kautz marched into Richmond in command of a division of colored troops which belonged to Godfrey Weitzel's XXV Corps. He was active during the Union pursuit of Robert E. Lee from April 2 to April 9, 1865, until Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House.


After the war, Kautz served (from May to June 1865) on the trial board investigating the conspirators involved in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, before performing extensive service in the southwest frontier, including as the commander of the Department of Arizona and commanding officer of Fort McDowell, until 1891, resigning the following year. After leaving military service, he lived in retirement until his death at Seattle, Washington. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


  • The Company Clerk (1863)
  • Customs of Service for Non-Commissioned Officers and Soldiers (1864)
  • Customs of Service for Officers (1866)

See also[]


  • Template:NIE
  • Warner, Ezra J., Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders, Louisiana State University Press, 1964, ISBN 0-8071-0822-7.
  • Ezra Meeker, Pioneer Reminiscences of Puget Sound: The Tragedy of Leschi (Seattle, 1905).
  • Martin Öfele, General August V. Kautz, Erinnerungen an den Bürgerkrieg, Verlag für Amerikanistik, ISBN 3-89510-049-8 (Germany)
  • Donald E. Worcester: The Apaches - ‚Eagles of the Southwest‘, University of Oklahoma Press, 1992, ISBN 0-8061-1495-9 (Pg. 186-206)
  • Dan L. Thrapp:Al Sieber: Chief of Scouts. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman 1964, ISBN 0-8061-2770-8 (Pg. 48-49)
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Kautz, August Valentine". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1892. 
  • August Kautz at Find a Grave Retrieved on 2008-02-09

External links[]

de:August Kautz