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Włodzimierz B. Krzyżanowski
[[Image:File:Wlodzimierz Krzyzanowski.jpg|center|200px|border]]Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski
Personal Information
Born: July 8, 1824(1824-07-08)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: January 31, 1887 (aged 62)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Brigadier General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit: Army of the Potomac
Army of the Cumberland
Commands: Krzyżanowski's Brigade, XI Corps
Battles: 1848 Polish Uprising
American Civil War
Relations: cousin to Frédéric Chopin
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Włodzimierz Bonawentura Krzyżanowski Template:IPAc-pl (Wladimir Krzyzanowski; July 8, 1824 – January 31, 1887) was a Polish military leader and a brigade commander in the Union Army during the American Civil War. In the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg Krzyżanowski helped repel an evening assault by the famed Louisiana Tigers on the Union defenses atop East Cemetery Hill.

Early life[]

Krzyżanowski was born in Rożnowo, Grand Duchy of Posen, into an old Polish noble family that bore the Świnka coat of arms, and whose roots reached back to the 14th century and ownership of the village of Krzyżanowo near Kościan. Krzyżanowski's father and both uncles had fought for Polish independence under Napoleon's banners, and his brother fought in the November 1830 Uprising.

Krzyżanowski was a first cousin to Frédéric Chopin, whose mother Justyna Krzyżanowska's brother was Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski's father. Krzyżanowski took part in the 1846 uprising against Prussia and fled Poland to avoid arrest. He went to Hamburg, Germany, and from there sailed to New York Harbor.

Krzyżanowski worked as a civil engineer and surveyor in Virginia and was instrumental in pushing America's railroads west.

Civil War service[]

In Washington, D.C., in early 1861, Krzyżanowski enlisted as a private two days after President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers. Krzyżanowski recruited a company of Polish immigrants, one of the first companies of Union soldiers. He moved the company to New York City, enlisted more immigrants, and soon became colonel of the 58th New York Infantry regiment, listed in the official Army Register as the "Polish Legion".[1][2]

Krzyżanowski participated in the battles of Cross Keys in the Shenandoah Valley, Second Bull Run, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg in the Eastern Theater. At Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, his men were pushed back through the town as the Union XI Corps retreated. However, Krzyżanowski led a counterattack on July 2 on Cemetery Hill that helped stabilize the faltering Union line.[1]

Later in the year, the XI Corps was sent to the Western Theater to help relieve the Confederate siege of Chattanooga. Krzyżanowski played a role in the Battle of Wauhatchie, where he followed Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's orders very literally; and he was present at the Third Battle of Chattanooga.[1]

When the XI Corps was dissolved, much of it being added to XX Corps, Krzyżanowski was assigned to command at Bridgeport, Alabama, to guard the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, and later to Stevenson, Alabama, both commands within the Department of the Cumberland.[1] Krzyżanowski also commanded the 3rd Brigade of the Defenses of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, reporting to Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy.[2] He led this brigade into an action at the Third Battle of Murfreesboro in which Milroy's troops defeated the renowned Nathan Bedford Forrest.

President Lincoln promoted him to brevet brigadier general on March 2, 1865; previous temporary promotions to general in 1862 and 1863 were rejected by the U.S. Senate.[2]


After the war, Krzyżanowski was given governing duties in Alabama.[3] He later served as the appointed governor of several Southern states (Florida, Georgia, and Virginia.)[3] Supposedly, he also served as the first American administrator of the Alaska Territory. However, the Anchorage Daily News was unable to find any conclusive information to support or disprove this claim.[4] This posting was a reward for his performance as the personal representative of Secretary Seward during the negotiations for the Purchase of Alaska.[5]

He served in Treasury Department and later in the customs service in Panama and New York.

Krzyżanowski died in New York City. 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. President Franklin D. Roosevelt broadcast his tribute to the nation via radio, and Poland's President, Ignacy Mościcki, transmitted his esteem from Warsaw.

See also[]

32x28px United States Army portal
32x28px American Civil War portal


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Warner, p. 274.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Eicher, p. 337.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gen Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski: Memoirs from the stay in America of Gen Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski during the War 1861-1864, page 43, Polish Museum of America, Chicago, 1963 Template:Pl icon.
  4. Ruskin, Liz (December 17, 2002). "Poland honors second 'ski' to lead Alaska". Anchorage Daily News. 
  5. Web page of Świat Polonii (World of Poles living outside of Poland).


da:Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski no:Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski pl:Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski sl:Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski