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Thread: Prussian Confederate: The Giant in Grey

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    Prussian Confederate: The Giant in Grey

    As I've proudly noted before I'm a descendant of several men that fought for the Confederate States in the American War Between the States, and a big history buff of that period.
    I'm a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), an organization of descendants, and came across an interesting article on a Prussian army Rittmeister named Heros von Borcke that came to the States specifically to fight for the Confederacy:



    Lt. Col Johann August Heinrich Heros von Borcke, C.S.A.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heros_von_Borcke

    A tall man at 6' 4" and weighting in at more than 240 pounds, he was a lieutenant in the 2nd Brandenburg Regiment of Dragoons when news arrived of the beginning of the American Civil War. He eventually secured his release from his duties in the Prussian Army and sailed for the Bermuda, finally slipping into Charleston (South Carolina) Harbor on a blockade runner in May 1862. He brought with him a massive Solingen straight sword, which would become famous during his ensuing career.[3] By the end of the month, he had made his way to Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy. He was given the rank of captain in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States on June 1 of that year and assigned to Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart by the order of Secretary of War George W. Randolph.[4] Von Borcke became a close confidant and aide to Stuart and, conspicuous on the battlefield for his large height and girth and the extremely large sword he wielded, became known as the "giant in gray."

    During WWII the Soviet scum destroyed Col. von Borcke's grave in Poland t which the SCV recently placed a new memorial:

    http://civilwarcavalry.com/?p=892

    Heros von Borcke is due his tombstone through a change in U.S. law that has recognized Confederate veterans as U.S. soldiers since the early 1900s.
    While the government provides tombstones for former Confederates, they are different in design from traditional gravestones for other U.S. soldiers in that they have a pointed, rather than a rounded top.
    The gravestone dedication and graveside memorial service, which will be open to the public and the media, will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Gyzin, also called Giessenbrugge.
    Due to wars and boundary changes in Europe, the historic residence of the Von Borcke family was once in Prussia, a part of old Germany, but now is in modern Poland.
    Von Borcke’s original tombstone was destroyed by the Soviets after they occupied the region following World War II
    An interesting man from the legendary Prussian army tradition that both Germans and Southerners can admire.
    Last edited by KYAnglo; Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 at 10:07 PM. Reason: rank correction

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    A video on Col. von Borcke and his huge Prussian cavalry saber.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CYv05GUMxg

    He flew a Confederate flag at his estate in Prussia until his death.

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    Nicola Marschall (1829 – 1917) was a German-American artist who supported the Confederate cause during the American Civil War.He designed the original Confederate flag, the Stars and Bars,as well as the official grey uniform of the Confederate army.

    Marschall was born in St. Wendel, Germany in 1829 to a wealthy Prussian family of tobacco merchants. He emigrated to the United States in 1849 through New Orleans, Louisiana, headed for the home of a relative in Mobile, Alabama. In 1851 he relocated to Marion, Alabama, where he began teaching art first at his portrait studio, and then at the Marion Female Seminary.During this time he briefly returned to Germany to further his art technique.

    Mary Clay Lockett, wife of prominent Marion attorney Napoleon Lockett, requested Marschall to take part in the competition to create a new flag to represent the Confederate States of America. Marschall's design became the first Confederate flag, first raised in Montgomery, Alabama on March 4, 1861.During the Civil War Marschall served in the Second Regiment of Confederate Engineer Troops, under Samuel Lockett. After the war he returned to Marion and married Martha Eliza Marshall.

    During his career he painted portraits of Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln, Otto von Bismarck, various Southern families, and Confederate and Union soldiers.He was one of the few who was able to have Nathan Bedford Forrest pose for him. Additionally, he did many landscapes and religious paintings.He was known to sign and date his portraits using a steel pen while the paint was still wet, at the bottom-right of the portrait.

    Due to the economic depression in the South following the war, he returned to Mobile in 1872. In 1873 he and his family moved to Louisville, Kentucky, as his friends told him it would be an easier place to gain commissions to do portraits.At the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, he won a medal for his portraits.

    In 1908 he gave up working on portraits.He died in Louisville on February 24, 1917 and was interred in Cave Hill Cemetery.
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicola_Marschall

    One more Prussian to add to the list of individuals who fought for the US Confederacy.

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    von Borcke joined the 2nd Dragoons sometime in 1860/61 as a Second Lieutenant, and his name appears in the Rangliste through at least 1863.

    Robert von Massow also served with the 2nd Dragoons, but in 1860 was transferred to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Pomeranian Landwehr Regiment Nr. 9.

    I haven't read von Borcke's memoir, but in Mosby's Rangers Wert seems to imply that von Massow secured his post with Mosby because the two had served with the same regiment. Since the compilers of the Rangliste chose not to mention that these two men went off to fight in the American Civil War, I'm wondering if other (former) members of the 2nd Dragoons were able to serve in the CSA with the help of von Borcke?

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