Battle of Hammelburg, 10 July 1866

Battle of Hammelburg, 10 July 1866

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Battle of Hammelburg, 10 July 1866

The battle of Hammelburg (10 July 1866) was one of two defeats suffered by the Bavarians on the same day, as they retreated south in the aftermath of a failure to join up with their German allies (Austro-Prussian War, 1866).

At the start of the war the Prussians were faced with three opponents in Germany - the Hanoverian Armies in the north, the 8th Federal Corps around Frankfurt and the Bavarian Army at Bamberg. The Prussians had three divisions, commanded by Marshal Falckenstein. Their first objective was to eliminate the Hanoverians, and despite a defeat at Langensalza on 27 June, they quickly achieved this. The Hanoverians were surrounded and forced to surrender on 29 June.

While this fighting was going on, 8th Corps and the Bavarians were still trying to decide what to do. They eventually decided to unite north of the Hohe-Rhön Mountains, with the main move to begin on 30 June. This was too late. By the time the Bavarians reached the northern end of the mountains, the Prussians were already there. On 4 July the Prussians defeated the Bavarians in two separate engagements (battle of Dermbach, 4 July 1866).

In the aftermath of the defeats on 4 July the two German forces retreated away from each other. The Federal 8th Corps retreated south-west back towards Frankfurt, while the Bavarians retreated south towards the Saale River.

At first the Prussians moved down the western side of the mountains, apparently following the 8th Corps. By the end of 8 July Goeben's and Beyer's Divisions had moved south of Fulda - Beyer was on the road that ran south-west towards Frankfurt, Goeben on a road that ran south-east across the mountains to Brückenau. Manteuffel's division reached Fulda. On 9 July the Germans turned east. Beyer moved to the baths of Brückenau, west of the town. Manteuffel reached the town of Brückenau. Goeben's division moved further, reaching Geroda. On the road that led to Kissingen.

Falckenstein's plan was to concentrate against the Bavarians. The advance past Fulda was meant to mislead them, and it succeeded. By the end of 9 July the Bavarians were spread out along a narrow line 22 miles long. Their left was at Hammelburg, where there was one brigade from Zoller's division. Another of Zoller's brigades was posted at Kissingen. Feder's division was further to the north-east at Münnerstadt. Hartmann's division was just to the south. Stephan's division and the army HQ was at the northern (right) end of the line at Neustadt. The Bavarians expected any Prussian attack to come from the north.

The village was defended by Schweitzer's 6th Brigade, with 11 guns and a small force of cavalry. His advance guard was posted at the village of Unter-Erthal, on the north western side of the River Thulba, which flows south to flow into the Saale. Hammelburg is on the north bank of the Saale, east of the junction with the Thulba.

At about 10am the advance guard of Beyer's Division, commanded by General von Schachtmeyer, encountered some Bavarian cavalry around Neu-Wirthshaus. They then found the Bavarian advance guard, which was posted just south of Unter-Erthal. Schachtmeyer moved a battery of 4-pounder guns onto a hill west of the village and open fired. The Bavarians responded with fire from two rifled guns posted east of the Thulba, but these were soon withdrawn. In the meantime the Bavarian advance guard retreated back across the Thulba, and then skirted around Hammelburg and crossed the Saale a little further to the east, at Fuchsstadt.

General Schachtmeyer left one battalion to guard Unter-Erthal and then advanced along the road towards Hammelburg. His leading troops pushed the Bavarians away from the bridge over the Thulba, and the Prussians moved onto the eastern bank of the river. The Prussians quickly captured some hills north of the town, and moved the advanced guard battery into place. This triggered an artillery duel with two Bavarian batteries on the opposite side of the Saale, which was carried on for some time with little result.

By this point Generals Falckenstein and Beyer had reached the front. The hilly terrain meant that they couldn't be sure how many Bavarians were in the area, and so Falckenstein ordered Beyer not to attack until the rest of his division had arrived. He also sent a message to General Goeben to ask him to send help if he wasn't already engaged. By this point General Goeben was indeed heavily engaged at Kissingen, and was unable to respond.

Once the main Prussian forces had arrived, General Falckenstein ordered the attack. Beyer decided to begin with an attack on the Offenthaler Berg, a key hill overlooking the town from the north-east. This was only defended by a single Bavarian battalion, and this withdrew in the face of the overwhelming Prussian attack.

The Prussians took advantage of this and followed the retreating Bavarians closely. Their momentum brought them into the outskirts of Hammelburg, and the remaining Bavarian troops retreated south across the Saale. The town was entirely in Prussian hands by 3pm.

Just before the town fell news had arrived of Goeben's more serious battle at Kissingen. Falckenstein ordered Beyer to concentrate his division at Hammelburg, and then moved north to Kissingen.

Both sides suffered similar losses at Hammelburg. The Prussians lost 10 dead and 72 wounded. The Bavarians lost 7 dead, 42 wounded and 15 missing or prisoners.

In the aftermath of their two defeats at Hammelburg and Kissingen the Bavarians retreated south in some confusion. They were saved from further fighting by events in Austria, where peace negotiations were getting underway. Bismarck wanted the Prussians to occupy Frankfurt and the area north of the Main before the fighting ended, and ordered General Falckenstein to turn west to defeat the 8th Federal Corps.

While the greater part of the Prussian troops marched to Bohemia, where they defeated the Austrian and Saxon troops on 3 July 1866 at Königgrätz (Sadova), another part of the Prussian troops invaded the Kingdom of Hanover. After the surrender of Hanover on June 29 these troops - including some small units of allies of Prussia - were grouped under the name Mainarmee (German for: Army of the Main) and pushed southward towards the river Main against the South-German allies of Austria.

The allies of Austria had formed the VIIth and VIIIth Federal Corps of the German Confederation. Both corps had advanced northward to support Hanover. When Hanover surprisingly surrendered the VIIth Corps, built by the Bavarians, stood in Thuringia. The VIIIth Corps, built by troops of Hesse, Baden and Wuerttemberg, stood north of Frankfurt. At first the Prussians attacked the VIIth Corps. The Bavarian troops lost combats at Hünfeld and Dermbach on 4 July and withdrew to the river Franconian Saale. [5] But the Prussians followed quickly across the mountains of the Rhön and beat the Bavarians in the battle of Kissingen and Hammelburg on 10 July. [6] [7] [8]

Now the Bavarians retreated to Würzburg while the Prussians turned westward against the VIIIth Corps which protected Frankfurt. The Prussians crossed the Spessart, defeated the Hessians at Laufach/Frohnhofen on 13 July and the Austrian and Hessian troops at Aschaffenburg on 14 July. The Federal troops had to withdraw westward to the left bank of the Main. After the Prussians had conquered Aschaffenburg and crossed the Main the way to Frankfurt and Darmstadt was open. Now the VIIIth Corps abandoned Frankfurt, moved south across the Odenwald and then turned eastward to meet the Bavarians at the river Tauber. The Prussians occupied the now undefended Frankfurt on 16 July and then followed the VIIIth Corps along the left bank of the Main. [9] [10] In the combat of Hundheim (23 July), the battles of Werbach, Tauberbischofsheim (both 24 July) and Gerchsheim (25 July) the VIIIth Corps was defeated by the Prussians. [11] [12] At 25 July the Prussians also clashed with the Bavarians again at Helmstadt and the following day at Rossbrunn. This combats were also won by the Prussians. [13] The allied troops retreated to Würzburg. The Prussians followed and began to bombard the fortress of Würzburg on 26 July. But soon a truce was negotiated after the news had reached the Bavarian headquarters, that the Prussians and the Austrians had signed their Armistice of Nikolsburg at the same day. At last Würzburg was occupied by the Prussians. [14] [15] [16]

In a separate operation the 2nd Prussian reserve corps marched into Bavaria at the north-east on 23 July and occupied Hof, Bayreuth (28 July) and at last Nuremberg (31 July). [17] [18]

The Prussian victory is more the result of better organization than of the technical superiority of the Prussian weapons like the needle gun (Zündnadelgewehr). [19] Helmut von Moltke, the chief of the Prussian general staff, had planned an offensive war to beat the federal troops before they could unite and fully use their superiority in men and equipment. The plan was successful because the untrained federal armies needed a long time for mobilization which the Prussians had prepared well. Furthermore the Prussians had one unified command which the federal side had not. Formally Karl von Bayern, the commander of the VIIth corps, was supreme commander of all the federal troops, but Alexander von Hessen, the chief of the VIIIth corps, also received orders from the Federal Convention (Bundestag) in Frankfurt and the governments of the states which had sent troops. The communication between the federal troops was as insufficient as their reconnaissance so that they often had to react instead of acting initiatively. [20]

The German Confederation was abolished. Prussia annexed Hannover, Nassau, Hesse-Kassel and Frankfurt and small parts of Hesse-Darmstadt and Bavaria. Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden and Hesse-Darmstadt remained independent, but had to sign military alliances with Prussia. In Bavaria a fundamental army reform followed in 1868.


The regiment began as a Russian-German Legion

The Duke (later Grand Duke ) Peter I. Friedrich Ludwig von Oldenburg , expelled by Napoleon , fled into Russian exile when his duchy was illegally occupied by Napoleon. Encouraged by him and set up by the tsar , German exiles and defected prisoners of war eventually became the Russian-German Legion , a unit that was supposed to support the struggle for freedom against the French occupation in Europe. The Legion was in Russian service, but was paid for and equipped by allied England . The main propagandist for joining the Legion was Ernst Moritz Arndt , the private secretary of Freiherr vom Stein , who was in Russian service . He stayed in Petersburg in 1812 and called for a patriotic struggle for freedom against the French occupation in Germany.

The 1st and 2nd battalions of the Legion were established in Reval in 1812 , with the 1st battalion consisting almost exclusively of Prussians and a few Dutch. The 2nd battalion was formed from Prussia, Bavaria and the Dutch. The 7th battalion of the Legion was only formed from deserters in July and October 1813 and also took in some Coburgs, Saxons and Westphalia.

Chief of the 1st Battalion of the Russian-German Legion was Major Ferdinand von Natzmer, son-in-law of General von Arentschild, who led the Legion as a colonel. At the age of 33, Natzmer took over this post in Reval in August 1812 as captain , after having previously served in Prussian, Brunswick and Hesse for 21 years. In September the battalion was complete. It consisted almost entirely of Prussia and "was the most evenly composed and most firmly assembled of all". In August 1813 he took over as commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade of the Legion, which was formed by the battalions of our later regiment. One could therefore also call him the first regimental commander.

After being renamed the German Legion on June 2, 1814, the Legion was finally taken over into Prussian service on February 26, 1815.

1815 to 1870

When it was accepted into the Prussian Army, the association was named 30th Infantry Regiment from March 25, 1815 . It was formed from the 1st and 2nd Battalion and the associated fusilier battalion from the 7th Battalion of the German-Russian Legion.

After the conversion, Major Wilhelm von Ditfurth became the first regimental commander on March 31, 1815 . The regiment was still on the march from its previous accommodations on the right bank of the Rhine between Königswinter and Düsseldorf on its way to Diekirch . When Ditfurth was supposed to meet his regiment in Diekirch on May 9th, he wrote to his wife: “Everyone congratulates me on the regiment, it should be very nice all dressed in English mounts and 2,200 strong, also have excellent music. "On May 16, he confirmed the general good condition of the regiment and added:" It is certainly one of the most beautiful regiments in the army, but very disordered, that's why I have my hands full. The officers have come almost all new with me to the regiment, they are the majors of Sprenger, of Beaufort and Schaper. These three are very good people [. ] some of the other officers are also very good people. ”Of the former legion, there were only 400 men with the regiment, including seven company commanders , eleven first lieutenants and 32 second lieutenants . The remaining soldiers came from replacement battalions, especially from Pomerania, Märker, Magdeburg and Halberstadt. On May 21st he writes with full satisfaction: "I have several companies whom I could let join the guard on the spot as they are."

After Napoleon's return from Elba , the regiment marched with three battalions with the Prussian troops under General Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher in the 9th Infantry Brigade (III Army Corps) against France. In the battle of Ligny it was able to hold its own against several cavalry attacks and simultaneous infantry attacks in the square . The regiment lost seven fallen, eleven wounded and three captured officers as well as 489 NCOs and men. Ditfurth received the order Pour le Mérite .

After the invasion of Paris , it went on via Orléans to Angers . The regiment was the most deeply penetrated unit in France at the time. On September 21st the order to withdraw came and on October 3rd a parade was held in front of the king in Paris. Then the regiment moved via Berlin to the garrison in Danzig.

For the changing locations up to 1870 see the section Garrisons.

In 1850, the NCOs and men of the disbanded Hohenzollern light infantry battalion (battalion of the principalities of Hohenzollern, up to then 11th battalion of the reserve division of the Army of the German Confederation ) came to the regiment.

1870 and 1871

From July 18, 1870, the later infantry general Oskar von Nachtigal commanded the regiment as a lieutenant colonel. Conditions in the regiment were not easy. It was only partially housed in barracks, most of the companies were in fortifications. The accommodation rooms were all tight. The conscripts from the regiment's replacement district, from the Saar, the Moselle and from the Birkenfeldschen rushed to the regiment during mobilization. However, many had to be sent home again because the head count far exceeded the budgetary target.

The regiment was initially deployed as an occupation force for Mainz Fortress and primarily carried out reinforcement work. Mainz was the seat of the Great Headquarters, so King Wilhelm often visited the regiment's officers' mess.

After the victories at Weissenburg and Wörth , when the danger of a French invasion seemed to have been temporarily averted, the regiment was immediately set on march towards Strasbourg . Since the railway line was completely used by the 3rd Army , the waterway to Mannheim was chosen on the spot. We continued on foot in the heat towards Haguenau and on to Strasbourg. During the encirclement and siege of Strasbourg , the regiment soon acquired the reputation of being an elite troop of the Siege Corps and later the XIV Army Corps thanks to the careful leadership of Nachtigall .

After Strasbourg, the campaign of the Werder Corps followed, which was combined to form the new XIV Army Corps. Nachtigall soon commanded not only his regiment, but also a few batteries or squadrons . His troops also got the slow attack at Rambersvillers going again. The Prussian troops had reached Raon l'Etape on October 9th and from there sent the regiment's musketeer battalions along with an squadron of hussars to reconnaissance in the Mortagne-Valley to St. Benoit. The French troops, which can be traced back to Rambersvillers, were driven out of the churchyard by the 7th Company under brisk fire. The 5th and 8th Companies crossed the roadblocks at the entrances to the village after a violent firefight. In the village itself, however, the enemy offered such stubborn resistance that the attack lost momentum. But the next morning the village was completely occupied, with Major Berckefeldt being seriously wounded. The Germans lost 30 men, the French lost 60 men.

When the Prussians got past Deyvillers with their point , French troops showed up in Bruyères . The 1st Battalion, however, pushed the Franc-Shooters resisting at the edge of the forest south of the road back on Epinal . After the capture of Epinal, the German forces of the XIV Army Corps were able to reunite. During the further march towards Besançon , there was a very persistent fight on the Ognon on October 22nd at a French position near Châtillon-le-Duc . The Baden Regiments No. 3 and 4 and the Prussian Regiment No. 30 took part in this. This occupied the transition point at Bussiéres. The 2nd Battalion was sent further east to Chatillon. Here it crossed a long meadow bottom and, despite heavy fire from the enemy infantry and artillery, gradually advanced towards the Bois de Chailloz after reaching the heights. The 1st Battalion of the 30s and three companies of the 3rd Baden Regiment proceeded via Geneuille against the enemy-occupied Bois de Bauvereille. The enemy troops had to withdraw. After all crossings over the Ognon had been taken and the French had been thrown back into the area of ​​the Besançon fortress, the battle ended with a loss of 120 men. The French lost 150 men and 200 prisoners. After the battle on the Ognon, General von Werder personally visited Commander Nachtigall to thank him for the bravery of the regiment.

On November 5th, two fusilier companies dispatched by Gray against Dole , the 6th and 10th companies of the regiment, encountered considerable forces from the enemy south of Le Tremblois . After the 6th Company had thrown back the enemy, about 300 men strong, advancing from Germigney , the whole detachment drew together north of the heights of Esmoulins in order to counter the threatening attack from Apremont . This did not take place, however, the enemy withdrew again.

On January 9, 1871, Nachtigall led the regiment into the battle near Villersexel . The French threaten the right wing of the advancing 4th Reserve Division . But here the reinforced von der Goltz brigade came to the aid of the defenders of the village of Momay with their guns. The 9th Company was therefore sent to Villersexel to relieve the 4th Reserve Division. So the village could be held against the following onslaught by the infantry regiment No. 25 and a brigade from Baden, although the attackers were able to penetrate the village for a short time.

From January 15 to 17 the regiment held the position against superior and repeatedly advancing opponents at Chavanne in the three-day battle on the Lisaine .

This was followed by the extremely strenuous pursuit of the Eastern Army under Bourbaki through the high Jura to the Swiss border .

On the day the troops entered Berlin, on June 16, 1871, the King appointed General von Werder as head of the regiment .

10 Surprising Civil War Facts

1. One-third of the soldiers who fought for the Union Army were immigrants, and nearly one in 10 was African American.
The Union Army was a multicultural force𠅎ven a multinational one. We often hear about Irish soldiers (7.5 percent of the army), but the Union’s ranks included even more Germans (10 percent), who marched off in regiments such as the Steuben Volunteers. Other immigrant soldiers were French, Italian, Polish, English and Scottish. In fact, one in four regiments contained a majority of foreigners. Blacks were permitted to join the Union Army in 1863, and some scholars believe this infusion of soldiers may have turned the tide of the war.

2. Black Union soldiers refused their salaries for 18 months to protest being paid lower wages than white soldiers.
When black soldiers began signing up with the Union Army in early 1863, they were paid $10 a month. White soldiers were paid at least $13, with officers earning more. Blacks were further insulted when only they were charged a $3 monthly fee for clothing, lowering their pay to $7. As a result, the highest-paid black soldier earned about half the lowest-paid white soldier’s salary. To protest these conditions, black regiments refused to accept their inferior wages. Finally, pressure from abolitionist congressmen coupled with the courage black soldiers had shown in combat persuaded Congress to rectify the pay structure. In September 1864, black soldiers finally received equal pay that was retroactive to their enlistment date. For many, this meant they finally had enough money to send some home to their families.

3. Harriet Tubman led a raid to free slaves during the Civil War.
Harriet Tubman, the escaped slave who led others to freedom on the Underground Railroad before the war, arrived at the Union camp at Port Royal, South Carolina, in the spring of 1862 to support the Union cause. She began teaching freed slave women skills that could earn them wages with the Union Army. But soon she was gathering intelligence about the countryside from the freed slaves and taking river reconnaissance trips. On June 1, 1863, Tubman and Union Colonel James Montgomery steamed into the interior with 300 black Union soldiers. The troops swept through nearby plantations, burning homes and barns as Union gunboats sounded their whistles. Slave men, women and children came streaming from the countryside, reminding Tubman of “the children of Israel, coming out of Egypt.” More than 720 slaves were shuttled to freedom during the mission. In the first raid led by a woman during the Civil War, Tubman liberated 10 times the number of slaves she had freed in 10 years on the Underground Railroad.

4. Lincoln was shot at𠅊nd almost killed— nearly two years before he was assassinated.
Late one August evening in 1863, after an exhausting day at the White House, Lincoln rode alone by horse to the Soldiers’ Home, his family’s summer residence. A private at the gate heard a shot ring out and, moments later, the horse galloped into the compound, with a bareheaded Lincoln clinging to his steed. Lincoln explained that a gunshot had gone off at the foot of the hill, sending the horse galloping so fast it knocked his hat off. Two soldiers retrieved Lincoln’s hat, which had a bullet hole right through it. The president asked the guards to keep the incident under wraps: He didn’t want to worry his wife Mary.

5. Before William Tecumseh Sherman became a great Union general, he was demoted for apparent insanity.
In October 1861, William Tecumseh Sherman, commander of Union forces in Kentucky, told U.S. Secretary of War Simon Cameron he needed 60,000 men to defend his territory and 200,000 to go on the offensive. Cameron called Sherman’s request “insane” and removed the general from command. In a letter to his brother, a devastated Sherman wrote, “I do think I Should have committed suicide were it not for my children. I do not think that I can again be trusted with command.” But in February 1862, Sherman was reassigned to Paducah, Kentucky, under Ulysses S. Grant, who saw not insanity but competence in the disgraced general. Later in the war, when a civilian badmouthed Grant, Sherman defended his friend, saying, “General Grant is a great general. He stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk and now, sir, we stand by each other always.”

6. General Ulysses S. Grant wasn’t the bloodiest general of the war—Robert E. Lee was.
Mary Lincoln called Grant a 𠇋utcher” for the horrific losses sustained by his troops during the Overland Campaign in the spring of 1864—twice the number of casualties as Lee’s army. But if casualties are counted proportionally, Lee’s army suffered the most throughout the war. This is because Lee relished the attack, a trait that won him key battles such as Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg but cost him heavy casualties—Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg is an example𠅊nd eventually decimated the Army of Northern Virginia.

7. Both before and during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln pushed to send freed slaves abroad.
The policy, called colonization, had been supported by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay𠅊 hero of Lincoln’s𠅊nd even Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose protagonists in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” ultimately emigrate from the United States to Africa. In August 1862, Lincoln brought five black ministers to the White House and told them that slavery and the war had demonstrated that it would be �tter for us both, therefore, to be separated.” He wanted to send freed blacks to Central America, even calling for a constitutional amendment authorizing Congress to pay for colonization. But prominent abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison were appalled by the idea. Lincoln never succeeded at gathering support for the policy, and after he signed the Emancipation Proclamation he never mentioned it publicly again.

8. Robert E. Lee’s Virginia estate was confiscated by the Union and turned into a cemetery during the war.
As war descended on Virginia, Lee and his wife Mary fled their 1,100-acre Virginia estate, known as Arlington, which overlooked Washington, D.C. In 1863 the U.S. government confiscated it for nonpayment of $92.07 in taxes. Meanwhile, Lincoln gave permission for a cemetery to be built on the property, including a burial vault on the estate’s former rose garden. The idea was that, should Lee ever return, he would “have to look at these graves and see the carnage that he had created,” according to his biographer Elizabeth Brown Pryor. After the war, the Lees quietly looked into reclaiming Arlington but took no action before they died. In 1877 their oldest son, George Washington Custis Lee, sued the federal government for confiscating Arlington illegally the Supreme Court agreed and gave it back to him. But what could the Lee family do with an estate littered with corpses? George Lee sold it back to the government for $150,000. Over time, 250,000 soldiers would be buried in what is now Arlington National Cemetery.

9. Privates weren’t cannon fodder during the Civil War—generals were.
Robert E. Lee’s impulse to personally lead a counterattack during the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864 (his troops held him back) would not have surprised his men if he were a bit lower in rank. That’s because many top officers, including generals, literally led their troops into battle, a rare occurrence in modern wars. For this reason, generals were 50 percent more likely to die in combat than privates. At the Battle of Antietam alone, three generals were killed and six wounded—on each side. At the Battle of the Wilderness, Confederate General James Longstreet took a bullet to his shoulder and throat, though he would be one of the lucky few: He returned to command and outlived many generals and privates, dying in 1904, just short of his 83rd birthday.

10. More men died in the Civil War than any other American conflict, and two-thirds of the dead perished from disease.
Approximately 625,000 men died in the Civil War, more Americans than in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined. If the names of the Civil War dead were arranged like the names on the Vietnam Memorial, it would stretch over 10 times the wall’s length. Two percent of the population died, the equivalent of 6 million men today. Rifles were by far the war’s deadliest weapons, but deadlier still was disease. In 1861, as armies massed, men once protected from contagion by isolation marched shoulder to shoulder and slept side by side in unventilated tents. Camps became breeding grounds for childhood diseases such as mumps, chicken pox and measles. One million Union soldiers contracted malaria, and epidemics were common.

Culture and Sights [ edit | edit source ]

Museums [ edit | edit source ]

  • Bismarck museum in the upper saltworks
  • Permanent exhibition: Jewish life in the former Jewish school
  • Cardinal Döpfner museum in Hausen

Music [ edit | edit source ]

The classical music festival 'Kissinger Sommer' with participation by internationally recognised orchestras and soloists is a highlight of the cultural calendar. A similar event called the ‘Kissinger Winterzauber’ takes place each winter. Other annual events include the ‘Rakoczy Fest’ in the last weekend of July, which is held to honour all historical figures whose lives were connected with Bad Kissingen. The high point is the procession on the Sunday afternoon. Historical figures are represented by citizens of the town for the entire weekend, and take part in town life.

Architecture [ edit | edit source ]

One of the most important buildings in the town is the old town hall, a renaissance design from 1577. Between 1838 and 1913, the arcade was built around the spa garden by Friedrich von Gärtner, as well as the pump rooms, following a design by Max Littmann. The Regency building was constructed by Balthasar Neumann. Max Littmann also designed the Art Nouveau spa theatre, completed in 1905. The oft-forgotten train station building, with its classical neo-renaissance façade, was built in 1874 under supervision by Friedrich Bürklein. The ruins of castle Bodenlaube from 1180 looks over the town from above Reiterswiesen. The KissSalis Therme, opened in 2004, gives the town a modern feel. It is one of the largest wellness baths in Europe, and the largest building project in the town since the Second World War.

Another point of interest is the casino in the spa park.

Other architectural sites in Bad Kissingen include:


The town was first documented in the year 801 as “chizzicha” and was renowned above all for its medicinal springs, which are recorded from as early as 823. Kissingen was first mentioned as a name in 1279. The town established itself as a spa in the 1500s and recorded its first official spa guest in 1520. Kissingen grew to be a chic resort in the 19th century, and was rebuilt as such during the reign of Ludwig I of Bavaria. Crowned heads of state such as Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Tsar Alexander II of Russia and King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who bestowed the 'Bad' on Kissingen in 1883, were among the guests to the spa at this time.

On 10 July 1866 in Mainfeldzug, Kissingen was the site of fierce battle between Bavarian and Prussian troops. [2]

Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck visited Kissingen's spas many times, and in 1874 narrowly avoided assassination by Eduard Franz Ludwig Kullmann there. Bismarck’s former home in Kissingen is now the Bismarck Museum. Other well-known visitors to the resort included author Leo Tolstoy and artist Adolph von Menzel.

The resort’s clientele changed in the 20th century, with more ordinary citizens visiting than noblemen and women. The spa suffered a one-year interruption in 1945, the only closure in its history. After that, the Department of Social Security built clinics in the town, but a change in health legislation in the 1990s reduced the opportunities for German health insurance contracts to fund spa visits, which led to job losses. As a result, efforts were made to attract a new kind of clientele, helped in no small part by the EMNID survey which named Bad Kissingen Germany’s most well-known spa town.

In 2003, 1.5 million people stayed in the town. With the opening of the KissSalis Therme in February 2004, Bad Kissingen gained a spa leisure centre, and in December 2004, the German-Chinese Football Academy was opened in the town, where the Chinese "08 Star Team" lived and trained in preparation for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.

Shortly prior to World War II Manteuffel Kaserne (Manteuffel Barracks) was established at the eastern edge of the Bad Kissingen town center by the German military as part of Hitler's program to expand the German "Wehrmacht" (Army). In 1945, the American military entered the town peacefully, and took over the Kaserne, which was renamed Daley Barracks in 1953.

March 7 - Battle of the Salt River. This engagement is one of the last battles of the Apache Wars. A detachment from the 10th took part in an expedition against the remaining Apache Indians. The battle is fought in area north of Globe, Arizona. Sergeant William McBryar is awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in pursuit of Apache warriors after the battle.

Regiment transfers to the Department of Dakota. After serving twenty years at various posts in the Southwest, the 10th Cavalry was transferred to the Department of Dakota. Under the command of Col. John Mizner the regiment serves at vrious posts in Montana and the Dakotas.

World War I General John "Black Jack" Pershing, commands a company from Fort Assinniboine in north central Montanas as a young lieutenant. His nickname came from his time with the unit. During that time he led an expedition to the south and southwest to round up and deport a large number of Cree Indians to Canada.

By 1898 the Indian Wars are over and the 10th Cavalry has earned a distinguished record during this period. Thirteen enlisted men and six officers from all four of the Buffalo Soldier regiments (infantry as well as cavalry) will be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Battles of 1866: Blood & Iron Bavaria at War, Part Two by Mike Bennighof, Ph.D. May 2020

In the meantime, the Hannoverians defeated the Prussians at Langensalza on the 27th. Two days later, short of ammunition, the Hannoverians surrendered. On the same day Karl ordered his troops forward into enemy territory, promising all enlisted men and non-commissioned officers double pay for the 29th and 30th. Word of the Hannoverian capitulation arrived on the 30th, and the Bavarians halted again and turned to the west to unite with the VIII Federal Corps and to cover Bavarian territory against Prussian forces thought to be advancing from the Rhine Provinces.

On the morning of 4 July the Bavarian 3rd and 4th Infantry Divisions clashed with August von Goeben&rsquos Prussian 13th Infantry Division. The fighting proved inconclusive, with several hundred casualties on each side. When word arrived of the massive defeat suffered by the Austrians at Königgrätz on the 3rd, Prince Karl again ordered a retreat to Bavarian territory, and called off the junction with the VIII Federal Corps. He ordered Prince Alexander to instead meet the Bavarians at Kissingen in northern Bavaria.

While the infantry fought, the Bavarian Cavalry Corps pressed onward regardless of Prince Karl&rsquos orders. Its commander, the elderly and breathtakingly incompetent Prince Karl Theodor zu Thurn und Taxis, insisted on finding and fighting the enemy. They did, fighting a brief skirmish with Prussian infantry before retreating. Thurn und Taxis pressed his troopers to resume the advance, until a Württemberg liaison officer brought orders from Prince Karl to fall back and join the infantry. The cavalry turned southward on the evening of the 4th, and as darkness fell the 2nd Light Cavalry Brigade entered the town of Gersfeld.

Unterleutnant Theodor Clarman von Clarenau of the 15th Bavarian Infantry Regiment. Killed in action at Zella, 4 July 1866.

Exactly what happened next is unclear, but apparently several poachers mistook the cavalry for game wardens seeking their arrest and fired shots at them. No one was hit, but panic ensued with terrified cavalrymen riding away claiming that Prussian snipers had occupied the town. The brigade scattered, taking the 1st Light Cavalry Brigade with them in their wild flight. Horsemen ended up in Schweinfurt, 40 miles away, where some of them boarded trains and fled deeper into Bavaria, spreading panic as they went.

That put the Cavalry Corps out of action for several days, while the news got progressively worse for the Bavarian cause without the Prussians having to make much of an effort. Receiving news of Königgrätz and subsequent Austrian efforts to reach an armistice with the Prussians, Prince Alexander ignored Karl&rsquos order to join the Bavarian force. He instead fell back to cover Frankfurt am Main, the Confederation&rsquos capital, and also protect the routes leading into Baden and Württemberg. Prince Karl&rsquos planned concentration would have been difficult to achieve in any case, as his orders forced the South Germans to march twice the distance of the Bavarians in the same length of time. Learning of Alexander&rsquos disobedience on the morning of 7 July &ndash his 71st birthday &ndash Karl repeated the order, hoping the South Germans would march, and arrayed his army along the Saale River in northern Bavaria to meet the Prussians. They completed their deployment by the next day.

The Bavarian staff feared that the division of the two German corps would allow the Prussian Army of the Main to fall on one of the two Allied forces separately and inflict a major defeat. They need not have worried the Prussian commander, 69-year-old Eduard Vogel von Falckenstein, may have been even less fit for his position than either of the German commanders. Vogel felt stressed by the combat of the previous days and ordered his entire army to rest, allowing his enemies to march away unimpeded. Bypassing the chain of command &ndash including the king &ndash Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck told Vogel to attack the Bavarians.

Battle finally came on 10 July, with the Prussians attacking Oskar von Zoller&rsquos 3rd Bavarian Infantry Division at Kissingen and the reconstituted Cavalry Corps at Hammelburg. Prince Karl and von der Tann had placed two of the other three Bavarian divisions too far away to offer support, and mingled infantry and cavalry brigades, causing command confusion. Despite an overall numerical inferiority, Goeben and fellow division commander Edwin von Manteuffel brought greater numbers to each battlefield. The Bavarians fought surprisingly hard, given their exhaustion after weeks of pointless marches and counter-marches, and Zoller himself was killed by an artillery round while rallying his men for a counter-attack. Von der Tann was wounded as well. The Prussians finally broke the Bavarian positions with a massed bayonet attack, suffering grievous losses in the process. &ldquoGod damn those Bavarians,&rdquo one survivor wrote later. &ldquoThey shredded us.&rdquo

The one Bavarian division close enough to render aid, the 4th, was paralyzed by contradictory orders and the sluggishness of its 71-year-old commander, Jakob Ritter von Hartmann, who ignored a direct written order from Prince Karl to &ldquohasten immediately with all available troops to the battlefield.&rdquo

Bavarian infantry on the attack. Rossdorf, 4 July 1866.

Enraged by Bismarck&rsquos interference and Vogel&rsquos rank incompetence, King Wilhelm fired Vogel despite the victory and gave his job to Manteuffel, who had spearheaded a staff revolt against Vogel&rsquos blundering during the 1864 war with Denmark. The new commander injected new energy into the Prussians, who turned around to the west and administered a defeat to the South Germans at Lauffach and fought a bloody drawn street battle in Aschaffenberg against Erwin von Neipperg&rsquos Austrian brigade. Believing the Prussians would follow up their victories over his troops, Prince Karl ordered a retreat to Schweinfurt, separating his corps still further from that of Prince Alexander. Frankfurt fell on the 18th, the same day the Bavarians finally turned back to seek the Prussians.

By the 24th, the separate German corps had finally united near Würzburg and Prince Karl hoped to launch a counter-offensive. But the divisions took overly long to assume their positions, with the South Germans suffering a heavy defeat at Tauberbischofsheim. Neipperg&rsquos division, composed of one brigade each from Austria and Nassau, left its positions when word arrived of the 22 July Austro-Prussian armistice, leaving the Bavarian left flank hanging open. The Baden Division&rsquos commander, Prince Wilhelm, simply refused to send reinforcements to either the Württembergers fighting to his left or the Bavarians on his right. The Bavarians fought several sharp actions on the 25th and 26th, losing over 900 killed in action before they succeeded in breaking contact, with von der Tann personally commanding the rearguard.

The Bavarian government reached a cease-fire with the Prussians on the 27th, to be followed by an armistice. The Prussians continued to advance anyway, occupying Würzburg and Nürnberg during the interval before the armistice took hold on 2 August. Bavaria signed a peace treaty on the 22nd and de-mobilized her army a week later. Bavaria&rsquos campaign, such as it was, had ended.

Bavarian leaders had hoped to forge a &ldquothird way&rdquo for Germany, one in which the Confederation&rsquos members all had a voice and need not choose between Austria and Prussia. But in the 1860&rsquos, influence depended on military power, and Bavaria had allowed hers to badly deteriorate. Her paper strength alone should have allowed her to field about twice as many brigades as the actual order of battle, with all of them at full rather than partial strength.

The troops actually fought well, though they turned in lackadaisical march rates and more than once protested at missing their daily beer ration, an amenity guaranteed in the kingdom&rsquos constitution. The Bavarian infantry proved in the 1870 war with France that the army&rsquos problems did not originate in the rank and file. They suffered under atrocious leadership in 1866 only one of the division commanders (Zoller) performed creditably. Not coincidentally, at 57 he was a decade or more younger than most of the other Bavarian generals in the field.

Their deployment in Bohemia might have led to even greater battlefield disasters. Prince Karl had been unfit for command for over 50 years at the time of the Austro-Prussian War, and von der Tann showed little ability to contain his chief&rsquos unfortunate ideas. Bavarian performance against the French four years later proved that the army had the ability to fight a modern war, given a purge of its geriatric leadership and enforcement of training and conscription standards already in place.

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Mike Bennighof is president of Avalanche Press and holds a doctorate in history from Emory University. A Fulbright Scholar and NASA Journalist in Space finalist, he has published over 100 books, games and articles on historical subjects. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, three children and his dog, Leopold.

Nathan Bedford Forrest: Early Life

Nathan Bedford Forrest was born in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, on July 13, 1821. He grew up poor and received almost no formal education before going into business with his uncle Jonathan Forrest in Hernando, Mississippi. In 1845 his uncle was killed in a street fight started over a business dispute, and Forrest responded by killing two of the murderers using a pistol and bowie knife. Forrest married Mary Ann Montgomery, a member of a prominent Tennessee family, that same year. The couple would later have two children.

Did you know? Known as the “Wizard of the Saddle” for his ingenious use of cavalry forces during the Civil War, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest rose from the rank of private to lieutenant general despite having no previous military training.

Forrest eventually found success as a planter and owner of a stagecoach company. In 1852 he moved his young family to Memphis, Tennessee, where he amassed a small fortune working as a slave trader. His business continued to grow throughout the 1850s, and in 1858 he was elected a Memphis alderman. By 1860 Forrest owned two cotton plantations and had established himself among the wealthiest men in Tennessee.

25th Infantry Regiment (1866-1947)

When the U.S. Army was reorganized on July 28, 1866 for peacetime service after the American Civil War, six regiments were set aside for black enlisted men. These included four infantry regiments, numbered 38th through 41st. The 25th Infantry was created during a reduction in March 1869 by merging the 39th and 40th. The consolidation took place at New Orleans, Louisiana, and the regiment was sent to Texas. Colonel Joseph A. Mower was its first commander. Colonel John Andrews, the longest serving commander, presided over the unit from January 1871 until his retirement on July 4, 1892.

The regiment stayed in Texas until 1880. Then it moved to the northern plains, and served in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Montana until the late 1890s. At the beginning of the 1890s it became involved in the Pine Ridge campaign. Later in the decade it served in labor disputes that pitted owners against the Western Federation of Miners, notably the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Mining War of 1892. The regiment also protected railroad property during the strike of 1894. Its units were dispersed at several posts, until 1897, when all the companies of the regiment were assigned together for the first time, at Fort Douglas, outside Salt Lake City, Utah.

In 1896-1897, Company B of the regiment took part in a War Department test of the bicycle as a means of mobility for troops. Lieutenant James A. Moss commanded the “Bicycle Corps,” whose test culminated with a summer-long ride from Fort Missoula, Montana, to St. Louis, Missouri, a distance of 1,900 miles.

Like the other black regiments, the 25th went to Cuba in 1898. The regiment fought at El Caney, just north of San Juan Hill, on July 1, losing ten enlisted men and two officers. One of its men, Corporal Thomas Butler, was credited by eyewitnesses with capturing the Spanish flag at the blockhouse. Soon afterward the unit sailed to the Philippines and served there from 1899 to 1902, and again from 1907 to 1909.

While at Fort Brown, Texas, in the summer of 1906, men of the first battalion were accused of firing on Brownsville civilians and killing a bartender. President Theodore Roosevelt attributed the failure to prove soldier culpability for the attack to a conspiracy of silence and dismissed without honor all 167 men in the battalion. Fourteen were later allowed to reenlist. First Sergeant Mingo Sanders, a combat veteran of Cuba and the Philippines with twenty-five years of service, was the senior man among those discharged and became the symbol of the injustice committed by the President.

During World War I, the regiment became part of the 93rd Infantry Division, and elements fought with French troops in the Champagne, Verdun, Aise, and Anould sectors of the Front. The regiment was demobilized in March 1919, and only reactivated, at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in March 1942. It was sent to the Pacific theater, where most of its troops had logistical and administrative assignments. Some portions of the regiment saw combat at Bouganville Island, before returning to the United States in January 1945. The regiment was inactivated at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1947.

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