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August Kautz
January 5, 1828(1828-01-05) ‚Äď September 4, 1895 (aged 67)
August Kautz - Brady-Handy.jpg
August Kautz
Place of birth Ispringen, Baden, Germany
Place of death Seattle, Washington
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1852-1892
Rank Major General
Unit 6th U.S. Cavalry
Battles/wars Mexican-American War
American Civil War

August Valentine Kautz (January 5, 1828 ‚Äď 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 conflicts with Indians along the Snake River in 1855. 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."

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. 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


  1. ^ August Valentin Kautz was born in Ispringen;
  • 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 √Ėfele, General August V. Kautz, Erinnerungen an den B√ľrgerkrieg, Verlag f√ľr Amerikanistik, ISBN 3-89510-049-8 (Germany)
  • Donald E. Worcester: The Apaches - ‚ÄöEagles of the Southwest‚Äė, 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)
  • August Kautz at Find a Grave Retrieved on 2008-02-09

External links



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