04 May 2010 by Published in: Research and Writing 4 comments

Thanks to help from several of you, and especially from fellow Buckeye Chris Van Blargan, the mystery of Paul von Koenig and of his brother, Lt. Gen. Goetz Friedrich Wilhelm Ulrich, Freiherr von Koenig, has been solved. Lt. Gen. von Koenig was a cavalry officer–he commanded a German cavalry corps during World War I, and was awarded the Blue Max in 1915, which was Imperial Germany’s highest military decoration.

Paul von Koenig was apparently something of a soldier of fortune who was wounded in combat five times while fighting in Mexico before the Civil War. He and his brother Robert von Koenig both fought during the Second Bull Run Campaign, and Paul von Keonig became good friends with future president James Garfield in New York City during the fall of 1862. I also have von Koenig’s service records coming from the National Archives.

I will now be able to give this brace and capable officer the sort of detail and tribute that he deserves when I start writing my work on the Battle of White Sulphur Springs in a few weeks. I am extremely pleased about that, and grateful to all of you who helped me to unravel this particular mystery. Thank you for your help. I am in your collective debt.

Scridb filter


  1. Tom Thompson
    Tue 04th May 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I noticed this message at the bottom of the page, and wondered what it means???

    “This blog is protected by Dave’s Spam Karma 2: 67758 Spams eaten and counting…
    Bad Behavior has blocked 764 access attempts in the last 7 days.”

    I tried to access three or four times yesterday, and kept getting an error message. Does your spam karma claim credit for keeping me out from just reading? Or is something else happening that I don’t understand?


  2. Wed 05th May 2010 at 7:56 am


    No, that was an outage by our about-to-be former webhosting company. As soon as the database can be transferred, the site will be moved to a different hosting company.


  3. Thu 06th May 2010 at 11:08 am


    Good work…love it when you can dig out those little nuggets of history, and also to remember one who fell in defense on the Union !!!


  4. Sat 08th May 2010 at 5:42 pm


    I have James Garfield’s published letteers, and he mentions the Von Koenig’s, and describes them in some detail.

    “The older brother is a perfect, jolly devil-may-care sort of fellow who broke away from home when he was fourteen and became a sailor, and in a few years a lieutenant in the British Navy. When in South America he took part in the late war there, and was five times wounded, and on the breaking out of the Rebellion, when his younger brother [Robert] came over went in with him…The chief reason that they went in on our side was that they hate Negro Slavery.”

    Paul was serving on Carl Schurz’s staff in the fall of 1862, and Garfield met them during several days of visiting with Shurz and Sigel. Paul asked to be on Garfield’s Staff when Garfield went west, but instead ended up on Averell’s Staff – that’s how he got to White Sulfer Springs.

    Sounds like you might need the pertinent pages out of Garfield’s letters.


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