Krzyzanowski was born on 8 July 1824 (or 9 June 1824) in the town
of Ronowo, Wielkopolska, Poland to noble parents, Krzyzanowski was involved
in the Mieroslawski Insurrection in Poznan, and, when the Insurrection
failed was forced to flee. Making his way overland, he embarked at Hamburg
for the United States, sailing to New York. In New York, Krzyzanowski learned
English, and became a civil engineer, eventually working in the forests
When the War came in 1861, Krzyzanowski, then living in Washington, DC, where he was a functionary in the Republican Party, raised a militia company, Company B, Turner's Rifles, District of Columbia Militia, of which he was Captain. When this unit's term of service ended, Krzyzanowski went to New York to raise a larger unit. This unit, originally known as Morgan's Rifles, became the 58th New York Infantry, also known as the "Polish Legion." Subsequently commanded Second Brigade Third Division First Corps AoV, then Second Brigade Third Division Eleventh Corps.
Arriving on the field at Gettysburg at about 12:30 on 1 July 1863, the Brigade pushed through the town and joined the Union right, north of the town, parallel with the Almshouse near the Carlisle Road. Engaged first with Dole's Brigade, the Brigade was initially successful in holding the Confederate attack in check. Col. Krzyzanowski's horse was killed under him, and in falling Krzyzanowski was thrown on his chest and injured severely enough for Schurz to recommend that he quit the field and seek medical attention. Krzyzanowski kept the field. His brigade was forced back into the town, where it temporarily supported a section of Dilger's battery. Finally the unit reached the Cemetery at about five P. M. Krzyzanowski, with Schimmelfennig (the commander missing) assumed command of the division. Losses had been severe, every regimental commander in Krzyzanowski's Brigade was a casualty.
On 2 July 1863, part of the Brigade under Krzyzanowski participated in the counterattack against the Confederate infantry that penetrated Cemetery Hill. On 3 July 1863, the Brigade skirmished into Gettysburg.
After Gettysburg, the Eleventh Corps was sent west, Krzyzanowski commanding his Brigade in the Army of the Cumberland, around Chattanooga. Participating in the Battle of Wauhatchee, where the division (under Schurz) became involved in a controversy with Hooker, that led to a Court of Inquiry. While clearing Schurz and Hecker (the only two accused) the Court found that Krzyzanowski, though not previously accused was guilty of halting without orders. Krzyzanowski served out the war commanding the defenses of the Nashville and Chattanooga R. R. Postwar he served in Treasury Dept. and the customs service in Panama and New York. Breveted Brigadier General USV 2 March 1865, an earlier appointment (29 November 1862) expired without confirmation. General Krzyzanowski is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
"General Krzyzanowski, whose patriotism we commemorate today, is another link to bind us to the people from which he came in the full tide of youthful promise when shadows lay over the land which gave him birth. It is high privilege to bear witness to the debt which this country owes to men of Polish blood. . . .
These are the thought and reflections that come to mind today as we consign to Arlington National Cemetery the honored dust of a son of Poland who faithfully served the country of his adoption. General Krzyzanowski was the embodiment of the Polish ideal of liberty. . . ." from an address by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1937
Source: by John Dynia
(Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)
For Liberty and Justice, The Life and Times
of Wladimir Krzyzanowski, by Jim Pula