In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

SANFORD AND GARIBALDI R. J. Amundson As the soldiers of General Irvin McDowell flocked into Washington following the battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861, wild rumors and panic spread through the capital. In die public's estimate, Washington was in danger and without adequate means of protection. McDowell and his troops had shown this by their less than orderly retreat from the field. The reaction of the Congress was swift and dramatic. Overnight it altered its vision of a three months' war when it issued a call for 500,000 volunteers to serve for three years In the executive branch there was also a degree of panic. The search for a general took on dramatic significance and was given a peculiar twist by Secretary of State Wilham Henry Seward. Seward, with President Lincoln's approval, attempted to induce the Italian, Giuseppe Garibaldi, to accept a major generalcy in the United States Army. Secretary Seward set in motion the attempt on July 27, 1861, when he wrote to Henry S. Sanford, the American minister to Belgium, as follows: I expect you to put yourself at once in relations with the celebrated warrior for liberty. Tell him this government believes diat his services in die present struggle of the American people would be extremely useful, and more, they are warmly desired and requested. Tell him this government hopes he will accept diis invitation, if possible, as it is certain mat the failure of the American Union, if such a thing is possible, would be a disaster for the cause of human liberty, equally in Europe as in the whole world. . . . Tell him we have abundant means of men and money, and that we form an entire Nation resolute to remain free and United. . . -1 This letter, written without adequate consideration of the consequences , touched off negotiations between Sanford and Garibaldi which very nearly gave the Italian general command of the army defending the city of Washington. Very little good could have come from Garibaldi's leadership and it was, therefore, fortunate for the cause of the Union diat he declined die offer. The idea to utilize the services of Garibaldi originated with Mr. !Seward to Sanford, July 27, 1861, U.S. Dept. of State Diplomatic Instructions , 1801-1906, Belgium, vol. 1 (Apr. 14, 1832-Dec. 23, 1870), National Archives , Washington, D.C. 40 Quiggle, President Buchanan's consul at Antwerp.2 Henry S. Sanford, Quiggle's immediate superior and Seward's troubleshooter in Europe, was the logical person to conduct the negotiations.3 Sanford received Seward's communication on August 13 and responded immediately . He informed George P. Marsh, rninister to Italy, that "You are expected to act concurrendy with me." Specifically, Marsh was to determine for Sanford the political climate in Italy and be able to brief him when he arrived in Turin. "[Q]uiedy procure me any necessary or useful information," he asked, "or means to enable me to best carry out the wishes of die Gov't."4 The following day Sanford wrote Seward, "I shall see Mr. Quiggle today & propose leaving tomorrow or the day following" for Italy. He hoped "to be able to report to you the result within ten days."5 Sanford left Brussels on the sixteendi and upon his arrival in Turin on the twentieth, discovered that Marsh had uncovered some valuable information. Marsh told him that from Quiggle's letters Garibaldi had obtained the impression that command of all the armies of the United States were involved in the offer. Also, Marsh said, a change in the advisors around King Victor Emmanuel was imnĂșnent and that die change would be to die detriment of Garibaldi. The Italian monarch was concerned with die so-called Roman Question and proposed a setdement contrary to the suggestions of Garibaldi, hence the need to ease Garibaldi out of his position as an advisor. In addition, and as important, Garibaldi had already addressed a letter to the King on die subject of die American offer. Marsh further learned that General Cialdini desired the help of Garibaldi to "take part again in operations at Naples. . . ." The King and Cialdini were either going to see Garibaldi personally or...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 40-45
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.