In the mid-19th century two struggles to define freedom overlapped: the Kingdom of Italy emerged from forty-nine years of war, and America erupted into Civil War. During the Italian Wars, thousands of soldiers: Italian, Ameri¬can, French, British, German, Hungar¬ian, Polish, and others, received a unique schooling from the intrepid General Giuseppe Garibaldi. His train¬ing was of a type West Point could never have provided. Those men car¬ried lessons with them during the American War onto the battlefields of Bull Run, the Wilderness, Gettysburg, through to Appomattox. The Garibaldi Guard, named after the illustrious gen¬eral, was a unique meld of those for¬eign nationals who participated in the European revolutions and the struggle to save the Union.
This was a polyglot regiment of exiled political idealist veterans of Europe's armies and navies, anar¬chists, adventurers, and even a few crooks; they came from fifty-two Eu¬ropean principalities and fourteen American States and served under the leadership of a charlatan. The book covers the careers of some of the of¬ficers and men in the post-Civil War years. In addition, a list of all the men (over 2,000) and a brief synopsis of their time serving in the regiment is provided.