Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Krzyżanowski was born in Poland on July 8 in Rożnowo , 1824. His father and both uncles fought for Polish independence under the banners of Napoleon, his brother fought in the November Uprising in 1830. He was a first cousin to Fryderyk Chopin. He took part in the 1848 Polish Uprising against Prussia and fled Poland to avoid arrest. He went to Hamburg, Germany and sailed from there to the United States.
He worked as an engineer and surveyor in Virginia and was instrumental in pushing America's railroads westward. In Washington, D.C., he enlisted as a private two days after President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers. He recruited a company of Polish immigrants which became one of the first companies of Union Soldiers. Krzyżanowski then moved his company to New York and enlisted more immigrants and soon became a Colonel of the 58th Infantry Division , listed in the official Army Register as the "Polish Legion."
After the war, he served as the first American administrator of Alaska. He died on January 31, 1887. On October 13, 1937, the 50th anniversary of his death, his remains were transferred with military honors from Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York to Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. President Franklin D. Roosevelt broadcast his tribute to the nation via radio, and Poland's President, Ignacy Mościcki, transmitted his esteem from Warsaw.
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