Sándor (Alexander) Asbóth was an engineer and one of the Hungarian heroes of the American Civil War.
According to Roadster, Mr Asbóth was born in 1811 in Keszthely, Hungary. When he was 8, his family moved to Zombor (now Sombor in Serbia). He wanted to follow in the footsteps of his brother, Lajos, in becoming a soldier, but his parents decided he should be an engineer. Therefore, he studied at the Mining Academy of Selmecbánya and the Institutum Geometricum in Pest.
Afterwards, he worked on the construction of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge as a civilian engineer, and later, he had some part in the river regulation of the Lower-Danube. In 1848, he joined the freedom fighters and was promoted to captain in December and major in the spring of 1849. He became an adjutant of Lajos Kossuth and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. After the defeat of the revolution, he fled to the Ottoman Empire with Lajos Kossuth and
then to the United States in 1851.
He buried the Holy Crown of Hungary near Orsova to prevent its seizure by the Austrian and Russian forces.
He remained there, worked as chief engineer on the Syracuse canal, located ore mines in the Rocky Mountains, and built one of the biggest aluminium furnaces of the United States. He became the chief architect of New York after winning a tender. He made many plans for developing the city, and he was a member of the team designing the Central Park of New York. Furthermore,
he was the first to use bitumen to cover pavements in New York.
In July 1861, he served as chief of staff for General John C. Frémont. He served as a brigadier general and commanded the 4th Division in Frémont’s western campaign. Later, he led a division under Samuel Curtis, and during the Arkansas campaign, he occupied Bentonville and Fayetteville. He participated in the Battle of Pea Ridge, leading troops at the Little Sugar Creek position. His right arm was fractured by a musket ball while bringing reinforcements to support Colonel Eugene A. Carr. During the Siege of Corinth, Asboth commanded a brigade in the Army of the Mississippi.
Later, he commanded garrisons in Kentucky and Ohio. In August 1863, Asboth was assigned to the District of West Florida, and he was badly wounded in the Battle of Marianna on September 27, 1864. His left cheekbone was broken, and his left arm was fractured in two places.
On January 13, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Asboth for the award of the brevet grade of major general
to rank from March 13, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the award on March 12, 1866.
In the same year, he was appointed US ambassador to Argentina and Uruguay and died in Buenos Aires in 1868, probably because of the wounds he received in Florida. He was buried there, and his body was transferred to the Arlington National Cemetery according to his will only in 1990.