Major General Peter J. Osterhaus
- Pre-War Life
- Born in Coblenz, Prussia on January 4, 1823
- Attended military academy in Berlin
- Served as volunteer in 29th Infantry Regiment in Prussia
- Participated in 1848 revolutions.
- Came to the US in 1849, and settled first in Belleville, Illinois. Later moved to Lenanon, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri.
- In St. Louis, worked as a bookkeeper.
- Civil War Service
- April 1861, enlisted as a private in the 2nd Missouri regiment, but was soon promoted to major
- Fought at Wilson's Creek
- Became colonel of the 12th Missouri which he helped organize in December, 1861
- Promoted to brigade commander, and later division commander
- Led division at Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas. Promoted to brigadier general in June of 1862 because of his actions in this battle.
- Commanded division of 13th Corps at siege of Arkansas Post.
- Was wounded at Big Black River.
- Penetrated the outer works of Vicksburg with his division on May 22, 1863.
- Was often down with malaria and yellow fever.
- At Chattanooga, became the hero of Missionary Ridge when his troops stormed the crest in the "battle above the clouds"
- Promoted to major general on July 23, 1864
- Broke through at Marietta during the battle of Kenesaw Mountain
- Participated in Jonesboro, Peachtree Creek and battles around Atlanta.
- September 1863- Placed in command of the 15th Corps
- Led corps through Georgia. Led assault on Fort McAllister
- Was in a total of 34 battles
- Post War Life
- Served as military governor of Mississippi
- Served as consul at Lyons, France for 11 years.
- Worked in the wholesale hardware business in St. Louis.
- Returned to Germany to be consulate at Mannheim.
- Died January 2, 1917, and was buried in Duisburg, Germany.
The name "The American Bayard" was a reference to the "fearless and blameless" knight of French legend, and was given to Osterhaus by Emil Mannhart.
Lonn, Ella. Foreigners in the Union Army and Navy (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1951)
Warner, Ezra. Generals in Blue: Lives of Union Commanders (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964)