Portrait of August Kautz

From June 22 to July 1, 1864, August Kautz led his division of the Army of the James on a foray into Eastern Virginia, known as the Wilson-Kautz Raid. [Wikimedia Commons]

August Valentine Kautz Facts

January 5, 1828 - September 4, 1895


Full Name:

  • August Valentine Kautz

Birth Date:

  • January 5, 1828

Birth Location:

  • Ispringen, Baden, Germany


  • Johann Georg and Dorthea Elisabetha (Lowing) Kautz


  • United States Military Academy (1852)


  • Military officer

Career Summary:

  • Colonel (USA)
  • Brigadier General (USVA)
  • Brevet Major General (USA)


  • Charlotte Tod (1865)


  • Dutch

Place of Death:

  • Seattle, Washington

Date of Death:

  • September 4, 1895

Place of Burial:

  • Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia


  • August Kautz was the first of seven children of Johann Georg and Dorthea Elisabetha (Lowing) Kautz.
  • August Kautz’s family immigrated to the United States in August 1828.
  • August Kautz’s family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1830.
  • August Kautz’s family moved to Georgetown, Ohio in 1832.
  • August Kautz attended the same subscription school that future U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant attended.
  • August Kautz enlisted for one year as a private in the 1st Infantry Regiment of Ohio Volunteers when the Mexican-American War began in 1846.
  • August Kautz served with Zachary Taylor’s army at the Battle of Monterey (July 7, 1846).
  • August Kautz entered the United States Military Academy on July 1, 1848, and graduated four years later on July 1, 1852, placing thirty-fifth in his class of forty-three cadets.
  • Following his graduation from West Point, August Kautz was brevetted as a second lieutenant, assigned to 4th Infantry Regiment, and garrisoned at Fort Columbus, New York.
  • August Kautz campaigned against American Indians in the West from 1851 to 1859.
  • August Kautz was advanced to the full rank of second lieutenant on March 24, 1853.
  • August Kautz was wounded on October 25, 1855, while serving on a scouting party in the Rouge River Valley in Oregon.
  • August Kautz was promoted to first lieutenant on December 4, 1855.
  • August Kautz was wounded on March 1, 1856 during an engagement against American Indians at White River, Washington.
  • August Kautz was sent to New York on recruiting duty for his regiment at the outbreak of the Civil War.
  • August Kautz was promoted to captain in the newly-created 6th United States Cavalry Regiment on May 14, 1861, and assigned to the defenses of Washington, D.C.
  • August Kautz served with the Army of the Potomac during Major General George B. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign (March 17–August 14, 1862).
  • August Kautz was promoted to colonel and transferred to the Western Theater with the 2nd Ohio Cavalry on September 10, 1862.
  • August Kautz served as commander of Camp Chase, a Union prison and training facility in Columbus, Ohio, from December 25, 1862 to April 1863.
  • August Kautz was brevetted to major general, effective June 9, 1863, for his “Gallant and Meritorious Services in Action at Monticello” on May 1, 1863.
  • August Kautz commanded a cavalry brigade that participated in the pursuit of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s Raiders through Southern Ohio.
  • August Kautz and his brigade played a major role in the Battle of Buffington Island, near Portland, Ohio, on July 19, 1863.
  • August Kautz was named Chief of Cavalry of 23d Army Corps, in August 1863, serving on Brigadier General Mahlon D. Manson’s headquarters staff.
  • August Kautz participated in the Knoxville Campaign, and Confederate General James Longstreet’s unsuccessful Siege of Knoxville.
  • August Kautz was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on April 16, 1864, and assigned to Major General Benjamin Butler’s Army of the James.
  • On April 20, 1864, Major General Benjamin Butler assigned August Kautz to command the Cavalry Division of the Army of the James.
  • August Kautz was brevetted to lieutenant colonel in the regular army, effective June 9, 1864, for “for Gallant and Meritorious Services in an Attack on Petersburg.”
  • From June 22 to July 1, 1864, August Kautz led his division on a foray into Eastern Virginia, known as the Wilson-Kautz Raid.
  • August Kautz was brevetted to the rank of colonel in the regular army On October 7, 1864.
  • August Kautz was brevetted to major general in the volunteer army on February 14, 1865, effective October 28, 1864, for “Gallant and Meritorious Services during the Campaign against Richmond.”
  • August Kautz commanded the 1st Division, 25th Army Corps, from March until May 1865, during the occupation of Richmond.
  • August Kautz was brevetted to brigadier general and major general in the regular army on March 13, 1865, for “Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Field during the Rebellion.”
  • August Kautz served as one of nine members of the Military Commission that tried the accused conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.
  • August Kautz married Charlotte Tod, daughter of former Ohio governor David Tod, on September 14, 1865. Mrs. Kautz died three years later.
  • August Kautz was mustered out of the volunteer army on January 15, 1866. He remained in the regular army as a lieutenant colonel with 34th U.S. Infantry.
  • August Kautz was transferred to 15th U.S. Infantry on March 15, 1869, and sent to New Mexico where he campaigned against the Apache Indians.
  • August Kautz married Fannie Markbreit, of Cincinnati, in 1872,. Their marriage produced two children.
  • August Kautz was promoted to colonel on July 8, 1874 and given command of the 8th U.S. Infantry.
  • August Kautz was placed in command of the Department of Arizona on March 22, 1875.
  • August Kautz was brought before a court-martial, on May 1, 1878, for publicly criticizing William McKee Dunn, judge advocate general of the U.S. Army. On June 4, he was acquitted of the charges.
  • August Kautz was promoted to the rank of brigadier general on April 20, 1891.
  • August Kautz commanded the Department of the Columbia from July 25, 1891 to January 5, 1892.
  • August Kautz retired from the military on January 5, 1892.
  • August Kautz died unexpectedly in Seattle, Washington, at the age of 67, on the night of September 4, 1895.
  • Following a temporary burial in Seattle, August Kautz was permanently interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title August Valentine Kautz Facts
  • Coverage January 5, 1828 - September 4, 1895
  • Author
  • Keywords August Valentine Kautz
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date November 28, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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