Russian infantryCASTELLUM Miniatures presents...Gennady Danshin, th CASTELLUM Miniatures firm, . resin figure – Feldwebel (Sergeant Major), Grouzinski Grenadier Regiment of the Caucasian Separate Corps, Russian Imperial Army, the Caucasus, 1850.
Austria, unable alone to cope with Hungary, committed the immeasurable blunder of calling in the 200,000 Russians who made conquest certain, but the price of whose aid she may still have to pay.
With the crushing defeat of the Italian forces at the Battle of Custoza and then Novara, the Piedmontese retreated and retired from the war. With Piedmont now out of the war, Sardinia pulled its navy out of Venice fearing heavy losses in a now one sided war.
Venice now stood alone against the full might of the Austrian armies. After the fall of the last Venetian mainland stronghold at the fort of Marghera on May 26, 1849, Austrian forces blockaded supplies to Venice and laid siege to the city.
Daniele Manin and General Guglielmo Pepe led a valiant defense of the city, but the odds were stacked heavily against them. With famine setting in and an outbreak of cholera that threatened to become an epidemic, Manin called upon the Republican Assembly for a surrender. The Repubblica di San Marco officially surrendered on August 22, 1848. Five days later, the Austrian troops entered the city and Manin, Pepe, and the other revolutionary leaders were forced into exile. Venice was again in Austrian hands.Below the flag that lasted a year.
Venice, and Venice only, continued to defy her power.
Since Novara, the first result of which was the withdrawal of the Sardinian Commissioners, who had taken over the government .
Venice had been ruled by Manin on the terms which he himself proposed: 'Are you ready,' he asked the Venetian Assembly, 'to invest the Government with unlimited powers in order to direct the defence and maintain order?'
He warned them that he should be obliged to impose upon them enormous sacrifices, but they replied by voting the order of the day:
'Venice resists the Austrians at all costs; to this end the President Manin is invested with plenary powers.' All the deputies then raised their right hand, and swore to defend the city to the last extremity.
They kept their word.
It is hard to say which was the most admirable: Manin's fidelity to his trust, or the people's fidelity to him.
To keep up the spirits, to maintain the decorum of a besieged city even for a few weeks or a few months, is a task not without difficulty; but when the months run into a second year, when the real pinch of privations has been felt by everyone, not as a sudden twinge, but as a long-drawn-out pain, when the bare necessities of life fail, and a horrible disease, cholera, enters as auxiliary under the enemy's black-and-yellow, death-and-pestilence flag; then, indeed, the task becomes one which only a born leader of men could perform.
The financial administration of the republic was a model of order and economy.
Generous voluntary assistance was afforded by all classes, from the wealthy patrician and the Jewish merchant to the poorest gondolier.
Mazzini once said bitterly that it was easier to get his countrymen to give their blood than their money; here they gave both.
The capable manner in which Manin conducted the foreign policy of the republic is also a point that deserves mention, as it won the esteem even of statesmen of the old school, though it was powerless to obtain their help.
In the past year, Lord Palmerston, though he tried to localise the war, and to prevent the co-operation of the south, abounded in good advice to Austria.
He repeated till he was tired of repeating, that she would do well to retire from her Italian possessions of her own accord.
If the French did not come now, he said, they would come some day, and then her friends and allies would give her scanty support.
As for Lombardy, it was notorious that a considerable Austrian party was in favour of giving it up, including the Archduke Ranieri, who was strongly attached to Italy, which was the land of his birth.
As for Venice, Austria had against her both the principle of nationality, now the rallying cry of Germany, and the principle of ancient prescription which could be energetically invoked against her by a state to which her title went back no farther than the transfer effected by Buonaparte in the treaty of Campo Formio.
These were his arguments; but he was convinced, by this time, that arguments unsupported by big battalions might as well be bestowed on the winds as on the Cabinet of Vienna.
From the moment that Radetsky recovered Lombardy for his master, the Italian policy of the Austrian Government was entirely inspired by him, and he was determined that while he lived, what Austria had got she should keep.
It was thus that, in reply to Manin's appeal to Lord Palmerston, he only received the cold comfort of the recommendation that Venice should come to terms with her enemy.
The illustration here depicting the Garibaldi guard is most allarming in that the guard never ever went into action like this. There are no records that I have seen that portray them in action in the uniform shown here.The recent exhibition in NYC shows them as being dressed like this but I would say thats far from the truth.
The ACW Italian soldiers were a diverse and independent minded group of individuals who were both inspired and motivated by the example set down by their hero, Giuseppe Garibaldi. Most came from Manhattan’s lower east side tenements, a hive of political ferment, and daily survival. Many were veterans of the failed revolutions of 1848-1849 in Italy, Austria, Berlin, Warsaw and Paris. Some even served with General Garibaldi during the ill fated Republic of Rome, and were under the penalty of death in their home lands. What they all had in common was their working class status, love of liberty, justice and America as beacon democracy.
“Each immigrant group attempted to form a regiment around their national origins, but were persuaded to consolidate under one banner, one flag, and one inspiration,” said curator Anthony Dilluvio.
With his blessing, General Garibaldi agreed to lend his name to the regiment, so on May 26th, 1861, men from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Croatia and Hungary took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America, under their official designation, the “Garibaldi Guard”, 39th New York State Volunteer Regiment. During the same ceremony, the regiment received their three regimental battle flags. The Italian flag came directly from General Garibaldi, being his personal flag that flew over the ramparts of Rome in 1848, and containing his personal motto “DEO E. POPOLO”.
The regiment’s uniform was also unique. Dressed like Italian Bersaglieri, cock feathers and all, they march down lower Broadway to the cheers of New York’s multitudes.
The United States Army called the Garibaldi Guard the most cantankerous unit in the service, and so they were. They were also one of the few units that fought for the duration of the war, receiving the appellation “Veteran”. They were at Bull Run, Gettysburg, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor and Appomattox. They suffered prejudice, wounds, death by battle and disease, capture and mutiny. Some found ruin, others glory.