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John Baptiste de Barth Walbach

WALBACH, John Baptiste de Barth, Baron DE WALBACH, soldier, born in Munster, valley of St. Gregory, upper Rhine, Germany, 3 October, 1766; died in Baltimore, Maryland, 10 June, 1857. He was the third son of Count Joseph de Barth, and received his military education at Strasburg. In 1786-'92 he was a lieutenant in the Lauzun hussars. He returned to his native land to join the army of the Comte d'Artois, brother of Louis XVI. He was present during the campaign of 1792 in Champagne in the advance of the Prussian army until it was disbanded at Maestricht, on 6 January, 1793, participated in the attack on Frankfort, and subsequently served during the campaign of 1793 in attacks on the French lines at Germersheim, Langenkandel, and Weissenburg. In October, 1793, he accepted a captaincy in the Hussars de Rohan in the German service, and took part in covering the retreat of the Duke of York upon Holland and Germany. In 1798 he obtained a six months' leave of absence, with a view of visiting his father, who had come to the United States at the opening of the French revolution. But the father had died in Philadelphia, and his estate had been sold by the sheriff. Resigning his commission in the Hussars de Rohan, in April, 1798, he was appointed aide-de-camp to General William Macpherson. He became 1st lieutenant of United States cavalry and adjutant on 10 January, 1799, was aide-de-camp to General Alexander Hamilton in May, assistant adjutant-general to General William North in September, and in December was assigned to the staff of General Charles C. Pinckney, whom he assisted in preparing regulations for the cavalry. In February, 1801, he was made 1st lieutenant in the regiment of artillerists and engineers, and on 25 October following he was appointed aide-de-camp to General James Wilkinson. He was retained in April, 1802, as 1st lieutenant of artillery, and became adjutant, 1 December, 1804. He was promoted captain, 31 January, 1806, made assistant deputy quartermaster-general in March, 1812, assistant adjutant-general, with the rank of major, in June, 1813, and on 6 August, 1813, adjutant-general. He took part in the battle of Chrysler's Field, Canada, 11 November, 1813. General George W. Cullum, in his "Campaigns and Engineers of the War of 1812-'15," says that the enemy, "discovering our disorder and slackened fire, pushed vigorously forward and endeavored by a flank movement to capture our cannon, when Adjutant-General Walbach, a German veteran in our army who had seen much foreign service, gave the order to ' charge mit de dragoons, ' and thus saved the pieces." On 1 May, 1815, he received the brevet of lieutenant-colonel "for meritorious services." He became major of artillery, 25 April, 1818, brevet colonel for "ten years' favorable service," 1 May, 1825, lieutenant-colonel in the 1st regiment of artillery, 30 May, 1832, and colonel of the 4th artillery, 19 March, 1842. In May, 1850, he received the brevet of brigadier-general, to date from 11 November, 1823. Gem Walbach possessed mental and physical vigor till an advanced age. He married in Philadelphia in 1807, and had two sons, John de Barth, who entered the navy, and Louis Augustus de Barth, who was graduated at West Point in 1834, and died a captain of ordnance, 26 June, 1853.

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