Jules François Fosses


Jules François FOSSES 


U.S. Army


















bourgmestre de Philippeville 









  Biography :

En 1830, lors de la révolution belge, il soulève la garnison de Philippeville et reçoit la Croix de fer. Officier dans l'armée Belge jusque 1843, il est mis en non activité suite à ses opinions révolutionnaires et son soutien aux opposants à la monarchie. Il se réfugie en France suite à l'échec d'un coup d'Etat en 1848. Amnistié, il rentre en Belgique et, en 1862, prend place à bord du "Melita" avec des lettres d'introduction de Sanford pour le secrétaire à la Guerre et le général N. P. Banks.

Il devient Capitaine et Aide de Camp dans les armées de l'Ouest (Kentucky) et Inspecteur Général de la Cavalerie jusque 1864. Il organise la défense de Louisville en 1864 lors de la menace d'attaque confédérée, reçoit les éloges du général Burbridge et est nommé Major. Le rapport qu'il fit à l'époque est reproduis ci-dessous.

Nommé Lieutenant Colonel le 13 mars 1865, il est licencié en décembre de la même année et revient en Europe, à Philippeville.

En 1870, il est accusé d'avoir favorisé le passage en France du Général Gustave Cluseret, révolutionnaire français sous les ordres duquel il aurait servit aux Etats-Unis.


Report of Capt. Julius Fosses, Assistant Inspector-Gen. of Cavalry.

Louisville, Ky., June 30, 1864.

GEN.: I have the honor to submit the following report: On the evening of the 9th instant a telegram was received by Lieut. Col. Thomas B. Fairleigh, commanding at this post, that the guerrillas had attacked the train on the Lexington and Frankfort Railroad, and that Morgan was marching his command against Lexington. The two reports led us to believe that this post would be attacked, for surely nothing could be more acceptable to the marauders than our well-stocked commissary and the stores of our citizens. The post was almost entirely destitute or the means of defense, Col. Fairleigh having, in accordance with orders from his superiors, sent all the soldiers to the front. I first called on the Louisville Dragoons to volunteer as scouts, and on the morning of the 10th instant dispatched twenty-five of them on the Shelbyville pike. They returned at night, reporting no enemy this side of Middletown. The same day Maj. J. S. Edwards, Second Indiana Cavalry, arrived from Indianapolis with a detachment of veterans. At the suggestion of Lieut.-Col. Fairleigh I had these men mounted and equipped, also detachment of Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Col. Jordan, and First Wisconsin, under Capt. Jones, who arrived about this time. The Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Col. Jordan, were ordered to proceed toward Frankfort by the way of Shelbyville, with instructions to report by courier in case they found the enemy. The rest of the forces continued to scout the country in every direction until the evening of the 16th instant, when we received word from Shelbyville that Jesse had passed through that place about 4 p.m., and was proceeding toward Bardstown.
On the morning of the 17th instant I sent Maj. Smith, Ninth Michigan Cavalry, in command of 150 men, toward Bardstown, and at the same time sent about 50 men on the Taylorsville pike with orders to scout the country thoroughly and report as soon as practicable. At the same time Col. Fairleigh sent a detachment of infantry under Lieut. Driskill to Bardstown by railroad. The detachment sent on the Taylorsville pike returned in the evening, and reported that Jesse's entire command had crossed at Taylorsville en route for Bardstown. Knowing that Lieut. Driskill was already at that place and that Maj. Smith was near there, I expected the entire gang would be captured, and was surprised at receiving the following telegram from Maj. Smith:

BARDSTOWN, June 18, 1864--6 p.m.
I arrived here at 3 p.m., having traveled sixty-five miles since 6 o'clock. Lieut. Driskill surrendered his men without firing a gun. The rebels had few arms and no ammunition, and could not fight. If he had held out, we would have captured and broken up the band. They left here at 8 a.m., and were at Boston at 3 p.m. They number 150. A major with 150 men of Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry was at Chaplin at noon, going to Lawrenceburg. Send orders.
Maj. Ninth Michigan.

I answered by direction of Col. Fairleigh:
Scour the country; act according to your judgment and information, and report.

On the 20th I received the following:

The operator at Elizabethtown reports the rebels, who passed through here with re-enforcements, stopping at Stephensburg, ten miles west of Elizabethtown, receiving re-enforcements. I just heard of several parties passing few miles from town yesterday p.m.

I again sent to Maj. Smith as follows:
Push on. Report the facts to Gen. Ewing, Munfordville, and to me.

After this I received the following from Maj. Smith:

BARDSTOWN, June 20, 1864.
The rebel band are passing back in small squads on by-roads in Spencer County. Shall I move that way? Some fifty or sixty have already passed. I have scouted back to Bloomfield and in all directions from here. They passed farther north.
Ninth Michigan Cavalry.

I immediately answered:
For Good's sake go ahead! Take them where you find them.

On Tuesday morning a citizen of Bardstown called at my office, with the request from Maj. Smith that he might be permitted to remain in Nelson and Marion Counties for a short time, in search of roving bands of guerrillas who continually infest those counties; also asking that re-enforcements be sent him. I again telegraphed Maj. Smith as follows: "Act according to your judgment. You will be re-enforced," and now left sure something would be accomplished. Judge of my surprise then at receiving the following:

BARDSTOWN, June 21, 1864.
Have just received dispatch that my brigade leaves Nicholasville for the south in a few days. I start for there to-night. Will leave Capt. O'Reily here with the balance of the men.
Maj. Ninth Michigan Cavalry.

This I answered as follows:
Your dispatch is received. Remain where you are until re-enforcements, which start to-morrow, reach Bardstown.

This in turn was answered by Capt. O'Reily, as follows:
BARDSTOWN, June 21, 1864.
Maj. Smith marched this afternoon to join his command. I have no officer to assist me. Will I remain here? If so, send me rations. We have not discovered a single rebel. What re-enforcements are coming?
Capt., Cmdg.

June 24 I received orders from Col. Fairleigh to send all men of Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry to Munfordville, whereupon I at once started what few remained here, and sent the following telegram to Capt. O'Reily.
Report with Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry to Gen. Ewing at Munfordville, and send here the men of Second Indiana and First Wisconsin. Tell them to look sharp on their return here.

The men arrived here the same evening, and are now in camp near Taylor Barracks; since then the rest of the Ninth Pennsylvania returned from Frankfort. I had them furnished with the requisite number of horses, and yesterday they started for Munfordville.
In conclusion, I beg leave to say that too much credit cannot be given to all the men, including the Louisville Dragoons, for the promptness, displayed in executing all orders.
Brig. Gen. R. Allen, chief quartermaster, was very efficient, and cheerfully furnished horses to mount the different detachments of men.

I remain, general, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

Capt. and Aide-de-Camp, Asst. Inspector-Gen. of Cavalry.

Brig. Gen. S. G. BURBRIDGE,
Cmdg. District of Kentucky.

Sources :
Francis Balace : Officiers Belges de l'armée Fédérale américaine
Antoine de Smedt : voyageurs Belges aux Etats-Unis