Julius Peter Garesché was born April 26th 1821 near Havana, Cuba. He was able to attend Georgetown College beginning in 1833. After four years at Georgetown, Garesché received an appointment to the United State Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in the class of 1841 and began his military carrier in the 4th United States Artillery. After duty on the frontier and action during the Mexican American War he reached the rank of Captain in 1855. Garesché was also a devout Catholic and he received recognition for services performed for the church from Pope Pius IX in the form of the Knight of St Sylvester medal.
When the Civil War started Garesché became the Chief of Staff with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel for Union Major General William S Rosecrans. This placed him with the Army of the Cumberland in the Western Theater. The Battle of Stone River was the first combat of the war for Garesché and on December 31 1862 as he rode with Rosecrans during the battle he was decapitated by a cannonball. Shortly after Union General Philip H Sheridan found Garesché’s body and removed his bible and West Point ring from the dead body. Garesché is buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington, DC.
If you’re interested in reading more, check out, Eccentric Officer 'Knew' He Would Die in His First Battle and The Gallant Garesché