Felix Agnus

Felix Agnus (4 July 1839 – 31 October 1925) was a French-born sculptor, newspaper publisher and soldier who served in the Franco-Austrian War and American Civil War. Agnus studied as a sculptor, before enlisting to fight in the Franco-Austrian War. Upon conclusion of the war, he travelled to the United States, and briefly worked as a sculptor. In 1861, upon the outbreak of the American Civil War, Agnus enlisted in the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, and served with merit, rising to brevet brigadier-general before being mustered out of service. Agnus was then inspector general of the Department of the South and supervised the dismantling of Confederate forts.

After the war, Agnus settled in Baltimore, and worked for the Baltimore American, eventually rising to publish the paper. Charles Fulton, the previous publisher, was his father-in-law, Agnus having married Fulton's daughter Annie on 13 December 1864. As the publisher, Agnus was an original member of the Associated Press, and a prominent citizen in Baltimore. He was offered political positions, including United States Senator and a United States Consul, which he declined. He served on several local and national commissions. Agnus died in 1925. A funerary statue formerly placed on his grave, known as Black Aggie, is the subject of urban legends.

Felix Agnus
Gen. Felix Angus (c. 1917)
Born4 July 1839
Lyon, France
Died31 October 1925 (aged 86)
Service/branchFrench Army
Union Army
Years of service1859 (France)
1861–1865 (US)
RankUnion army maj rank insignia.jpg Major
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Battles/warsFranco-Austrian War
American Civil War
AwardsOrdre du Nichan El-Anouar
Other workPublisher of the Baltimore American

Early years

Felix Agnus was born in Lyon, France, on 4 July 1839, to Etienne Agnus and Anne née Bernerra Agnus. He was educated at College Jolie Clair, near Paris, and, in 1852, set out on a voyage around the world for four years. Upon returning, Agnus studied sculpting. He abandoned school to fight in the Franco-Austrian War. He served in the 3rd Regiment, and fought in the Battle of Montebello. When the war ended in 1859, he emigrated from France first to Newport, Rhode Island, and later New York City, where he worked for Tiffany and Company.[2]

Felix Agnus, Baltimore American, from the American Editors series (N1) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands MET DP827823

Civil War service

On 25 April 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War, Agnus enlisted in Duryée's Zouaves.[3] At the Battle of Big Bethel, he saved the life of Captain Judson Kilpatrick, and was soon promoted to sergeant, 2nd lieutenant, and 1st lieutenant.[2] In the Peninsula Campaign, Agnus led the charge at Ashland Bridge, and was severely wounded in the shoulder at the Battle of Gaines's Mill.[1][4] Duryée's Zouaves were next stationed in Baltimore, Maryland, on Federal Hill, where the wounded Agnus was billeted on Charles C. Fulton, publisher of the Baltimore American. It is surmised that it was during this time that he met his future wife, Fulton's daughter Annie.[2] He helped raise four companies of the 165th New York Infantry Regiment, in which he was given the captaincy of the color company.[1][5]

In late 1862 his regiment was sent to Louisiana, and he took part in the Siege of Port Hudson where he was promoted to major and for a time had command of his regiment. He served in Texas, and, after attaining the rank of lieutenant-colonel, was ordered eastwards to join the 19th Corps. He served under General Philip Sheridan, taking part in the battles of Opequon, Fisher's Hill, Winchester, and Cedar Creek. His last service was in the Department of the South, as inspector general of the Department, where he was commissioned to dismantle old Confederate forts in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and turn all the property over to the U.S. government. He received the brevet of brigadier-general of volunteers on 13 March 1865, making him the youngest brigadier-general in the army at the time. Agnus was mustered out of service on 22 August 1865.[1][5]

Later life and death

On resuming civil life he was appointed to assistant assessor in the Internal Revenue Service office in Baltimore.[6] He worked for, and was eventually given charge of the business department of the Baltimore American on 4 July 1869, and later became its publisher. Agnus helped to greatly expand the newspaper. In 1904, a fire burnt down the headquarters of the American. Agnus found printing facilities in Washington, D.C., and soon began construction on a new, 16 story building. Agnus also founded the Baltimore Star. He sold both newspapers on 1 December 1924, to Frank Munsey.[1][2][7][8]

He was twice asked to be the Republican nominee for a seat in the United States Senate, but declined. Agnus was appointed US Consul to Derry, Ireland, and confirmed by the Senate, but declined to accept the position. He served as the chairman of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Commission, a member of the Board of Visitors of West Point and of the commission that built the Baltimore Courthouse.[7] He also was one of the original members of the Associated Press, a delegate to multiple Republican national conventions and a charter member of the Army and Navy Club. Agnus received the Ordre du Nichan El-Anouar.[1] Agnus died on 31 October 1925.[2] A march was written in 1882 by W. Paris Chambers entitled the "General Felix Agnus March".[9]

Black Aggie is the folkloric name given to a statue formerly placed on the grave of Agnus in Druid Ridge Cemetery in Pikesville, Maryland. The statue is of a somber seated figure in a cowl or shroud, and was the subject of many urban legends.[10]

Dates of rank

Insignia Rank Component Date Ref(s)
Union Army Infantry Sergeant
Sergeant US Volunteers 25 April 1861 [3]
Chevrons - Infantry First Sergeant - CW
First sergeant US Volunteers 20 July 1861 [3]
Union army 2nd lt rank insignia
Second lieutenant US Volunteers 1 September 1861 [3]
Union army 1st lt rank insignia
First lieutenant US Volunteers 8 July 1862 [3]
Union army cpt rank insignia
Captain US Volunteers 28 November 1862 [3]
Union army maj rank insignia
Major US Volunteers 2 September 1863 [3]
Union Army LTC rank insignia
Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel US Volunteers 13 March 1865 [3]
Union army col rank insignia
Brevet Colonel US Volunteers 13 March 1865 [3]
Union army brig gen rank insignia
Brevet Brigadier General US Volunteers 13 March 1865 [3]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Felix Agnus". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "University of Maryland University Libraries Digital Collections". Felix Agnus papers, collection number 90-265. University of Maryland. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Maj. Felix Agnus, 5th NY Infantry Regiment during the Civil War – NY Military Museum and Veterans Research Center". dmna.ny.gov. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  4. ^ Brown, John Howard (1900). Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States. James H. Lamb Company.
  5. ^ a b Wilson, James Grant, ed. (1900). "Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography". Volume 7. D Appleton and Company. p. 3. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  6. ^ Fourth Estate: A Weekly Newspaper for Publishers, Advertisers, Advertising Agents and Allied Interests. Fourth Estate Publishing Company. 1904.
  7. ^ a b Stealey, Orlando Oscar (1910). 130 Pen Pictures of Live Men. Publishers printing Company, New York.
  8. ^ Associated Press Leased Wire (20 November 1920). "MUNSEY BUYS STAR, AMERICAN IN BALTIMORE". The Morning Press (68). Santa Barbara, CA. p. 1. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  9. ^ "039.041 – General Felix Agnus March. | Levy Music Collection". levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  10. ^ Mills, Cynthia J. (Summer 2000). "Casting Shadows: The Adams Memorial and Its Doubles". American Art. Smithsonian American Art Museum. 14 (2): 2–25. doi:10.1086/424354.

External links

Adams Memorial (Saint-Gaudens)

The Adams Memorial is a grave marker located in Section E of Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C., featuring a cast bronze allegorical sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The shrouded figure is seated against a granite block which forms one side of a hexagonal plot, designed by architect Stanford White. Across a small light-toned granite plaza, a comfortable stone bench invites visitors to rest and meditate. The whole is sheltered by a close screen of dense conifers, more dense and uniform in 2015 than in the photograph to the right.

Baltimore Morning Herald

The Baltimore Morning Herald was a daily newspaper published in Baltimore in the beginning of the twentieth century.

Baltimore News-American

The Baltimore News-American was a Baltimore broadsheet newspaper with a continuous lineage (in various forms) of more than 200 years of Baltimore newspapers. For much of the mid-20th century, it had the largest circulation in the city. Its final edition was published on May 27, 1986.

Black Aggie

Black Aggie is the folkloric name given to a statue formerly placed on the grave of General Felix Agnus in Druid Ridge Cemetery in Pikesville, Maryland. It is an unauthorized replica — rendered by Edward Ludwig Albert Pausch — of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens' 1891 allegorical figure, popularly called Grief, at the Adams Memorial in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C. The statue is of a somber seated figure in a cowl or shroud.

Charles H. Grasty

Charles Henry Grasty (March 3, 1863—January 19, 1924) was a well-known American newspaper operator who at one time controlled The News an afternoon paper begun in 1871 and later The Sun of Baltimore, a morning major daily newspaper, co-founded 1837 by Arunah Shepherdson Abell (A.S. Abell), William Moseley Swain and recently joined by Grasty with a companion afternoon edition entitled The Evening Sun in 1910. Grasty was named among the great American newspaper publishers and owners, such as James Gordon Bennett, Benjamin Day, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Grasty owned the Evening News, which had been founded in the early 1870s and utilized the new illustrative technology of using woodcuts illustrations plates to show pictures spread across its pages before the advent of reprinting photographs directly on newspaper pages. During Grasty's tenure The News built its elaborate tall headquarters and printing plant with a corner clock tower on the southwest corner of East Baltimore and South Streets directly across the street from The Sun's older architectural landmark "Sun Iron Building" of 1851, on the southwest corner, constructed of newly popular cast iron architecture style and supposedly fireproof and an early version of a tall commercial office building that gained increasing popularity in American big cities known as the skyscraper. Grasty ran The News for a number of years greatly increasing its circulation and cultural and civic impact on the city as its leading afternoon paper and later sold it prior to briefly acquiring the Minnesota Dispatch and the St. Paul Pioneer Press in the Upper Midwest in separate transactions then later divesting these newspapers to return again to Maryland to seek ownership of The Sun with a syndicate of wealthy backers. Grasty was also one of the developers of the new northern suburban Roland Park community in the early 1890s by the Roland Park Company development firm, said to be an early innovation in community planning, including planned shopping centers and other aspects of the community prior to being offered for sale and development.

Druid Ridge Cemetery

Druid Ridge Cemetery is located just outside the city of Baltimore in Pikesville, Maryland at 7900 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore Co., MD 21208. Among its monuments and graves are several noted sculptures by Hans Schuler and the final resting places of:

Felix Agnus, American Civil War general and newspaper publisher

Alfred Blalock, pioneering cardiovascular surgeon

Dorothy Benjamin Caruso, widow of tenor Enrico Caruso

William Jones "Boileryard" Clarke, baseball player and coach

Claribel Cone, physician and art collector

Etta Cone, famous art collector along with her sister who together helped establish the Baltimore Museum of Art

Walter Dandy, one of the fathers of neurosurgery

Anthony Hastings George, British Consul-General.

Jennis Roy Galloway, Baltimore-born World War II Commander, later Managing Director of Union Carbide India, Ltd

Elisabeth Gilman, daughter of Daniel Coit Gilman and prominent Maryland socialist and civil liberties advocate

John F. Goucher, namesake of Goucher College

Virginia Hall, Baltimore-born World War II spy for the British Special Operations Executive

Eli Jones Henkle, U.S. Congressman, 5th District of Maryland

John Charles Linthicum, U.S. Congressman, 4th District of Maryland

Art Modell, owner of professional football teams

Curt Motton, professional baseball player

Rosa Ponselle, celebrated soprano

Lady Kandace Pierce, Carter Memorial COGIC

Thomas Rowe Price, Jr. (1898-1983), investment banker and founder of T. Rowe Price

Carl Vernon Sheridan, World War II Medal of Honor recipient

Hugh H. Young, pioneering urologist

Edward Ludwig Albert Pausch

Edward Ludwig Albert Pausch (September 30, 1856 – 1931) was a Danish-American sculptor noted for his war memorials.

Fort Stevens Union order of battle

The following Union Army units and commanders fought in the Battle of Fort Stevens of the American Civil War on July 11–12, 1864. The Confederate order of battle is listed separately.

Frank Munsey

Frank Andrew Munsey (21 August 1854 – 22 December 1925) was an American newspaper and magazine publisher and author. He was born in Mercer, Maine, but spent most of his life in New York City. The village of Munsey Park, New York is named for him, along with the Munsey Building in downtown Baltimore, Maryland at the southeast corner of North Calvert Street and East Fayette Street.

Munsey is credited with the idea of using new high-speed printing presses to print on inexpensive, untrimmed, pulp paper in order to mass-produce affordable (typically ten-cent) magazines. Chiefly filled with various genres of action and adventure fiction, that were aimed at working-class readers who could not afford and were not interested in the content of the 25-cent "slick" magazines of the time. This innovation, known as pulp magazines, became an entire industry unto itself and made Munsey quite wealthy. He often shut down the printing process and changed the content of magazines when they became unprofitable, quickly starting new ones in their place.

Great Baltimore Fire

The Great Baltimore Fire raged in Baltimore, Maryland, United States on Sunday, February 7 and Monday, February 8, 1904. 1,231 firefighters helped bring the blaze under control, both professional paid Truck and Engine companies from the Baltimore City Fire Department (B.C.F.D.) and volunteers from the surrounding counties and outlying towns of Maryland, as well as out-of-state units that arrived on the major railroads. It destroyed much of central Baltimore, including over 1,500 buildings covering an area of some 140 acres (57 ha). From North Howard Street in the west and southwest, the flames spread north through the retail shopping area as far as Fayette Street and began moving eastward, pushed along by the prevailing winds. Narrowly missing the new 1900 Circuit Courthouse (now Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse), fire passed the historic Battle Monument Square from 1815-27 at North Calvert Street, and the quarter-century old Baltimore City Hall (of 1875) on Holliday Street; and finally spread further east to the Jones Falls stream which divided the downtown business district from the old East Baltimore tightly-packed residential neighborhoods of Jonestown (also known as Old Town) and newly named "Little Italy". The fire's wide swath burned as far south as the wharves and piers lining the north side of the old "Basin" (today's "Inner Harbor") of the Northwest Branch of the Baltimore Harbor and Patapsco River facing along Pratt Street. It is considered historically the third worst conflagration in an American city, surpassed only by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. Other major urban disasters that were comparable (but not fires) were the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and most recently, Hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico coast in August 2005.

One reason for the fire's long duration involved the lack of national standards in firefighting equipment. Despite fire engines from nearby cities (such as Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. as well as units from New York City, Virginia, Wilmington, and Atlantic City) responding with horse-drawn pumpers, wagons and other related equipment (primitive by modern-day standards, but only steam engines were motorized in that era) carried by the railroads on flat cars and box cars, many were unable to help since their hose couplings could not fit Baltimore's fire hydrants.

Much of the destroyed area was rebuilt in relatively short order, and the city adopted a building code, stressing fireproof materials. Perhaps the greatest legacy of the fire was the impetus it gave to efforts to standardize firefighting equipment in the United States, especially hose couplings.

H. L. Mencken

Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956) was an American journalist, essayist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of American English. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians and contemporary movements. His satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey Trial", also gained him attention.

As a scholar, Mencken is known for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States. As an admirer of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, he was an outspoken opponent of religion, populism and representative democracy, the latter of which he viewed as systems in which inferior men dominated their superiors. Mencken was a supporter of scientific progress, and was critical of osteopathic and chiropractic medicine. He was also an ardent critic of economics.

Mencken opposed both American entry into World War I and World War II. His diary indicates that he was a racist and antisemite, who privately used coarse language and slurs to describe various ethnic and racial groups (though he believed it was in poor taste to use such slurs publicly). Mencken at times seemed to show a genuine enthusiasm for militarism, though never in its American form. "War is a good thing," he once wrote, "because it is honest, it admits the central fact of human nature ... A nation too long at peace becomes a sort of gigantic old maid."His longtime home in the Union Square neighborhood of West Baltimore was turned into a city museum, the H. L. Mencken House. His papers were distributed among various city and university libraries, with the largest collection held in the Mencken Room at the central branch of Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Hugh Judson Kilpatrick

Hugh Judson Kilpatrick (January 14, 1836 – December 4, 1881) was an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War, achieving the rank of brevet major general. He was later the United States Minister to Chile, and a failed political candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nicknamed "Kilcavalry" (or "Kill-Cavalry") for using tactics in battle that were considered as recklessly disregarding the lives of soldiers under his command, Kilpatrick was both praised for the victories he achieved, and despised by southerners whose homes and towns he devastated.

Munsey Trust Building

The Munsey Trust Building was a historic high-rise office building located in Washington, D.C., United States, on E Street, N.W., between 13th and 14th Streets (adjacent to the National Theatre in the nation's capital city).

Power Plant Live!

Power Plant Live! is a collection of bars, restaurants and other businesses in the Inner Harbor section of downtown Baltimore, Maryland. It was developed by The Cordish Companies and opened in phases during 2001, 2002, and 2003. The entertainment complex gets its name from the nearby "Power Plant" (Pratt Street Power Plant) building, three blocks south on municipal Pier 4 on East Pratt Street facing the Inner Harbor, which was also later re-developed by Cordish.

The complex is located along Market Place at the site of the earlier failed indoor Victorian-era amusement park developed by Six Flags in the mid-1980s. The area is served by the Baltimore Metro Subway's Shot Tower/Market Place station.

The Music Trades (magazine)

The Music Trades is a 128-year-old American trade magazine that covers a broad spectrum of music and music commerce, domestically and abroad. The magazine was founded in New York City in 1890 and, since the mid-1970s, has been based in Englewood, New Jersey. The Music Trades is one of the longest-running, without interruption, trade publications in the world. The February 2019 issue — Vol. 167, No. 1 — is approximately the three thousand and seventieth issue. A controlling ownership over the last 89 years — seventy percent of the publication's total age — has been held by three generations of the Majeski family, making it among the few current publications of any ilk that has been closely held by a single family for as long a period.

Timeline of Baltimore

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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