About LOUIS P DI CESNOLA
Was present, in arrest, when, seeing his regiment fall back, he rallied his men, accompanied them, without arms, in a second charge, and in recognition of his gallantry was released from arrest. He continued in the action at the head of his regiment until he was desperately wounded and taken prisoner.
Luigi Palma di Cesnola (July 29, 1832 – November 20, 1904), an Italian-American soldier and amateur archaeologist, was born in Rivarolo Canavese, near Turin. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the American Civil War.
As the son of a count, he joined the Sardinian army at the age of 17, and served in the First Italian War of Independence, rising to the rank of second lieutenant. He was later dismissed for unknown reasons, and subsequently served with the British Army in the Crimean War. In 1860 he went to New York, where he taught Italian and French and founded a military school for officers. He took part in the American Civil War as colonel of a cavalry regiment, serving under the name Louis P. di Cesnola. At the Battle of Aldie (June 1863), Colonel di Cesnola was wounded and taken prisoner.
He received a Medal of Honor for his efforts during the battle. He was released from Libby Prison early in 1864 when the Union Agent for Prisoner Exchange offered a personal friend of Jefferson Davis as barter. He served in the Wilderness and Petersburg campaigns (1864–65) as a commander of a cavalry brigade but was not promoted to brigadier general. Although he was nominated for appointment to the brevet grade of brigadier general to rank from March 13, 1865 after the end of the war, the U.S. Senate never confirmed his appointment (contrary to the inscription on his grave stone). After the war, he was appointed United States consul at Larnaca in Cyprus (1865–1877).
He is the author of Cyprus, its ancient Cities, Tombs and Temples (1877), a travel book of considerable service to the practical antiquary; and of a Descriptive Atlas of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriote Antiquities (3 volumes, 1884–1886). He died in New York and was interred at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, NY. He was a member of several learned societies in Europe and America.
Director of Metropolitan Museum
of Art for Twenty-five Years.