GEN. SICKLES DIES; HIS WIFE AT BEDSIDE Long Estrangement Ended When Fatal Illness At- tacked Veteran. CAREER A STIRRING ONE Soldier, Politician, and Diplomat, He Lost a Leg at Gettysburg, and Lived to be Almost 91. Major Gen. Daniel E. Sickles, com- mander of the Third Army Corps on the memorable field of Gettysburg, where one of his legs was shot off, and sub- sequently the representative of this Government at the Court of Spain, died last night at 9:10 o'clock at his home, 23 Fifth Avenue. Gen. Sickles was in his ninety-first year. At his bedsiade were Mrs. Sickles and his son, Stanton Sickles, who had been with him constantly for nearly two weeks, following a reconciliation that ended an estrangement of twenty-nine years. Also at the deathbed were John J. Kirby of 32 Nassau Street, counsel for Mrs. Sickles, and Miss Higgins, a trained nurse. Gen. Sickles was unconscious when the end came, having relapsed into that state several days ago. He had been ill for about two weeks, following an at- tack of cerebral hemorrhage. Gen. Sickles passed away just a few minutes before the arrival of his physician, Dr. J.H. Spann of 107 East Eleventh Street, who on Saturday night had entertained fears that the attack from which the famous old veteran was suffering, though slight, would prove fatal to him on account of advanced years. Until recently Gen. Sickles had borne the weight of his years almost with a sprightliness. On March 29 a rumor was spread that he was at the point of death. Late that night a TIMES re- porter called up Gen. Sickles's house over the telephone to make inquiry about his condition. The voice at the other end of the wire said: "Yes; this is Gen. Sickles. Am I ill? Nonsense. I was never better in my life. There's nothing to that story. It's all a lie." Reconciled with His Wife The reconciliation between Gen. Sickles and his wife and son was brought about, it was said, through the efforts of one of the General's ne- gro servants. Before they went to his bedside, Mrs. Sickles and Stanton Sickles were living at the Hotel Albert, University Place and Eleventh Street. They were unwilling to live with the General as long as Gen. Sickles's sec- retary, Miss Eleanora Earle Wilmer- ding, lived at his home. Miss Wilmer- ding died recently, and that may have hastened the reconciliation. Although estranged from her husband, Mrs. Sickles had lived near him with her son. In 1912, when she learned through the newspapers that the Gen- eral was in financial straits, and that his household goods were about to be disposed of at a Sheriff's sale, she went to his rescue with $8,000 she obtained by pawning her jewelry. A few days after Mrs. Sickles had rendered her hus- band this service, he issued a statement attacking her motives for doing so, and asserting that it was not necessary for her to pawn her jewels. Mrs. Sickles, as Senorita Carmina Creagh, the daughter of Chevalier de Creagh of Madrid, a Spanish Councillor of State, was married to Gen. Sickles on Nov. 28, 1871, at the American Le- gation in Madrid, when the General was Minister to Spain. She was brought up in the Court, and was the niece of the Marchioness of Novaliches, the Mistress of the Robes of the Court of Queen Isabella. They had a son and a daugh- ter. The estrangement between Gen. Sickles and his wife has never been fully explained. Their marriage seemed to be a happy one until Gen. Sickles resigned as Minister to Spain and pre- pared to return to this country. His wife, however, without any explanation whatsoever, suddenly refused to accom- pany him. Later she reconsidered her determination and rejoined her husband in New York, only to leave him again and return to Madrid. That parting took place twenty-nine years ago. It was in 1908 that she returned to New York for the second time and took up her abode near the home of Gen. Sickles. Had a Stirring Career General Daniel E. Sickles was the last of that galaxy of corps command- ers who made possible the achievement of Grant and brought our great civil strife to a triumphant close. Fighter, lawyer, politician, and diplomat, his life was a crowded one, and in his closing years he looked back through a vista of decades in which strife and trouble were mixed in greater propor- tion than triumph. Daniel Edgar Sickles was born in New York City on Oct. 20, 1823. His grand- father, who was of Knickerbocker stock, retained the name of Van Sickles, but the father of Gen. Sickles dropped the Dutch prefix. Young Sickles was educated in the University of New York. hough his father was wealthy the young man preferred to strike out for himself. He took up the printer's trade, at which he worked for several years. Then he entered the law office of Benjamin F. Butler, who was at that time Attorney General in Presi- dent Van Buren's Cabinet. He was ad- mitted to the bar in 1846. He served in Congress from 1857 to 1861 and again in 1893-94. Butler was a leading Democrat, and he imbued the young law student with an enthusiastic devotion to that party. He was sent to the State Assembly by Tammany Hall in 1847. In 1852 he was a member of the Baltimore convention which nominated Franklin Pierce for the Presidency. For several years he was a member of the Tammany Hall General Committee. He was Corpora- tion Counsel for a time, and in 1855 he went to the State Senate. It was he who obtained for the city its great Central Park. Enlisted as a Private The life of a soldier appealed to young Sickles, and he joined the Twelfth Regi- ment, National Guard, in 1849, as a pri- vate. In three years he retired from the organization as a Major. He rose to be a Major General in the United States Army later. In the Fall of 1853 Sickles was com- missioned Secretary of Legation in London, under Minister James Buchan- an. After serving two years abroad he returned to enter into the bitter politi- cal fight that sent him into the State Senate. Before his Senatorial term was out Sickles was elected to Congress. It was during his stay in Washington that an event occurred which became the sensation of the day. His ambition to fit himself for the diplomatic service had led him to take up the study of French and Italian, and in this way he met Therese Bagioli, daughter of an Italian music teacher. She was 17 when he married her. Their daughter, Laura, was born in 1854, on the old Sickles es- tate at Bloomingdale, while he was abroad as Secretary of Legation. When her husband went to Congress Mrs. Sickles accompanied him. Philip Bar- ton Key, United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, son of Fran- cis Scott Key, the author of "The Star- Spangled Banner," paid attention to Mrs. Sickles, and Sickles shot and killed Key on the street in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 27,1859. Sickles declared Key had misled Mrs. Sickles. His trial, which lasted twenty days, ended in the acquittal of Sickles, the defense being temporary abberation of mind, and this was the first case in which that plea was set up as defense. After his acquittal Sickles took his wife back. Forgave His First Wife. "I am not aware of any statute or code of morals," said Sickles to his critics, "which makes it infamous to forgive a woman. I can now see in the almost universal denunciation with which she is followed to my threshold the misery and perilfrom which I have rescued the mother of my daughter. I shall strive to prove to all that an err- ing wife and mother may be forgiven and redeemed." Mrs. Sickles died a few years later. When Sickles went to Madrid years later his daughter Laura accompanied him. She fell in love with a young Spaniard. Her father objected to the match and brought her back to New York, where she died. Retiring from Congressin March, 1861, Sickles was one of the first to anticipate a need of soldiers. At the outbreak of the civil war, the young politician, then 38 years old, went to Lincoln to offer his services. "You have been a leader in New York Democratic politics," said the President. "If you kept your end up at that game surely you'll do to take command of men in the field." The retired Congressman returned to this city and organized the Excelsior Brigade of Volunteers in New York, and was commissioned Colonel of one of the five regiments. He was nomi- nated Brigadier General in September, 1861, but was not confirmed by the Senate until March, 1862. Gen. Sickles served under Gen. Hooker with dis- tinction at Fair Oaks, and Malvern Hill. He was in the seven days' fight- ing before Richmond and also partici- pated at Antietam. He succeeded Gen. Hooker in command of the division, and took a conspicuous part in the engage- ment at Fredericksburg. He was ap- pointed Major General of Volunteers in 1862, but his commission dated from the year previous. Lost His Leg at Gettysburg. At Chancellorsville, commanding the Third Army Corps, to which he had been promoted, he was highly com- mended for gallant conduct, and his courage and activity at Gettysburg are matters of history. All authorities ac- cord him a very important part in that great battle, some contending that his was the master stroke that saved the day. It was at Gettysburg that he lost a leg. In March, 1865, he was brevetted a Major General of the regular army for bravery and meritorious service at Gettysburg. President Lincoln and Secretary Sew- ard sent Gen. Sickles on a confidential mission to Colombia and other South American States early in 1865. He ne- gotiated an important treaty regarding rights of transit over the Isthmus of Panama. Immediately upon his return to this country he was selected to play an important part in the task of recon- struction. He commanded the Military Department of the Carolinas in 1865-7 and performed his duties in a manner that elicited the cordial commendation of Secretary Stanton and Gen. Grant. The views of President Johnson dif- fered from those of Gen. Sickles, how- ever, and the President relieved Sickles of his command, and after first offering him the mission to the Netherlands, which he declined. He was mustered out of the service Jan. 1, 1868, and was placed on the retired list with the full rank of Major General April 14, 1869. In the Spring of 1869 President Grant having tendered to Gen. Sickles the mission to Mexico, which was declined, appointed him United States Minister to Spain, a post which he retained until March 20, 1874. After relinquishing that office to his successor Gen. Sickles continued to reside abroad, chiefly in France, until 1880. Second Marriage in Spain. At the Court of Spain Sickles became a dominating figure. Four years of brilliant diplomacy brought him the title: "The Yankee King of Spain." Here he contracted his second marriage with Senorita Creagh in 1877. This ro- mance was followed by estrangement which was to last more than a quarter of a century. A son, Stanton, and a daughter, Edna, were the result of this marriage. The General returned to New York alone and re-entered politics. He served as Sheriff of New York County and at the age of 67 was re-elected to Congress. Trouble came to him in his last years. In June, 1911, his daughter, Mrs. Edna Sickles Crackenthorpe, wife of a Brit- ish diplomat, sued to prevent a disposal of certain properties to which she be- lieved she was entitled. In December, 1912, the General was deposed as Chair- man of the New York Monuments Com- mission, which had headed during the twenty-six years of its existence. There was a shortage of $27,000, and there was some talk of arresting the old soldier, but nothing came of it. Another trouble came in 1911, when the New York Commandery of the Loyal Legion refused to admit Gen. Sickles to membership. He faced bankruptcy in the last years of his life, and several attempts were made to sieze the art treasures in his Fifth Avenue home because of debt. It was in his extremity that his estranged wife and son came to his aid on several occasions. His last days were spent at 23 Fifth Avenue, surrounded by war relics and attended by his faithful negro servant.
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