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.... [Mlotkowski picture]

Mlotkowski, Stanislaus

Captain of Civil War. Commanded the Independent Battery A of Light Artillery of Pennsylvania, organized in Philadelphia, Pa. Defended Fort Delaware, Delaware, Md., during Civil War. Enlisted Sept. 19, 1861; discharged June 30, 1865. Deceased.

From: "Who's Who in Polish America" by Rev. Francis Bolek, Editor-in-Chief; Harbinger House, New York, 1943


John A. Kowalewski*

Stanislaus Mlotkowski was born on April 19, 1829, [1] in Volhynia, a Polish province bordering Galicia [2]. He was about twenty-one years old, when he joined Wolf Wilezynski and a small band of his neighbors in fighting with General Mieroslawski against the czarist rule of their homeland [3]. Unfortunately, their task of capturing the fort at Kowel went awry. Czarist troops captured most of the Volhynia group and deported them to Siberia; but Stanislaus Mlotkowski managed to escape to Hungary with General Mieroslawski, thus ending the 1848 uprising [4]. From Hungary, Mlotkowski went to Paris and eventually arrived at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In Philadelphia he became a painter, first residing at 1105 Hamilton and later on Frankford Avenue near Orleans [5]. On March 8, 1855, Mlotkowski was married to Dorothea Meinke by Reverend Heinrick Ginal [6]. The Mlotkowski's had one son, Stanislaus, and they adopted one girl, Dora. Stanislaus in time had four children: Emma, Stash, Edna, and Louis [7].

On September 11, 1861, when military experience of any kind was at a premium, Stanislaus Mlotkowski was appointed first-lieutenant in Independent Battery A, Pennsylvania Light Artillery, organized in Philadelphia [8]. Eight days later, that battery was mustered into service at the Filbert Street Arsenal and was soon sent to Fort Delaware. Fort Delaware, located on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River off Delaware City, was built to protect the port of Philadelphia. Mlotkowski's first few months at the Fort were relatively quiet, with excursion boats from Philadelphia and Wilmington visiting the Fort in order to let the people see how well they were being protected. This practice was halted after several of the guns had been spiked.

To fill a vacancy created by the resignation of the Battery Commander, Mlotkowski was promoted to the rank of captain on March 1, 1862, and served in this capacity until the completion of the war [9]. In April of 1862, 258 Confederate prisoners, Stonewall Jackson's men from the Battle of Kernstown, Virginia, were brought to Fort Delaware [10]. This marked the beginning of the use of Fort Delaware as a prison camp. When lieutenant Colonel W. Hoffman, commissary-general of prisoners, reported to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton on the use of Fort Delaware as a prison, he stated in a letter dated June 15, 1862: "One company of artillery, Captain Mlotkowski's, will remain at the post."[11]. At this time. Captain Augustus A. Gibson of the Fourth Artillery was commanding the Fort. [12]. The organization of Union troops as of January 31, 1863, shows Mlotkowski in command of the First Pennsylvania Battery at Fort Delaware, which was now commanded by Lt. Col. Delavan D. Perkins; Fort Delaware was part of the Eighth Army Corps under Major General Robert C. Schenck. [13]. Although the original strength of the battery was eighty men, it was reinforced in July 1863 by sixty new recruits, not to mention ten new officers. [14].

Mlotkowski's actions at the Fort are best described in the diary of a political prisoner, Rev. I. W. K. Handy, who wrote: "Mlotkowski is a Pole and was a military man before he came to this country. He has more dash and flourish than any of his brother-officers, in the garrison. He is a clever, social fellow; acknowledges his ignorance of American politics, and says soldiering is his profession."[15]. Another time Handy wrote: "He treats the Rebels with kindness; cordially shakes hands with the Confederate officers, and admits that a prisoner not only has a right to try to make his escape, if not on parole, but that his duty to his government requires him to do so, if possible. His fairness, his respect for the rights of others and his determination to recognize the goodness of human beings were exemplary. [16]. Finally, Handy wrote: "Mlotkowski is the most dashing officer on the island, and is very popular with the Rebel prisoners. It would seem that he and all his men are thoroughly Black-Republican in sentiment."[17].

Reference was made to Captain Mlotkowski by Captain George Baylor (Co. B, 12th Va. Cavalry), in his diary for May 31, 1863:

Capt. Stanislaus McClowskis (sic) made me a present of a nice silk tobacco purse and tobacco; the purse was knit by his wife. He sent over 5 blankets to our countrymen in prison. Captain McClowskis (sic) thought some of our countrymen had "tarn bad physiosiques."[18].

In the summer of 1864, Confederate General Jubal A. Early threatened Washington and northern Maryland. [19]. All available troops were mustered to repel the threatened invasion. Wilmington, Delaware, was filled with excitement, because the announcement had been made that General Early would attack the DuPont Powder Works. In a report to General Schenck, Major Henry Judd, commander at Wilmington, wrote on July 16, 1864:

"Brig. Gen. Schoepf was kind enough to offer the services of a section of field artillery under Captain Mlotkowski of an Independent Pennsylvania Battery, which I accepted."[20]. Reports indicated that the Rebels might cross the Susquehanna River at Conowingo and come down on the city from that direction. Captain Mlotkowski and his battery placed their guns across Lancaster Pike, but the attack never came. [21].

In September 1864, more than fifty members of Mlotkowski's Battery whose terms had expired were mustered out, and more recruits were sent to Fort Delaware to preserve the battery's strength at 150. Out of approximately 278 officers and men who served in Mlotkowski's Battery at Fort Delaware from 1861-1865, one officer and nine enlisted men were lost by death and thirteen by desertions. [22]. Mlotkowski was discharged from the service at Camp Cadwallader, Pennsylvania, on July 1, 1865. [23].

The Mlotkowski's were among a group of Philadelphians who became interested in the development of a seashore resort known as Egg Harbor City in New Jersey. [24]. Here the Mlotkowski's lived at 8 Philadephia Avenue; this property was purchased on September 11, 1874, for $450. [25]. The Captain also purchased land in Atlantic City. That Captain Mlotkowski took an active part in civic affairs is attested by Miss Antoinette Doell [26] who wrote: "For many years after the war Egg Harbor had a large number of veterans in the General Stahl Post No. 62, G.A.F. I can well remember as a school-girl taking part in the annual Decoration Day parade, always headed by the Egg Harbor City Band and the veterans of the Civil War in their blue caps or broad-brimmed hats, commanded by Captain Mlotkowski or Captain Mischlich."[27].

There is also a monument in the Egg Harbor City Cemetery which was "erected by the surviving comrades of Post 61, May 22, 1893."[28]. The name of Captain Mlotkowski appears at the top of the list. The Captain died of hemiplaegia on August 19, 1900, at the age of seventy-one. [29].

* The author teaches at Salesianum School, Wilmington, Delaware.


1. Inscription on the tombstone at the Egg Harbor Cemetery, New Jersey

2. Correspondence with Jan Mlotkowski. Poznan, Poland, July 5, 1961.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. McElroy's Philadelphia City Directory – 1860, p. >696 ; Op cit, 1861, p. 698.

6. National Archives, Washington, D. C.

7. Correspondence with Edward Pinkowski.

8. National Archives, Washington, D. C.

9. Correspondence with Edward Pinkowski.

10. W. E. Wilson, Fort Delaware, (Newark, Del. 1957), p. 3.

11. Official Records, War of the Rebellion, Series II, vol. 4, p. 23.

12. Ibid.

13. Official Records, War of the Rebellion, Series I, vol. 25, p. 33.

14. Correspondence with Edward Pinkowski.

15. I. W. K. Handy United States Bonds; or Duress by Federal Authority: Journal during imprisonment of fifteen months at Fort Delaware, (Baltimore, Md., 1874, p. 403.

16. Ibid., p. 403.

17. Ibid., p. 168.

18. George Baylor, Bidl Run to Bull Run, Richmond, 1900.

19. W. E. Wilson, "Panic Grips People of Wilmington", Wilmington Horizon News.

20. Official Records, War of the Rebellion, Series I, vol. 37, p. 225.

21. W. E. Wilson, Fort Delaware, (Newark, Del. 1957), p. 3.

22. Correspondence with Edward Pinkowski.

23. National Archives, Washington, D. C.

24. Correspondence with Edward Pinkowski.

25. Ibid.

26. Miss Doell wrote a history of Egg Harbor.

27. Correspondence with Antoinette Doell, Stuart, Florida, September 26, 1964.

28. Seen by the author on June 27, 1964.

29. National Archives, Washington, D. C.


Source: Captain Stanislaus Mlotkowski, Memorial Brigade Society, Fort Delaware, 1976.

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