Johann Ulrich von Salis-Soglio

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Johann U. von Salis-Soglio on a 19th century engraving

Johann Ulrich von Salis-Soglio (born March 16, 1790 in Chur ; † April 27, 1874 ibid) was a Swiss general and in 1847 commander-in-chief of the conservative Sonderbund .


Johann Ulrich von Salis-Soglio came from the Reformed Bündner noble family of the Salis . He chose a military career at a young age and was a member of the General Staff of the Swiss Army as early as 1809 . Between 1809 and 1839 he served as an officer in foreign services in Bavaria and the Netherlands up to the rank of major general . In 1841 he joined the general staff of the Swiss Army with the rank of colonel and in 1844 was commissioned to mediate between the parties in the unrest in Valais or to deploy a federal contingent.

Role in the Sonderbund War

Although Salis-Soglio himself belonged to the Reformed denomination, in autumn 1847 he took over command of the conservative Catholic troops of the canton of Lucerne in the Sonderbund War . A first action at Biasca failed when an officer and a soldier from Uri were killed by Ticino defenders on November 4th. A hoped-for intervention by the (Catholic) neighboring countries in favor of the Sonderbund was no longer to be expected. Probably for this reason General von Salis-Soglio spoke out against the opinion of Constantin Siegwart-Müller to continue the offensive and wanted to remain defensive. On the same day, however, the federal execution decision was made, which amounted to a declaration of war on the Sonderbund and thus decided the civil war that General Henri Dufour was to wage. As a result, Salis-Soglio led the first confrontations between the Sonderbund and the Confederations at Honau, Root and on November 12th in the meeting of Geltwil in the Freiamt of Aargau .

The aim of the Sonderbund wanted to bring about a political change in the Catholic cantons, but after the western theater of war, the isolated canton of Friborg , had already surrendered to the state army on November 14th, attempts were made at least to defend the stronghold of Lucerne. The Federal 6th Division stationed in Ticino under Colonel Giacomo Luvini tried to separate the units of the Sonderbund stationed in the Canton of Graubünden under Colonel Eduard von Salis-Soglio, the brother of the Commander-in-Chief, from the main power. Slightly wounded in the decisive battle between Gisikon and Meierskappel on Lake Zug on November 23, 1847 , Johann Ulrich von Salis-Soglio led the withdrawal of the Sonderbund to Lucerne. After the council of war there fled to Uri, Salis-Soglio was given the power to negotiate with General Dufour about the surrender of Lucerne. Recognizing the rapidly increasing dissolution of the Sonderbund, he followed the escaped leaders via Stans to Uri on November 24th, crossed the Furka to Valais on November 25th and fled from there to Lombardy into exile in Italy. After the official surrender of all the Sonderbund cantons on November 29, Salis-Soglio was charged with treason, but there was never a trial. Salis-Soglio returned to Switzerland after a short exile, but lived very secluded in Chur until his death.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Instead, the ADB states April 17, 1871.