[Marxism] Weydemeyer's rank

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Fri Mar 3 09:17:21 MST 2006

Lüko Willms lueko.

  Dear Charles, I had the enormous enjoyment of reading all the 
correspondence of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels as published by Dietz
Verlag, i.e. known by the 1970ies, and I can tell you a) that there is no
trace at all that Engels engaged in any arms trading, or even brokering of
trade arrangements between the US (i.e. Union) army and the Prussian army
about the sale of cannons, or any other trade in arms. 

CB: Lueko, what do you make of the following sentence in a letter from
Engels to Weydemyer ?

Engels to Weydemeyer: "You may have any number of Prussian howitzers, as
they have all been withdrawn now and replaced by rifled 6-pounders and
4-pounders (which fire 13-pound and 9-pound heavy shells). "


  I also can also tell you b) that F. Engels did not like at all to be tied
to the commerce of cotton, lest in arms, and that he had been immensly
relieved to cut loose of it once he had sold his 50% share in the firm
"Ermen & Engels" in Manchester[1], so that he could finally move to London,
near to where Karl Marx was living, in 1870. I'm only sorry that the nearly
daily correspondence between Marx and General (a nickname gained by Engels
because of his military knowledge) ended, since they could talk together
just by walking to each other's house. 

Comradely yours, 
Lüko Willms
Frankfurt, Germany

[1] inherited from his father

CB: Yes, I have read a lot of Marx-Engels correspondence too,and I have read
much on Engels working in the cotton trade. I'm not sure if you think I
think Engels "liked" working in business, but I'm not really saying he did.
Of course , if he hadn't worked there, Marx would not have had the enormous
financial support that Engels gave him. The point is that Engels earned
money as an obvious necessity. Similarly, it wouldn't be a matter of
enjoying being involved in some purchase of cannon anymore than he enjoyed
working in cotton manufacture. It would be a matter of doing these things
for the "Party" , for the cause : supporting himself and Marx, and family,
and supporting the North.  That's the point, not that Engels enjoyed these.
There is some indication that he had a flare for the military.   

I have here _Engels: His Life and Work_ ( Progress 1987). Wilhelm Liebknecht
is quoted " Engels, by the way, seemed born to be a soldier: He had clear
sight, quickness of perception and appreciation of the smallest
circumstance, rapid decisions and imperturbable coolness... He wrote a
number of excellent essays on miitary questions and, though incognito,
gained recognition by first-class military experts who had no idea that the
anonymous author of the pamphlets was one of the most notorious rebels... If
there had been another revolution in his lifetime. We would have had in
Engels our Carnot, the organiser of armies and victories, the military

In 1849 , Engels joined up to fight with the volunteers of General August
Willich, in the Palatinate), the revolutionary Baden army, which later was

More information about the Marxism mailing list