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Palle de Rosencrantz, son of Colonel Henrik Ludvig R. and Clara Fredrika von der Lancken, was born in Ekeröd in Röddinge Parish, County of Malmöhus, Osby, Sweden on January 13, 1825.

Palle de Rosencrantz was a student at Lund University in Sweden and a member of the Blekingska Nationen, a fraternity, in 1840; served as a Sub-Lieutenant at Skånska dragonregementet in the Scanian Dragoons in 1844; was a Second Lieutenant at the Danish gardeshusardivision from March 13th through August 24, 1849; took part in, among others, the Battle of Fredericia; left the Swedish armed forces 1853, but had obtained leave since 1851 to enter the French Forces; was captain in the British Foreign Legion in Crimeas in 1855; took part as a Major at the 4th New York Cavalry Regiment in the American Civil War of 1861-63; returned as a Major at the Danish Army’s High Command in 1864 and took part in the defence of the Dybbøl Ramparts.

Palle deRosencrantz was a Knight of the Dannebrog, a Danish order, considered one of the fastest and bravest warriors of the last century, both in 1849 and 1864, and was extraordinarily popular in the Danish army.Palle deRosencrantz was a Knight of the Dannebrog, a Danish order, considered one of the fastest and bravest warriors of the last century, both in 1849 and 1864, and was extraordinarily popular in the Danish army.In May, 1861, a Major Byron commenced recruiting a company of cavalry known as the “Lincoln Greens” and in June Colonel Christian F. Dickel became connected with it. On July 26, 1861, Dickel received authority from the War Department to organize a Regiment of cavalry, so he used the Lincoln Greens as a nucleus of his regiment; which was then known as “Dickel's Mounted Rifles”. The regiment was organized at New York city, mustered in the service of the United States for three years, between August 10 and November 15, 1861 and designated by the New York State authorities as the 4th Regiment of Cavalry.


Palle was recruited at New York City for a three year period and enlisted as a Captain in the 1st German Cavalry on September 7, 1861; which later became the 4th New York Cavalry. Palle was nominated Captain of his company, shown on the company muster roll, as Captain of Rosencrantz’s Company 1, German Cavalry; later designated as Rosencrantz’s Company 4, New York Cavalry. He was then promoted to Major of Company D, 4th New York Cavalry, but was never officially commissioned.

In November 1861 the two companies recruited by Captains Trautwein and de Rosecrantz, for the German Cavalry, a regiment to recruit which Colonel G. A. Moltke received authority from the War Department on August 20, 1861, but which failed due to a lack of organization, joined this regiment; Captain Trautwein's company became Company H, and Captain de Rosecrantz's company was transferred to the other companies, mainly to Company I. In fall of 1861, the company recruited by Capt. John McDonnell for the regiment was also consolidated with the other companies.

The regiment, consisting of eight companies, left New York on August 29, 1861, and served in Blenker's Division, Army of the Potomac, from September, 1861. On December 20, 1861 at Hunters Chapel, Virginia, Palle resigned due to his deteriorating health. A medical report by Dr. A. Majer, New York Mounted Rifles testified to his condition;

“Major Rosencranz (sic) of the IV NY Cavalry has been several weeks under medical treatment of the undersigned for chronic rheumatism et arthritis. It is my opinion that he will not be able to
undergo the fatigues and hardships of a winter campaign, but that a change of climate is all but absolutely necessary for his physical condition – I therefore recommend to grant him his resignation from the Army at once.”

Dr. A. Majer, NY Mounted Rifles
Headquarters IV NY Cavalry
Hunters Chapel, Va., December 20, 1861

On January 2, 1862 his resignation was accepted by the Medical Examining Board and Rosencrantz returned to Europe. Still having the military in his blood, Rosencrantz in 1864 was shown serving as a Major with the Danish High Command in their new war with Prussia. Nothing else is known of Palle’s life until he reappeared, in Australia, and then the only evidence available is a public notice of his probate will; in Queensland. He apparently moved north to Rockhampton, Queensland where he established his home, because of Queensland’s warmer weather after making port, most likely in Sydney, New South Wales. He later named his local Catholic Church Priest as executor and trustee of his estate. On September 14, 1877 a very short and non-informative notice was issued regarding the final execution of a will for one Palle de Rosencrantz;

In the Supreme Court of Queensland

In the will of Palle Rosencrantz, late of Rockhampton, in the Colony of Queensland, tourist, deceased:

NOTICE is hereby given that after the expiration of fourteen days from the publication hereof, application will be made to the said Honourable Court that Probate of the Will of the above named Palle Rosencrantz, deceased, may be granted to Reverend Charles Murray of Rockhampton, aforesaid Roman Catholic clergyman, the Executor and Trustee named in said will.

Palle de Rosencrantz died at Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, on September 7, 1877 and was buried Sept. 09, 1877 in the South Rockhampton Cemetery, Roman Catholic Section 16, grave site No. 3822; in an unmarked grave.


Svend-Erik Gottlieb, Rigsarkivet & Landsarkivet for Sjælland

Archives de France
Danish National Archives, Stockholm, Sweden
“Historical Register of the United States Army, from its Organization September 29, 1789, to September 29, 1889”, F. B. Heitman
Jakob Andersen, Deputy Director, Danmarks Pædagogiske Bibliotek
National Archives Microfilm Collection, Wash., D.C., Film No. M551 roll 120
National Archives of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
“New York in the War of the Rebellion”, Frederick Phisterer. 1912.
New York State Archives, Albany, New York
“Official Army Register of the Volunteer Force of the United States Army for the Years 1861, '62, '63, '64 '65”, U.S. Adjutant-General's Office,Washington, D.C.
Queensland State Archives, Brisbane, Australia
“Records of New York Officers”, Frederick Phister
“Registers of the New York Regiments in the War of the Rebellion”, New York Adjutant-General's Office
“Svenskarne Under Dannebrogen”, Stockholm, 1902
“Swedish Immigrants in Lincoln’s Time”, Nels Hokanson
Swedish Federation of Genealogical Studies
"The story of a Regiment [Fourth New York State Volunteer Cavalry]”, United States Army and Navy journal
“The Swedes under Dannebrog 1848-1850”, Stockholm, 1903


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