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Birney, William (28 May 1819–14 August 1907), soldier, journalist, and lawyer, was born in Madison County, Alabama, the son of James Gillespie Birney, a lawyer, state legislator, and abolitionist leader, and Agatha McDowell. In 1818 his family had moved to Huntsville, Alabama, and in late 1835 they relocated to New Richmond, Ohio. Birney was educated at four colleges, including Yale University, and graduated from Cincinnati Law School in 1841. He began practicing law in that city and in 1845 married Catherine Hoffman. They would have nine children. For five years thereafter he resided on the Continent and in England. He contributed essays on the arts to English and American newspapers, and he upheld the activist reputation of his family by opposing French troops as a member of a Republican student battalion in Paris. In 1848 he accepted an appointment as professor of English literature at the lycée in Bourges....

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Halpine, Charles Graham (20 November 1829–03 August 1868), journalist and soldier, was born near Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland, the son of Nicholas John Halpin, a clergyman ordained in the Church of Ireland (Episcopal), and Ann Grehan. The scholarly Halpin devoted considerable time to the education of his son, who early demonstrated gifts as a writer of both prose and poetry. By the age of ten, Charles was accomplished in French and Latin, and shortly before his fifteenth birthday he enrolled in his father’s alma mater, Trinity College, Dublin. He left Dublin before graduation and read law at Lincoln’s Inn, London; held a minor political office at Somerset House; and wrote articles and poems for a variety of English newspapers and magazines. In 1849 he married a childhood sweetheart, Margaret G. Milligan. They had seven children. In February 1850, soon after the birth of their first child, he left his wife with her parents and, in search of fame and fortune, joined the exodus of the Irish to the United States. The family was reunited in 1853....

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Stahel, Julius (05 November 1825–04 December 1912), soldier, journalist, and diplomat, was born Julius Stahel-Szamvald in Szeged, Hungary, the son of Andreas Stahel-Szamvald and Barbara Nagy. After receiving a classical education in Szeged and Budapest, he operated a bookstore in the latter city. In his early twenties he entered the Austrian army and rose to lieutenant. When Hungary waged a war for independence, Stahel joined the revolutionary forces of Louis Kossuth. The independence movement was suppressed in 1849, and he fled his native land, living in London and Berlin before coming to the United States in 1856....