This is not a complete list!
GENERAL NATHANIEL PRENTISS BANKS
This is not a complete list!
GENERAL NATHANIEL PRENTISS BANKS
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks, (See Photo), was born in Waltham, Massachusetts, on January 30, 1816. Nicknamed "the Bobbin Boy of Massachusetts" because he had gone to work at an early age in a cotton mill which his father superintended, Banks had little formal education. At the age of twenty-three he was admitted to the bar, but failed seven times to become a member of the Massachusetts legislature before winning a seat. He was speaker of the Massachusetts house, presided over the Constitutional Convention of 1853, and the same year was elected to Congress - the first of ten terms under five different party affiliations. Elected Speaker of the House of Representatives after 133 ballots in 1856, Banks showed moderation in deciding among factions during the bitter slavery debates. In 1858 he was elected governor of Massachusetts, serving until January, 1861, when Lincoln appointed him a major general of volunteers after Banks proffered his services. Many West Point officers could not be made to understand that, however substandard Banks's qualifications were for the job of a field commander, he contributed immeasurably in recruits, morale, money, and propaganda to the Federal cause. He was expelled from the Shenandoah with the loss of 30 per cent of his force during Stonewall Jackson's celebrated Valley campaign and, in August, 1862, was again defeated by Jackson at Cedar Mountain. Banks was responsible for costly assaults at Port Hudson, which was compelled to surrender anyway after the capitulation of Vicksburg, and was the commander, if not the author, (*12) of the ill-fated Red River campaign of 1864. After the evacuation of Alexandria during the retreat of the expedition, Banks was superseded by General E. R. S. Canby. Having received the thanks of Congress for "the skill, courage, and endurance which compelled the surrender of Port Hudson," General Banks was mustered out of military service in August, 1865, and was almost immediately elected to Congress - his first of six terms, five as a Republican and one as a democrat, in the postwar years. During the same period he was elected once to the Massachusetts senate and served nine years as United States marshal for the state. Before the end of his last term in the House of Representatives he retired to his home in Waltham where he died on September 1, 1894, and was buried in Grove Hill Cemetery.
(*12) - Authority for the expedition seems to have been the responsibility of President Lincoln and Secretary of State Seward.
GENERAL GEORGE CROOK
George Crook, (See Photo), was born near Dayton, Ohio, September 8, 1828. Securing his early education in the common schools, he was graduated from West Point in 1852, ranking thirty-eighth in a class of forty-three, and was commissioned in the 4th Infantry. Until the outbreak of the Civil War, Crook was stationed mainly in northern California and in Washington. On September 12, 1861, he was appointed colonel of the 36th Ohio and with his regiment served in western Virginia. In August, 1862, he was commissioned brigadier general and took part in the Maryland campaign, engaging in the battles of South Mountain and Sharpsburg in command of a brigade of three Ohio regiments, including his own. In 1863, Crook commanded a cavalry division of George H. Thomas' Army of the Cumberland and took part in the Chickamauga campaign. The following year he was again assigned to the Kanawha District in western Virginia where he defeated and routed the forces of Confederate General A. G. Jenkins at the battle of Cloyd's Mountain. That August he was given command of the Department of Western Virginia and, subsequently, of one of the three corps of Sheridan's army in the Shenandoah. He was promoted to major general of volunteers to rank from October 21, 1864. The following February he returned to the command of his department and made his headquarters at Cumberland, Maryland, at that time a town of some eight thousand inhabitants. Here, one of the most daring feats of the war was performed at Crook's expense. Crook's private rooms were in the Revere House, a hotel operated by one Daily (or Dailey), whose daughter Mary later became Crook's wife. Daily's son was a member of Captain Jesse McNeill's band of Confederate "Partisan Rangers." Early in the morning of February 21 these sixty young men overpowered or deceived the Union pickets and, in the face of some ten thousand Union troops, captured and made off with Generals Crook and Benjamin F. Kelley who was also engaged to a Cumberland belle. They were taken to Richmond, where they were paroled and subsequently exchanged - Crook, as of March 20, 1865. (*86) During the final operations culminating in the surrender at Appomattox, General Crook commanded a division of cavalry in the Army of the Potomac and was brevetted major general in the regular service. In the army reorganization of 1866, Crook became lieutenant colonel of the 23rd Infantry. For the next twenty years he enjoyed unusually rapid promotion to the grade of major general and was constantly on the western frontier, pacifying the various tribes of hostile Indians. One of his few failures was against Geronimo's Southern Chiricahua Apaches; their surrender was engineered by General Nelson A. Miles a few months after Crook's relief. From 1888 his headquarters was in Chicago, where he commanded the Division of the Missouri until his death on March 21, 1890. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
(*86) - Secretary of War Stanton was so enraged by this event that U. S. Grant had to cool him off umtil an official investigation was made. Even then (and no investigation took place) there was talk of replacing Crook with Crocker. The latter, however, was in New Mexico and unavailable. All the details of this incident are in the Official Records, XLVI, passim.
GENERAL ISAAC HARDIN DUVAL
Isaac Hardin Duval (*116) (See Photo), was born September 1, 1824, near the Ohio River at Wellsburg, in the strip of (West) Virginia between Ohio and Pennsylvania. After attendance at the common schools of the neighborhood, he joined an elder brother in conducting a trading post at Fort Smith, Arkansas. He became a hunter and trapper on the western plains and voyaged to Mexico and Central and South America. In 1849 Duval is said to have led the first emigrant train from Texas to California and two years after that took part in the Cuban insurrection of Narcisco Lopez. In 1853 Duval returned to Wellsburg and entered the mercantile business. His section was attached more to the North than the South both geographically and by settlement (*117); consequently he supported the Union and on June 1, 1861, was mustered into service as major of the 1st (West) Virginia Infantry - a three-month regiment mustered out in August and replaced in October by a three-year regiment. On September 19, 1862, he was appointed colonel of the 9th West Virginia. Duval spent most of his time in the West Virginia mountains chasing bushwhackers but also engaged in more than thirty battles and skirmishes, was wounded three times, and had eleven horses shot from under him. At the battle of Cloyd's Mountain in May, 1864, he led his regiment in a desperate, uphill charge against Confederate breastworks - breaking the line, but suffering 30 per cent casualties in the process. He was made a brigadier general to rank from September 24, 1864, meantime participating in Philip Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley campaign in the Army of West Virginia under George Crook. With the brevet of major general for gallantry, Duval embarked upon a postwar career of persistent office-holding. He was successively state senator in West Virginia, state adjutant general, Congressman (1869-71), U. S. assessor of internal revenue for twelve years, and memebr of the lower house of the state legislature. He died at Wellsburg on July 10, 1902, and was buried there.
(*116) - Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1949 gives Duval's middle name as Harding, which is apparently an error, according to Mr. Boyd B. Stutler of Charleston, West Virginia, an authority on West Virginia history to whom the author is much indebted for information on General Duval's life.
(*117) - In 1860 the population of Virginia numbered 1,100,000 whites and 491,000 slaves. In the forty-eight counties which became West Virginia, the whites numbered 335,000 and the slaves less than 13,000. Thus in eastern Virginia there was a slave for each one and one-quarter white persons; whereas in the western part of the state there was one slave for approximately thirty-eight whites.
GENERAL ULYSSES SIMPSON GRANT
Ulysses Simpson Grant, (See Photo), ranking general of the armies of the United States and eighteenth President, was born April 27, 1822, in the Ohio River hamlet of Point Pleasant, Ohi. He was baptized Hiram Ulysses; however, upon his admission to West Point in 1839 he was reported by the Congressman who had authored his appointment as Ulysses Simpson, Simpson being his mother's maiden name. In his four years at the Academy he was outstanding only in equestrianism, a proficiency gained at his father's farm, where at the age of seven he had begun to haul wood with a team. "Sam" Grant was graduated twenty-first in a class of thirty-nine and on July 1, 1843, was brevetted a second lieutenant of infantry, there being no vacancy in any of the cavalry regiments for the best horseman at West Point. During the Mexican War he rendered distinguished service in the army of Zachary Taylor, whom Grant greatly admired. After the battle of Monterey, Grant's 4th Infantry was transferred to Winfield Scott's army of invasion at Vera Cruz, and as regimental quartermaster Grant discharged his staff duties with great ability and also took part in the fighting at Molino del Rey and Chapultepec, which won him the brevets of first lieutenant and captain. Assigned to the Pacific Northwest, he seems to have at times taken to the bottle, and after a warning from his commanding officer, resigned his army commission as of July 31, 1854. During the next six years he was successively (and unsuccessfully) a farmer, real estate salesman, candidate for county engineer (at St. Louis), and customhouse clerk. At length he was reduced to a clerkship in a leather store conducted by his two brothers in Galena, Illinois. At this point Grant's career started upward: within three years he commanded the armies of the United States, and within seven he was elected Chief Executive. Few army officers in American history have achieved such rapid advancement from relative obscurity. However, even at the outbreak of war Grant found no ready market for his talents and it was not until June 17, 1861, that he was appointed colonel of the 21st Illinois - despite his having offered his services to the adjutant general in Washington and to General George B. McClellan, then considering applications in Cincinnati. Grant's regiment was ordered to Missouri, where on August 7 he was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers to rank from May 17. The appointment stemmed from Grant's connection with Elihu B. Washburne, an important member of the Illinois Congressional delegation which parceled out the four Illinois brigadierships. After having been in command at Cairo for a time and having survived the ill-advised attack on Belmont, Missouri, Grant prepared to assault the center of the Confederate line protecting Nashville. The resulting surrender of Forts Henry and Donelson in February, 1862, won him vast stretches of Confederate-held territory, the acclaim of the nation, the sobriquet of "Unconditional Surrender," and a commission as major general of volunteers. Next followed the bloody battle of Shiloh, in which Grant and W. T. Sherman were surprised by Albert Sidney Johnston and nearly driven into the Tennessee River, before the arrival of D. C. Buell and the death of Johnston helped turn the tide. Until July 1863, Grant occupied himself with plans to take the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg, which would split the Confederacy in two and give the Union control of the last railroad leading east from the Mississippi. After one abortive attempt in the fall of 1862, Grant determined to march his troops down the west bank of the river to a rendezvous with David Porter's gunboats which were to run the batteries and then ferry Grant's men to the east bank. The plan was successful; after interposing between the forces of Joseph E. Johnston and John C. Pemberton, Grant defeated Johnston with his right, driving him out of Jackson, and with his left drove Pemberton into his fortifications at Vicksburg, after inflicting defeats on him at Baker's Creek (Champion's Hill) and Big Black River Bridge. The Confederate garrison capitulated July 4, 1863, and Grant was acclaimed and rewarded with the appointment to major-general in the Regular Army. In November came the relief of William S. Rosecrans' beleaguered forces in Chattanooga, the replacement of Rosecrans by George H. Thomas in command of the Army of the Cumberland, and the routing of Braxton Bragg's army by the combined forces of Thomas, Sherman, and Joseph Hooker. A gold medal, the revived grade of lieutenant general carrying with it command of all the armies, and the adulation of the Union were now bestowed upon Grant. At this juncture a coordinated plan was devised to bring about the downfall of the Confederacy: hurling George G. Meade's Army of the Potomac against Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, Benjamin F. Butler's Army of the James against Lee's communications, and Sherman's forces (Armies of the Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland) against Johnston's Confederate Army of Tennessee - which was entrenched ninety miles northwest of Atlanta. Making his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac, Grant directed the sanguinary struggles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, the North Anna, and Cold Harbor in May and June of 1864. Union losses were staggering and equaled the entire strength of Lee's army at the beginning of the campaign. Following the failure to take Petersburg by assault, the siege was on from June 18 until the breakthrough the following spring; the campaign was a gradual extension of the Federal lines to the left to gain possession of the rail lines which supplied Petersburg and Richmond, highlighted by numerous assaults which in the main were successfully resisted by Lee. Sheridan's victory at Five Forks on April 1, 1865, and the penetration of the main Confederate line the following morning compelled Lee to evacuate the two cities and march westward hoping to unite with Johnston. But he was brought to bay at Appomattox and the morning of April 9 surrendered to Grant. On April 26 the war was virtually over when Johnston surrendered to Sherman in North Carolina. The following year Congress revived the grade of full general, unused since the days of Washington, and conferred it upon the general in chief. His siding with the Congressional Radicals and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton against President Andrew Johnson during the Tenure of Office Act imbroglio made Grant the inevitable Republican candidate for President in 1868. He was easily elected over his opponent Horatio Seymour. Grant doled out Cabinet positions with little regard for fitness; criticism was not brooked; and gifts were loosely accepted. However, Grant's abundance of simple honesty weathered the storms of the 1873 panic, the earlier factionalism which had impeached a President, the dispute with England, and the threat of crisis during the disputed election of 1876. Following his retirement from the presidency, Grant traveled abroad for two years and in 1880 was a leading contender for nomination to a third term 306 delegates remaining loyal until the end, when a coalition of Grant's oppo- nents agreed upon James A. Garfield as the candidate. The last years of Grant's life were marked by want, misfortune, and agonizing illness. He lived in New York in a house and on a trust fund donated by admirers for a time, but the income failed and he entered a business in which his name could be exploited. The insolvency of the brokerage firm of Grant & Ward threw Grant into bankruptcy and his swords and souvenirs were lost as security for a loan which he had been unable to repay. At length his friends succeeded in having his name restored to the retired list of the army, carrying with it a salary for life. In his last months he wrote his memoirs which were published by Mark Twain. The Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant proved to he one of the greatest successes in the annals of publishing, earning nearly $450,000 for his family. Toward the end, speechless and racked by throat cancer, Grant wrote notes on slips of paper in order to finish the manuscript. He died on July 23, 1885, at Mount McGregor, New York, and his remains lie in a mausoleum on Riverside Drive in New York City.
GENERAL DAVID HUNTER
David Hunter, (See Photo), whose maternal grandfather, Richard Stockton, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Washington on July 21, 1802. Cullum's Register states that "little is known of his early life before entering the Military Academy," from which he was graduated in 1822. Serving on frontier duty in what was then the Northwest - stationed at Fort Dearborn (Chicago) from 1828 to 1831 - he met and married the daughter of the city's first permanent resident, John Kinzie. He resigned in 1836 in order to speculate in Chicago real estate, but six years later returned to the army as paymaster with the staff rank of major. In 1850 Hunter, then stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, initiated a correspondence with the newly elected President Lincoln, which won for him an invitation to travel on the inaugural train to Washington in February, 1861. Almost immediately he became a prime example of Lincoln's inability - at that stage of the war - to select officers for high command, for he was made the fourth ranking volunteer general. Hunter's Civil War record ranged from his order abolishing slavery in the Department of the South in March, 1862 (repudiated instantly by Lincoln) to his burning of the buildings of the Virginia Military Institute in 1864, following which he retired rapidly into the mountains of West Virginia. He had previously presided at the court-martial of Fitz John Porter - "organized to convict" as it was said - and would win the additional distinction of presiding at the trial of the Lincoln conspirators, Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt evidently feeling that he had a kindred spirit who could be depended upon to exclude all testimony favorable to the defense and unfavorable to summary execution. His confidence was not misplaced. Mrs. Surratt and three others were hurried to the gallows. Hunter accompanied the body of President Lincoln to Springfield. Hunter's field service embraced the first Manassas campaign, where he was wounded; the battle of Secessionville, during which he unsuccessfully attempted to take Charleston; and the battle of Piedmont, after which he yielded up the Shenandoah Valley to General Jubal Early, who promptly marched on Washington. In 1866 he was retired as colonel of cavalry with the brevets of brigadier and major general, U. S. Army. Thereafter he lived in Washington until his death on February 2, 1886; he was buried in Princeton, New Jersey.
GENERAL BENJAMIN FRANKLIN KELLEY
Benjamin Franklin Kelley, (See Photo), was born April 10, 1807, in New Hampton, New Hampshire. At the age of nineteen he moved to Wheeling, in what is now West Virginia, and in 1851 became freight agent of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad there. In May, 1861, Kelley raised the 1st (West) Virginia, a ninety-day regiment which he led at the battle of Phillippi on June 3. (*290) He was wounded severely during this engagement and upon recovery was commissioned brigadier general to rank from May 17. Virtually all of General Kelley's war service took place in West Virginia and Maryland, where his principal duty was to guard the line of the Baltimore and Ohio and to fend off the constant incursions of Confederate raides seeking to sever this vital line of communications. In consequence he took part in the pursuit of the army of Northern Virginia after Gettysburg, the dispersal of Imboden's camp near Moorefield in November, 1863, and the engagements at Cumberland, Maryland, and Moorefield and New Creek, West Virginia in 1864. On February 21, 1865, a band of Confederate partisan rangers made a raid on Cumberland, Maryland, and carried off General Kelley along with General George Crook, his superior in command of the department of West Virginia. Both Crook and Kelley were at the time engaged to belles of the town (whom they subsequently married), and the affair created a contemporary furore which has been studiously ignored by the biographers of both men. (291) Aftera brief sojurn in Richmond, Kelley was released by special exchange. He had been brevetted major general on August 5, 1864, and on June 1, 1865, resigned from the army. During the remainder of his life General Kelley held a succession of Federal positions as a reward for his wartime exploits: President Grant made him a collector of internal revenue for West Virginia in 1866 and superintendent of the Hot Springs, Arkansas, military reservation ten years later; in 1883 President Arthur appointed him an examiner of pensions. He died in Oakland, Maryland, on July 16, 1891, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
(*290) - In the first year of the war the "loyal" regiments recruited in western Virginia were called 1st Virginia, 2nd Virginia, etc. After Congress admitted West Virginia as a state in 1862, the nomenclature was changed accordingly.
GENERAL FREDERICK WEST LANDER
Frederick West Lander, (See Photo), a native of Salem, Massachusetts, was born on December 17, 1821, of a distinguished American pioneer family. Privately educated, he studied for a career in engineering. After doing survey work on a number of eastern railroads, he was engaged on the survey of the Northern Pacific route in 1853; in the decade of the 1850's he participated in five transcontinental surveys, including that of the overland wagon road. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Lander went to Texas to ascertain the extent of Union sentiment there. He was later an aide to George B. McClellan at the engagements of Philippi and Rich Mountain; on August 5, 1861, he was commissioned brigadier general of volunteers to rank from May 17, and took command of a brigade of Stone's division. The day after the Federal disaster at Ball's Bluff, Lander was wounded in a skirmish at Edwards Ferry, which he was holding with a company of sharpshooters. He was soon promoted to divisional command and on January 5, 1862, successfully defended the town of Hancock, Maryland, against assault by an allegedly superior force of Confederates under Stonewall Jackson. (*319) His division was then put into camp at Paw Paw, Virginia (now West Virginia), on the upper Potomac, and on February 14, 1862, he led in person an attack on a "rebel nest" in nearby Bloomery Gap. (*320) In writing his report of this engagement, he applied for relief from command "my health [being] too much broken to do any severe work." (*321)Immediate relief was not forthcoming, and two weeks later, while preparing to move his command to support N. P. Banks in the Shenandoah, he was mortally stricken by a "congestive chill." After more than twenty hours under morphine, he died on March 2, 1862, at Camp Chase, Paw Paw, (*322) and was buried in the Broad Street Burial Ground in Salem. Lander, besides pursuing his engineering and military careers, was an accomplished writer and the author of numerous patriotic poems of the Civil War. His wife, the English actress Jean Davenport (an early Shirley Temple), delighted audiences in Europe and America for forty years.
(*319) - See Jackson's report, Official Records, V, 389 ff., wherein he states his objective was Grafton and the taking of Hancock was not worth the potential casualty list.
(*320) - See Lander's report, idid., 405-406. Lander's biographers (probably copying from each other) misspell the name as "Blooming Gap," although it appears uniformly in the Official Records as within.
GENERAL NATHANIEL LYON
Nathaniel Lyon, (See Photo), who more than any other man saved Missouri for the Union in 1861, was born July 14, 1818, in that part of the Connecticut "town" of Ashford which is now a part of Eastford. (+344) After a common-school education and a few months at the Brooklyn, Connecticut academy, Lyon matriculated at West point and was graduated in 1841, ranking eleventh in a class of fifty-two. During the years before the war he fought against the Florida Seminoles and although denouncing the participation of the United States in the Mexican War, was nevertheless brevetted captain for gallantry in the conflict. For several years thereafter he was on duty in California. Lyon's political and military concepts became fixed in the period 1854-61, while he was stationed in "Bleeding Kansas." Even though he was far from being an abolitionist and was not even in favor of disturbing slavery where it existed, he developed an unconditional adherence to the Union. As commander of the St. Louis arsenal after February, 1861, he used this uncompromising attitude - which he would force if necessary upon those of secessionist proclivities - to provide the keynote for the removal of General William S. Harney as commander at St. Louis and for subsequent meetings between the secessionists Governor Claiborne Jackson; his lieutenant, Sterling Price, later a Confederate major general; Francis P. Blair, a Union Congressman who would also become a Union major general; and lyon. The upshot of these conferences was summarized by lyon's remark, "This means war." In the meantime, lyon rendered impotent the secessionsit threat to Missouri's largest city, by seizing the encampment of the pro-Confederate Missouri militia under General D. M. Frost at Camp Jackson in St. Louis. He was jumped from captain of the 2nd Infantry to brigadier general of volunteers on May 17, 1861, and in subsequent months attempted to drive the pro-Confederate elements from the state. After a series of minor operations he determined to attack the Confederate forces under Ben McCulloch on Wilson's Creek near Springfield, Missouri. This encounter on August 10, 1861, termed "the hardest four hours' fighting that up to that time had ever taken place on the American continent," (*345) resulted in a Pyrrhic victory for McCulloch's Confederates and in the death of Lyon. (346) He was buried in a cemetery near his birthplace.
(*344) - The author is greatly indebted to Mr. Harry Chase, Pomfret Center Connecticut, for data on the place of birth and place of burial of General Lyon, as well as for a disquisition on the meaning of Connecticut "towns," "parishes," "societies," etc. A "town" was a geographical area rather than a defined community; thus Lyon was born near what is today the village of Eastford and is buried near the village of Phoenixville.
(*345) - Horn, The Army of Tennessee, 28, 432 n. 25.
(*346) - Rumor was rife at the time that Lyon was deliberately shot by one of his own men - a tale reenforced to some extent by the fact that he was a rigid disciplinarian, cordially hated by many of the Midwest farm boys of his command, and that the fatal bullet entered the small of his back. (Letter of Mr. Harry Chase to author, August 11, 1961; Chase's grandparents were neighbors of Lyon and attended his funeral.)
GENERAL JAMES BREWERTON RICKETTS
James Brewerton Ricketts, (See Photo), orn June 21, 1817, was a native of Ne York City. He was appointed to West Point in 1835 and was graduated in the class of 1839. Ricketts pre-Civil War career as an officer of artilelry was unexceptionable, and he received no brevet promotions in the Mexican War, although he took part in the battles of Monterey and Buena Vista. He was made captain in 1852, and at First Manassas on July 21, 1861, he commanded a battery of Heintzelman's division. During this battle he was shot four times and was taken prisoner by the Confederates; he was not exchanged until January, 1862. Rickets was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on April 30, 1862, to rank from the day of the battle "for gallant and meritorious conduct" and was assigned to the command of a division of McDowell's corps, which he commanded at Cedar Mountain (where he covered N. P. Bank's withdrawal) and at Second Manassas. (*524) At Sharpsburg, Ricketts had two horses killed and was badly injured when the second one fell on him. When he recovered sufficiently for duty, he was appointed to the Fitz John Porter court-martial, and as a result his reputation has suffered as has that of certain of the other members who were patently self-servers. (*525) He did not return to the field until March, 1864, when he was assigned to a division of Sedgwick's VI Corps, which he led through Grant's Overland campaign against Richmond. In July, 1864, his command, numbering 3,350 muskets, was hurried North to oppose Jubal Early's raid on Washington. Ricketts arrived at the Monocacy River in time to bear the brunt of the Confederate assault and to delay Early for a vital twenty-four hours. Lew Wallace, his superior on the field, recorded that the division "fought magnificiently"; of the total Union loss of 677 men, Ricketts division lost 595. He then engaged in Philip Sheridan's Shenendoah campaign; and at Cedar Creek in October, while temporarily commanding the corps, Ricketts was wounded by a bullet through his chest which disabled him for life. Nonetheless, he returned to command of his division two days before R. E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Ricketts was brevetted major general of volunteers on August 1, 1864, and in the regular Army as of March13, 1865. On January 3, 1867, he was retired from active service as a major general for disability from wounds received in battle; however, he continued to do court-martial duty until 1869. He lived in Washington until his death on September 22, 1887; he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
(*524) - During Second Manassas Rickett's division was thrown forward by Irvin McDowell into Thoroughfare Gap in the Bull Run Mountains to bar the advance of James Longstreet, who was seeking to unite his wing of the Army of Northern Virginia with that of Stonewall Jackson. Rufus King's division was ordered to Gainesville in support, but King withdrew without orders, compelling Rickett's, who was being flanked and in danger of being cut off, to withdraw also. Some historians have criticized Ricketts' action and have attempted to infer from the findings of the subsequent "McDowell Board of Inquiry" that the board found Ricketts guilty of a "grave error." This writer feels that the "grave error" was charged to King and that Ricketts' subsequent retirement was a logical consequence thereof.
(*525) - With the exceptions of Prentiss, to whom no suspicion attaches, and Ricketts, every judge was beholden to Edwin M. Stanton for his tenure or impending promotion. The other judges, after the guilty verdict, were remunerated in a number of ways. Only Ricketts, significantly, "was not promoted after the verdict was rendered, nor one of the brigadiers who at the close of the war were made major-generals...." (Cullum, Biographical Register, II, 4-5.) This suggests that Ricketts may have voted for acquittal, thus incurring the War Department's displeasure. For a full discussion see Eisenschiml, The Celebrated Case of Fitz John Porter, passim; and Official Records, XII, Pt. 1, pp. 323-32, and XII, Supplement to Pt. 2, passim.
GENERAL PHILIP H. SHERIDAN
PHILIP HENRY SHERIDAN, (See Photo), Philip Henry Sheridan, one of the three Union generals who won the greatest fame in the Civil War, may have been born in any one of several locations on a date which he himself occasionally reestablished. According to his memoirs, he was born in Albany, New York, on March 6, 1831. (*578) When he was an infant the family moved to the frontier village of Somerset, Ohio, where the future general secured a basic education, clerked in a country store, and received an appointment to West Point in the class of 1852 by virtue of the failure of the original appointee to pass the entrance examination. A year before his expected graduation, "a quarrel of a belligerent character" with a fellow-cadet (later General William R. Terrill) resulted in his suspension from the Academy for a year. (*579) Accordingly he was graduated in 1853, ranking in the bottom third of his class. After eight years of service on the frontier his advance in rank from the grade of second lieutenant, 4th Infantry, was not achieved until the defection of superiors to the Confederate cause created vacancies in the line of promotion in 1861. Sheridan's first active field service was as chief quartermaster and commissary of the Army of Southwest Missouri; next he served as General Henry W. Halleck's headquarters quartermaster during the tortoise-like advance on Corinth subsequent to Shiloh. On May 25, 1862, however, he was appointed colonel of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry; thereafter his rise in rank and responsibility was meteoric and is comparable only to that of John B. Hood, Sheridan's classmate who rose from first lieutenant to full general in the Confederate hierarchy. Sheridan was made a brigadier general of volunteers on September 13, 1862, to rank from July 1; fought stubbornly at Perryville and Murfreesboro; and on March 16, 1863, was promoted major general to rank from the date of the battle of Murfreesboro. At Chickamauga Sheridan commanded the 3rd Division of Alexander McD. McCook's XX Corps, losing 1,500 out of 4,000 men brought into action as well as two of his three brigade commanders. Some two months later at Missionary Ridge during the various encounters which made up the battle of Chattanooga, Sheridan's men, without orders from anybody, clawed up the height and wrested it from their Confederate opponents. The position was considered impregnable by the Southern commander, Braxton Bragg, and its loss occasioned his relief from command at his own request. Sheridan, on the other hand, made a reputation which immediately attracted the attention of U. S. Grant, who assigned him to the supervision of all of the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac the following spring. At this time Sheridan, a relatively obscure division commander of infantry, sprang into world prominence. Coincident with the beginning of Grant's Overland campaign against Richmond in May, 1864, Sheridan's 10,000 Federal troopers began to make themselves felt in opposition to the depleted and poorly horsed legions of the legendary Jeb Stuart. His men killed Stuart at Yellow Tavern in May, but were not so successful at Hawes' Shop and Trevilian Station. Nevertheless, a constant flow of propaganda magnified Sheridan's successes along with those of Grant, while minimizing the reverses and attendant casualties. After Jubal Early's raid on the environs of Washington in July, 1864, Sheridan was placed in command of the VI and XIX Corps, three divisions of cavalry, and a plentiful supply of artillery (the whole numbering some 43,000 electives and ordered to close the "back door on Washington," Virginia's fertile Shenandoah Valley, by destroying everything which could lend support to the Confederate war effort. He defeated and drove back Early at Winchester and Fisher's Hill in September, but in October, while he was absent, his Army of the Shenandoah was surprised and temporarily routed by the numerically inferior Rebels. Only Early's dilatoriness - a consequence of his indulging in the fond hope that the defeated Federals would dissolve into retreat - saved Sheridan, who was en route from Winchester "twenty miles away," from disaster. Arriving on the field after passing a stream of fugitives, Sheridan, a battlefield tactician of the first order, found only Getty's division of the VI Corps and the cavalry in line of battle and resisting the enemy. In a matter of hours and in the absence of further Confederate pressure, Sheridan reformed his army and retrieved victory from defeat. For this exploit he was made a major general in the Regular Army on November 14, 1864, to rank from November 8, and received the thanks of Congress. Having made of the Shenandoah a wasteland where "a crow would be compelled to carry his own rations," Sheridan rejoined the Army of the Potomac in front of Petersburg in time to take a leading part in the operations which culminated in Robert E. Lee's capitulation at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. At Five Forks Sheridan smashed the weakened Confederate right flank; at Sayler's Creek he compelled the surrender of a large segment of what remained of the renowned Army of Northern Virginia; and near Appomattox he got the leading elements of his men astride Lee's line of retreat. After the conclusion of hostilities in Virginia, Sheridan was instrumental in forcing the government of Napoleon III to withdraw its military support of the Mexican Emperor Maximilian of Austria. The nadir of Sheridan's career was reached in 1867 when he occupied the post of commander of the Fifth Military District, an area embracing Louisiana and Texas which was established by the oppressive Reconstruction acts. Sheridan's administrative policies were so stringent and severe that his removal by President Johnson after six months met with only slight protest from the Radicals in Congress. Upon the accession of Grant to the presidency in 1869, W. T. Sherman became a full general and Sheridan, lieutenant general. Until 1883 Sheridan occupied a number of posts including command of the Division of the Missouri in a period when troubles with the Plains Indians were an everyday occurrence. In 1870-71 he witnessed at first hand the Franco-Prussian War which resulted in the unification of Germany. In 1884 upon the retirement of Sherman he became commanding general of the army and a few months before his death was elevated to the rank of full general to rank from June 1, 1888. General Sheridan died on August 5, 1888, at Nonquitt, Massachusetts, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His wife was a daughter of General Daniel H. Rucker.
(*578) - Sheridan stated at times that he was born in Massachusetts and at other times, in Somerset, Ohio. When he entered West Point he indicated that he was born in 1830, but, in 1864 when he accepted his commission as brigadier general in the Regular Army, he moved the year of his birth to 1832. Some historians believe he was born at sea enroute to America on a vessel flying the British flag, others, that he was born in Ireland. Perhaps Sheridan himself did not know, but for obvious reasons wished it to be known that he was native-born. The author is indebted to Mr. Thomas R. Hay of Locust Valley, New York, for data relating to Sheridan's birth.
(*579) - Personal Memoirs of P. H. Sheridan, I, II.
GENERAL JAMES SHIELDS
JAMES SHIELDS, (See Photo),reportedly the only man to represent three different states in the U. S. Senate, was born May 10, 1810, in County Tyrone, Ireland. (*585) He reached America in 1826, and settled first in Kaskaskia, Illinois. Shields had received an excellent classical education and spoke English and three other languages fluently. he soon was immersed in Democratic politics and the practice of law; he became a member of the Illinois legislature in 1836, served as state auditor thereafter, became a justice of the state supreme court, and was commissioner of the land office in Washington in 1845. In the course of his political career, he almost fought a duel with Abraham Lincoln. During the Mexican War he was a brigadier general of Illinois volunteers, was brevetted major general, and received the commendation of Winfield Scott. He was elected to the Senate from illinois 1849-55, but failied of reelection. Shields now settled on a Minnesota land grant and was elected Senator upon the admission of the state to the Union in 1858, but was not reelected the following year. After a short residence on the West Coast, Shields was commissioned a brigadier general of U. S. Volunteers on August 19, 1861, by his old antagonist (and later close friend) Lincoln. Despite efforts on the part of Irish and other foreign societies and journals to magnify Shield's military reputation, his career in the Civil War could hardly be considered successful. Opposed to Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, where he was expected to act in concert with John C. Fremont, Shields was defeated along with Fremont. Although a division commander at this time, Shields fades from the Official Records after the retreat across the Potomac and it is difficult to determine what duties he discharged until his resignation from the service was accepted on March 28, 1863. (*586) He went back to San Francisco for a time, but by 1866 was living in Carrollton, Missouri, where he reentered the political arena. Losing an election to the U. S. House of Representatives by a very small margin in 1872, he was chosen to fill an unexpired term in the Senate in 1879. Poor health compelled him to forsake reelection. Shields had been a formidable speaker for a variety of causes for nearly fifty years, and it was while on a lecture tour that he died in Ottumwa, Iowa, on June 1, 1879. He was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Carrollton, Missouri.
(*586) - It is an inescapable conclusion that General Shields resigned because his services had not been recognized.