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Andrews, George Leonard (31 August 1828–04 April 1899), soldier, engineer, and educator, was born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, the son of Manasseh Andrews and Harriet Leonard. After attending the state normal school at Bridgewater, he was accepted as a candidate at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He graduated at the head of the class of 1851 and was appointed second lieutenant of engineers. His first duty after graduation was in his home state, participating in the construction of Fort Warren in Boston Harbor. He then returned to the academy as an assistant professor....

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John Shaw Billings. Courtesy of the Clendening History of Medicine Library and Museum, University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Billings, John Shaw (12 April 1838–11 March 1913), army medical officer, library organizer, and public health activist, was born near Allensville, Indiana, the son of James Billings, a farmer and storekeeper, and Abby Shaw. Despite spotty secondary schooling, he ultimately went to Miami College (Ohio), where he earned his B.A. in 1857. He was awarded the M.D. by the Medical College of Ohio in 1860. Billings remained with the latter institution for a year as an anatomical demonstrator, but after the outbreak of the Civil War he joined the U.S. Army as a contract surgeon. In 1862 he was commissioned first lieutenant and assistant surgeon and went on to make army service his career. Also in 1862 he married Katharine Mary Stevens; they had five children....

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Joshua L. Chamberlain. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1859).

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Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence (08 September 1828–24 February 1914), soldier, politician, and educator, was born in Brewer, Maine, the son of Joshua Chamberlain, a farmer and shipbuilder, and Sarah Dupee Brastow. After attending a military academy in Ellsworth, Chamberlain entered Bowdoin College in 1848, graduating in 1852. Three years later, after graduating from the Bangor Theological Seminary, he joined Bowdoin’s faculty and taught a broad range of subjects, including logic, natural theology, rhetoric, oratory, and modern languages. In 1855 he married Frances Caroline Adams; of the couple’s five children, three survived to adulthood....

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Dodge, Theodore Ayrault (28 May 1842–25 October 1909), soldier, businessman, and military historian, was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the son of Nathaniel Shattswell Dodge, a wealthy writer and a U.S. War Department official, and Emily Pomeroy. His great-grandfather fought at Bunker Hill. When Theodore was eight years old, his father was appointed American commissioner to the London Exhibition, and the family moved to Europe. Theodore was sent to school at the College des Josephites in Tirelmont, Belgium, and was tutored in Berlin. There he lived with the family of retired Prussian general Gebhardt von Froerich, attended the Friedrich Werderschen Gymnasium, and absorbed the Prussian work ethos, including dedication to the profession of arms and commitment to the importance of ideas in war. He graduated from the University of London in 1861....

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Oliver O. Howard. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-3719).

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Howard, Oliver Otis (08 November 1830–26 October 1909), soldier, government official, and educator, was born in Leeds, Maine, the son of Rowland Bailey Howard and Eliza Otis, farmers. As a boy Howard worked in the company of a young black farmhand, an experience to which he later attributed his broadmindedness in racial matters. Howard graduated from Bowdoin College in 1850 and entered the U.S. Military Academy. He graduated from West Point in 1854, ranked fourth in his class. In 1855 Howard married Elizabeth Ann Waite; the couple had seven children. He first served at the federal arsenals in New York and Maine and then as an ordnance officer in Florida. In 1857 Howard returned to West Point to teach mathematics. The same year he experienced the religious conversion that would earn him such sobriquets as “the Christian Soldier.” His distaste for alcohol and profanity hardly endeared him to many of his fellows. ...

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Johnson, Richard W. (27 February 1827–21 April 1897), soldier, educator, and author, was born near Smithland, Livingston County, Kentucky, the son of James L. Johnson, a physician, and Jane Leeper, both natives of Virginia. In 1844 an older brother, John Milton Johnson, who later became a Confederate surgeon, procured him an appointment to West Point, from which he graduated in 1849. He thereupon served until 1861 with both infantry and cavalry units at frontier outposts in Minnesota Territory, Texas, and the Indian Territory, participating in two skirmishes with the Comanches while in Texas and rising to the rank of captain. In 1855, while stationed at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, he married Rachael Elizabeth Steele. They had three children. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, he remained, despite his southern antecedents, loyal to the Union. In accordance with ...

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Mortimer D. Leggett. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2047).

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Leggett, Mortimer Dormer (19 April 1821–06 January 1896), soldier, educator, and commissioner of patents, was born near Ithaca, New York, the son of Isaac Leggett and Mary Strong, farmers. When he was fifteen, his parents moved to Montville, Ohio, where for the next three years he helped his father clear and tend farmland. After attending night school, Leggett graduated first in his class from a teacher’s college in Kirtland, Ohio. He then studied law at Western Reserve College (later part of Case Western Reserve University). After being admitted to the bar, he attended medical school so that he could specialize in medical jurisprudence; he received an M.D. in 1844. That same year he married Marilla Wells of Montville; they had four sons and a daughter....

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Mallery, Garrick (23 April 1831–24 October 1894), army officer and ethnologist, was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the son of Garrick Mallery, a jurist and state legislator, and Catherine J. Hall. The young Mallery studied at Yale University (A.B., 1850) and the University of Pennsylvania (LL.B., 1855)....

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Franz Sigel. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1512).

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Sigel, Franz (18 November 1824–21 August 1902), soldier, educator, and politician, was born in Sinsheim, Grand Duchy of Baden, the son of Franz Moritz Sigel, a chief magistrate, and Maria Anna Lichtenauer. Sigel graduated from the military academy at Karlsruhe in 1843 and entered the service of the Grand Duke of Baden as a lieutenant. He played a conspicuous role in the revolutionary ferment that swept Baden five years later. During the 1848 revolt for unification of the German states along liberal constitutional lines, he held a command in the revolutionary army in Baden. Defeated by the Prussian army, he fled to Switzerland. In 1849, after a revolutionary government came to power, Sigel returned to Baden and became secretary of war. Prussian troops entered Baden soon after to restore the deposed government. Sigel took the field as adjutant to the commander of the army, which was defeated at the battle of Waghäusel. With the revolution over, Sigel took command of the beaten army and conducted a difficult retreat to Switzerland. He would be fondly remembered by his fellow exiles as a magnificent failure in a memorable cause....