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Boyd, John Parker (21 December 1764–04 October 1830), army officer and soldier of fortune, was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the son of James Boyd and Susanna (maiden name unknown). He developed military interests as a boy, and in 1786 he was appointed ensign in a Massachusetts infantry regiment suppressing Shays’s Rebellion (see ...

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Kalb, Johann (19 June 1721–19 August 1780), soldier of fortune and revolutionary general, was born in Hüttendorf, Bavaria, the son of Johann Leonhard Kalb and Margarethe Seitz, peasants. Covetous of adventure and glory, he left home at age sixteen with only a modest education. Little is known of Kalb in the next few years, but in 1743 he surfaced as Jean de Kalb, an officer in the Loewendal Regiment, a German contingent of the French army. Apparently he realized that a title was essential for military advancement and simply assumed one. Even more curious is the question as to how he learned English and French and took on the manners of the nobility. He must have had an ear for languages and natural graces. During the war of the Austrian succession, he participated in several sieges in Flanders while serving his regiment as a captain and ...

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Loring, William Wing (07 December 1818–30 December 1886), soldier, was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, the son of Reuben Loring, a planter and native of Hingham, Massachusetts, and Hannah Kenan of North Carolina. The family moved to Florida when Loring was a child. The Second Seminole War erupted in December 1835, and William, age seventeen, enlisted in the Florida Volunteers and participated in the battles of Black Point (18 Dec. 1835) and Wahoo Swamp (21 Nov. 1836). By age nineteen he was a second lieutenant in the Second Florida Volunteers. Returning to civil life, Loring attended Episcopal Academy in Alexandria, Virginia, and Georgetown College. He graduated from Georgetown in 1842 with a law degree, was admitted to the Florida bar, and was elected to the territorial legislature, where he served three years....