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Barlow, Francis Channing (19 October 1834–11 January 1896), lawyer and soldier, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of the Reverend David Hatch Barlow, a Unitarian minister, and Almira Penniman, who were divorced in 1849. Barlow was raised by his mother and spent his youth living in Massachusetts. Graduating first in the Harvard class of 1855, Barlow journeyed to New York City, working briefly as a private tutor. In 1856 he undertook the study of law and was admitted to the bar in April 1858....

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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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Thomas L. Crittenden. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1730).

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Crittenden, Thomas Leonidas (15 May 1819–23 October 1893), lawyer and soldier, was born in Russellville, Kentucky, the son of John J. Crittenden, a lawyer and statesman, and Sarah “Sally” Lee. After unsuccessful business ventures in New Orleans and with a brother-in-law in Louisville, he studied law and was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1840. Appointed a commonwealth’s attorney in 1843, he occasionally opposed his famous father in courtroom appearances. Crittenden married his stepsister Kittie Todd, probably in 1840. Their only son, Lieutenant John J. Crittenden, was killed with ...

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Denver, James William (23 October 1817–09 August 1892), soldier, governor of Kansas Territory, and lawyer, was born near Winchester, Virginia, the son of Patrick Denver and Jane Campbell, farmers of Irish extraction. In 1831 his family migrated to a farm near Wilmington, Ohio. After a grade school education, James taught briefly at Platte City, Missouri, graduated from Cincinnati College (now the University of Cincinnati) in 1844, and was admitted to the bar. He opened a newspaper and law office in Xenia, Ohio, but after less than a year, in 1845, returned to Platte City, where he continued to practice both professions. After the outbreak of the Mexican War on 4 March 1847, Denver was appointed captain in the Twelfth Regiment, U.S. Volunteers, commanding a company he had raised, and was ordered to Mexico. Sick much of the time, he was ordered home on 26 October 1847....

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Ewing, Thomas, Jr. (07 August 1829–21 January 1896), soldier, lawyer, and congressman, was born in Lancaster, Ohio, the son of Thomas Ewing (1789–1871), a lawyer, and Maria Boyle. His foster brother was William T. Sherman, who had been raised by the Ewings. Ewing attended Lancaster Academy and later had a year of schooling in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, at the home of his cousin ...

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Kane, Thomas Leiper (27 January 1822–26 December 1883), lawyer, soldier, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and defender of the Mormons, was born in Philadelphia, the son of John Kintzing Kane, a jurist, and Jane Duval Leiper. He attended school in Philadelphia and from 1839 to 1844 traveled in England and France, studying and visiting relatives. While in Paris he served for a time as an attaché of the American legation. Small in stature and never robust, he would spend most of his life struggling with ill health. In Paris he met Auguste Comte and others who surely encouraged his social conscience, which would be manifested later in his concern for philanthropic causes. In 1844 Kane returned to Philadelphia, where he studied law with his father. Although he was admitted to the bar in 1846 and clerked briefly for his father, who was a federal judge, his interests and activities generally moved in other directions....

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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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McCook, Edward Moody (15 June 1833–09 September 1909), politician, lawyer, and soldier, was born in Steubenville, Ohio, the son of John McCook, a physician, and Catharine Julia Sheldon. After being educated in the Steubenville public schools, McCook moved to Minnesota in 1849. When news of the highly publicized gold strikes in Colorado began to sweep the country, McCook was one of the fifty-niners involved in the rush to the new gold fields. He settled in the mining camp of Central City, where he amassed a respectable fortune. Moreover, he began to practice law and was elected to the Kansas legislature in 1859, when Colorado was still part of Kansas Territory. McCook was also a leader in the movement that led to the creation of Colorado as a separate territory on 28 February 1861, a month after Kansas became a state....

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Thomas Meagher. Lithograph by John Joseph Egan. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-97750).

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Meagher, Thomas Francis (23 August 1823–01 July 1867), Irish-American nationalist, lawyer, and soldier, was born in Waterford, Ireland, the son of Thomas Meagher, a merchant and member of the British Parliament, and (first name unknown) Quan. Both of Meagher’s parents came from wealthy and prominent Irish families. His mother died while Meagher was an infant. He was subsequently educated at his father’s alma mater, Clongowes-Wood, a Jesuit school in Ireland, and then at Stoneyhurst College in England from 1839 to 1843. Upon graduation he seemed destined to follow his father into a career in business, but in 1845 he joined the Young Ireland party and became embroiled in the rising debate over Irish independence from Great Britain. In the fateful year of 1848, when revolution swept over Europe, Meagher made an impassioned public appeal in Ireland for the violent overthrow of British rule. This advocacy earned him the popular title of “Meagher of the Sword,” which he carried for the rest of his life. His determination to overthrow British rule by violence also landed him in difficulty with the British authorities. In July 1848 he was arrested, tried, convicted of high treason, and condemned to death. Partly because of the prominence of his family, his sentence was commuted in 1849, and the British banished him for life to the island of Tasmania (then a British possession) off the southern coast of Australia....

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Robert H. Milroy. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2225).

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Milroy, Robert Huston (11 June 1816–29 March 1890), soldier and lawyer, was born in Washington County, Indiana, the son of Samuel Milroy, a soldier and farmer, and Martha Huston. Samuel Milroy was a major general in the Indiana militia, seeing active service in the War of 1812 and minor campaigns against American Indians in Kentucky and Indiana. From an early age Robert Milroy wanted very much to pursue his father’s career. He attended Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont, from 1840 to 1843 and graduated with a bachelor of arts and a master of military science. His failure to secure an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (and thereby an appointment in the regular army) almost certainly initiated a pattern of resentment toward professional soldiers that characterized much of his later life....

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Otis, Elwell Stephen (25 March 1838–21 October 1909), lawyer and soldier, was born in Frederick, Maryland, the son of William Otis, a civil engineer, and Mary Ann Catherine Late. Elwell graduated from the University of Rochester in 1858 and from Harvard Law School in 1861. His career as a lawyer was shortened by the Civil War. On 13 September 1862 he was commissioned a captain in the 140th New York Infantry Regiment, and his unit was with the Union V Corps, Army of the Potomac, for all of its battle operations during the war. Otis was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 23 December 1863. After the battle of Spotsylvania in May 1864, he took command of the 140th, whose commanding officer was killed in action. However, Otis did not stay with the regiment throughout the war. On 1 October 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia, he received a bullet-inflicted head wound that was serious enough to prohibit his return to combat. He was released from service on 24 January 1865. His battle record merited the brevet ranks of colonel and brigadier general of volunteers....

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Potter, Robert Brown (16 July 1827–19 February 1887), lawyer and Union general, was born in Schenectady, New York, the son of Alonzo Potter, an Episcopal minister, and Sarah Maria Nott. Educated in his native Schenectady at Union College, of which his grandfather was once president, he left college to study law. Admitted to the bar in New York City, he practiced there until the beginning of the Civil War. He married Francis Paine Tileston in 1857, but she died about a year later, leaving him with one child....

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Henry W. Slocum. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1876).

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Slocum, Henry Warner (24 September 1826–14 April 1894), soldier and lawyer, was born in the village of Delphi, Onondaga County, New York, the son of Matthew B. Slocum, a businessman, and Mary Ostrander. Slocum received his early education at Cazenovia Seminary and at the State Normal School in Albany. He entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1848, where he roomed with ...

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Van Wyck, Charles Henry (10 May 1824–24 October 1895), lawyer, politician, and soldier, was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, the son of Theodore Van Wyck, a physician, and Elizabeth Mason. Charles Van Wyck grew up in Bloomingburgh, Sullivan County, New York, in a distinguished Dutch family. While little is known about his early education, he entered Rutgers College and graduated in 1843. After studying law for a few years, he was admitted to the New York bar in 1847 and opened a practice in his native Sullivan County. In 1850 Van Wyck entered a long and somewhat uneven career in politics, winning the position of public defender for Sullivan County, a position he held until 1856....