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Abbot, Henry Larcom (13 August 1831–01 October 1927), Union soldier and engineer, was born in Beverly, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Hale Abbot and Fanny Ellingwood. Abbot’s father, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was an educator and school principal. From 1850 to 1854 Abbot attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating second in his class. As a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, Abbot served first in the Office of Pacific Railroad Explorations and Surveys in Washington, D.C., and then in 1855 in California and Oregon surveying a railroad route....

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Adams, Charles (19 December 1845–19 August 1895), soldier and diplomat, was born Karl Adam Schwanbeck in Anclam, Pomerania, Germany, the son of Karl Heinrich Schwanbeck, a cabinetmaker, and Maria J. Markman. Adams was educated at the Gymnasium in Anclam and graduated with very high marks, especially in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. Soon after his graduation in 1862, he moved to the United States. He had not been in the New World long before he enlisted in the Union army, serving in the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment. He fought in the Civil War for the remainder of the conflict and was wounded two times....

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Adalbert Ames. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1728).

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Ames, Adelbert (31 October 1835–13 April 1933), soldier and politician, was born in Rockland, Maine, the son of Jesse Ames, a sea captain, and Martha B. Tolman. After spending some time at sea as a teenager, Ames entered the U.S. Military Academy, graduating in 1861. He was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to the Fifth Artillery. During the Civil War he was wounded at First Bull Run (First Manassas) on 21 July, and he later received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism there in refusing to leave his post despite the wound. He served with the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsula campaign of 1862, and for his actions at Malvern Hill he was brevetted lieutenant colonel. On 8 August 1862 he was named colonel in command of the Twentieth Maine Volunteer Infantry, with ...

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Robert Anderson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1753).

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Anderson, Robert (14 June 1805–26 October 1871), soldier and hero of Fort Sumter, was born in Jefferson County, Kentucky, at “Soldier’s Retreat,” the family plantation. His father, Richard Clough Anderson, an officer of the Continental Line, moved to Kentucky after the Revolution; his mother, Sarah Marshall Anderson, was Richard’s second wife. Robert graduated from West Point in 1825, fifteenth in a class of thirty-seven. Commissioned a second lieutenant in the Third Artillery, he served for a time as secretary to his half-brother ...

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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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Asboth, Alexander Sandor (18 December 1811–21 January 1868), Union officer, was born in Keszthely, county of Zala, Hungary. His parents’ names are unknown. His father was a professor at the Lyceum of Kesmark and the director of the Georgikon at Keszthely. Educated at the academy at Selmecbanya, Asboth later passed a course of legal studies at Presburg. He also trained as an engineer and was employed by the Austrian government on various hydraulic works in the Banat region of present-day Romania. Asboth participated in the Hungarian uprising of 1848 under the leadership of Lajos Kossuth, serving as the Hungarian leader’s adjutant. When the uprising failed, he accompanied Kossuth into exile and shared his imprisonment at Kutaiah (Kütahya) in Turkey. Upon their release in 1851, the two came to the United States, and Asboth became an American citizen. He worked first as an architect for a firm in Syracuse, New York, but later went west as a mining engineer. Returning to New York City, he opened a small steel foundry and was later employed by the city planning commission, in which capacity he played a prominent role in planning Washington Heights and Central Park....

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Christopher C. Augur. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1400).

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Augur, Christopher Colon (10 July 1821–16 January 1898), soldier, was born in Kendall, New York, the son of Ammon Augur and Annis Wellman. Ammon Augur died within a year of Christopher’s birth, and the widow and son soon moved to Michigan.

Christopher was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy from Michigan and reported for duty at West Point as a plebe in July 1839. He stood sixteenth in the class that graduated on 1 July 1843. In the class of 1843 were thirteen young men, besides Augur, who would become general officers during the Civil War, including ...

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William W. Averell. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1655).

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Averell, William Woods (05 November 1832–03 February 1900), Union general and businessman, was born in Cameron (Steuben County), New York, the son of Hiram Averell and Huldah Hemenway, farmers. Averell attended the U.S. Military Academy, graduating in 1855, twenty-sixth in a class of thirty-four, only excelling in horsemanship. He then served with the cavalry in the Southwest and was seriously wounded during a fight against the Navajos at Canyon de Chelly, New Mexico Territory (1858). He was in New York on convalescent leave when the Civil War began....

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Romeyn B. Ayres. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1582).

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Ayres, Romeyn Beck (20 December 1825–04 December 1888), soldier, was born at the crossroads of East Creek in Montgomery County, New York. His father was a small-town physician who was dedicated to raising his sons for professional life. He trained Romeyn rigorously in Latin until he was fluent in the language. At age seventeen Ayres received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and graduated twenty-second in the class of 1847. He was subsequently commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the Fourth U.S. Artillery and was sent to Mexico, where he performed garrison duty at Puebla and Mexico City. Following his return from Mexico, Ayres’s service consisted of routine garrison duty at various army posts in Maine, Rhode Island, Texas, New York, California, Minnesota, Kansas, and Virginia....

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Babcock, Orville Elias (25 December 1835–02 June 1884), soldier, engineer, and presidential secretary, was born in Franklin, Vermont, the son of Elias Babcock, Jr., and Clara Olmstead. Graduating third in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1861, he was commissioned a second lieutenant of engineers. During the first year of the Civil War he gained promotion to first lieutenant, serving successively in the Department of Pennsylvania and the Department of the Shenandoah. He was then transferred to the Army of the Potomac, where he served on the staff of ...

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Badeau, Adam (29 December 1831–19 March 1895), soldier and author, was born in New York City, the son of Nicholas Badeau. He attended a boarding school in Tarrytown, New York, then he worked at an assortment of jobs, including a position with New York City’s street department. In 1859 he published a short book, ...

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Bailey, Joseph (06 May 1825–26 March 1867), military engineer, was born probably in Pennsville, Ohio, and moved to Illinois as a child. His parents’ names and occupations are unknown. He studied civil engineering and in 1846 married Mary Spaulding. They had one daughter. In 1847 he relocated to Kilbourn City, Wisconsin, where he became a successful lumberman and engineer....

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Baird, Absalom (20 August 1824–14 June 1905), soldier, was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, the son of William Baird, an attorney and local politician, and Nancy Mitchell. His father died when Baird was ten years old, and he served as assistant teacher to his widowed mother, who opened a school in the family home. In 1841 he graduated from the preparatory department of Washington College. He then studied law for three years in the office of one of the city’s leading attorneys....

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Edward D. Baker. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90165).

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Baker, Edward Dickinson (24 February 1811–21 October 1861), statesman and soldier, was born in London, England, the son of Edward Baker, an educator, and Lucy Dickinson. The family emigrated to the United States in 1815 and lived in Philadelphia for about ten years. The elder Baker ran a school that young Edward attended until he secured employment as a hand loom weaver. Attracted by ...