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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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Bragg, Edward Stuyvesant (20 February 1827–20 June 1912), Civil War general, congressman, and diplomat, was born in Unadilla, Otsego County, New York, the son of Joel Bragg, a rural businessman, and Margaretha Kohl. Bragg received his early education at local schools and went on to study law at Geneva College (now Hobart College) in Geneva, New York. He was admitted to the New York bar in 1848. After briefly practicing in Unadilla, he migrated to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, at the age of twenty-three. He was admitted to the Wisconsin bar and began a lifetime practice of arguing cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In 1854 he was elected district prosecuting attorney. That same year he married Cornelia Coleman; they had four children....

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Crosby, John Schuyler (19 September 1839–08 August 1914), military officer and government official, was born in Albany County, New York, the son of Clarkson Floyd Crosby, who was independently wealthy, and Angelica Schuyler. Crosby attended the University of the City of New York in 1855–1856 but left for a grand tour of the Far East and South America. In 1863 he married Harriet Van Rensselaer; they had two children....

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Fairchild, Lucius (27 December 1831–23 May 1896), soldier, governor, and diplomat, was born in Portage County, Ohio, the son of Jairus Cassius Fairchild, a tanner and storekeeper, and Sally Blair. In 1846 the family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where Jairus Fairchild became state treasurer. After a local education supplemented by a brief stint at Carroll College, Lucius Fairchild left Wisconsin for the gold fields of California. From March 1849 to May 1855 he prospected and farmed in the Shasta Valley, where he also owned an interest in a general store. Returning home, he developed an interest in politics, joined the Democratic party, and in 1858 was elected clerk of the circuit court of Dane County, Wisconsin....

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David McMurtrie Gregg. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1756).

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Gregg, David McMurtrie (10 April 1833–07 August 1916), U.S. Army officer, diplomat, and Pennsylvania state official, was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, the son of Matthew Duncan Gregg and Ellen McMurtrie (occupations unknown). He was the paternal grandson of U.S. senator Andrew Gregg and the first cousin of ...

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Halderman, John Adams (15 April 1833–21 September 1908), soldier, politician, and diplomat, was born in Fayette County, Kentucky, the son of Susan Henderson Rogers and John A. Halderman, a physician. Subsequent to the death of Halderman’s mother in 1843, Halderman’s father remarried and moved to Illinois, but the younger Halderman remained in Kentucky in the care of his maternal grandparents. Little else is known of his early years except that he aspired to a military career and thus sought appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. When these efforts were frustrated, Halderman attended McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois, Xavier College in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the University of Louisville. His most important educational experience, however, came in the Lexington law office of his uncle, Colonel C. C. Rogers, where he read law. In the spring of 1854 Halderman was admitted to the bar....

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Judson Kilpatrick. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1391).

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Kilpatrick, Hugh Judson (14 January 1836–02 December 1881), army officer and diplomat, was born near Deckertown (now Sussex), New Jersey, the son of Simon Kilpatrick, a farmer and colonel in the state militia, and Julia Wickham. Kilpatrick attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was two years behind ...

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Rufus King, Jr. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-10662).

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King, Rufus (26 January 1814–13 October 1876), soldier, editor, and diplomat, was born in New York City, the son of Charles King, a merchant and the ninth president of Columbia College, and Eliza Gracie. After attending the preparatory academy of Columbia, Rufus entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1829. After graduating fourth in the class of 1833, he was commissioned into the elite corps of engineers but resigned three years later to accept a position as a civil engineer with the New York & Erie Railroad. In 1839 he began a career as a newspaper editor. After two years with the ...

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Peter J. Osterhaus. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1871).

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Osterhaus, Peter Joseph (04 January 1823–02 January 1917), army officer and diplomat, was born in Koblenz, Germany, the son of Anton A. Osterhaus. His mother’s name is not known. After attending a military school in Berlin, he served as a gentleman volunteer in the Prussian Twenty-ninth Infantry Regiment. In 1846 he married Natilda Born; they had five children. When a wave of revolutions swept Germany in 1848, Osterhaus sided with those striving to give Germany a unified, liberal government. They failed, and many, like Osterhaus, fled to America the following year. Osterhaus settled in Belleville, in southwestern Illinois, and got a job in a dry goods store. In the next two years he moved first to Lebanon, Illinois, where he ran a general store, and then to St. Louis, Missouri, where a large German-American population made social conditions pleasant for the Osterhauses. In St. Louis he obtained employment as a bookkeeper for a hardware wholesaler....

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Horace Porter. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-104938).

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Porter, Horace (15 April 1837–29 May 1921), soldier, businessman, and diplomat, was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, the son of David Rittenhouse Porter, a businessman, politician, and governor, and Josephine McDermott. Educated at Lawrenceville Academy and the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard (1854–1855), he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (1855), graduating third in the class of 1860. Commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the Ordnance Branch, he remained at the academy as an artillery instructor before being assigned to the Watervliet Arsenal at Troy, New York....

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Daniel E. Sickles. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1702).

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Sickles, Daniel Edgar (20 October 1819–03 May 1914), politician, soldier, and diplomat, was born in New York City, the son of George Garrett Sickles, a lawyer, and Susan Marsh. Young Sickles briefly attended New York University prior to entering law practice in 1840; he was admitted to the bar in 1843 and soon became affiliated with Tammany Hall, the Democratic political machine that controlled New York City....

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Stahel, Julius (05 November 1825–04 December 1912), soldier, journalist, and diplomat, was born Julius Stahel-Szamvald in Szeged, Hungary, the son of Andreas Stahel-Szamvald and Barbara Nagy. After receiving a classical education in Szeged and Budapest, he operated a bookstore in the latter city. In his early twenties he entered the Austrian army and rose to lieutenant. When Hungary waged a war for independence, Stahel joined the revolutionary forces of Louis Kossuth. The independence movement was suppressed in 1849, and he fled his native land, living in London and Berlin before coming to the United States in 1856....

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Alfred T. A. Torbert. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1424).

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Torbert, Alfred Thomas Archimedes (01 July 1833–29 August 1880), soldier and diplomat, was born in Georgetown, Delaware, the son of Jonathan R. Torbert, a farmer, bank official, and Methodist preacher, and Catharine Milby. He received a local education, followed by matriculation at the U.S. Military Academy in 1851. At West Point, where his foppish mannerisms won him the nickname “Daisy,” Torbert proved to be a mediocre student. At graduation in July 1855 he ranked twenty-first in his class of thirty-four cadets and was posted to the Fifth U.S. Infantry. Over the next three years he campaigned against Native Americans in Texas, Missouri, the New Mexico Territory, and Florida; in 1857 he accompanied Colonel ...