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Marsena R. Patrick. With his staff. Photograph by Timothy H. O'Sullivan. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8171-7075).


Patrick, Marsena Rudolph (11 March 1811–27 July 1888), soldier and agriculturalist, was born in Houndsfield, near Watertown, New York, the son of John Patrick and Miriam White, moderately wealthy farmers. Patrick’s mother was a deeply devout Christian who imposed her beliefs too strictly for his liking, so at age ten he ran away from home. A resourceful lad, he worked as a canal boat driver on the Erie Canal, taught school, and for a brief period studied medicine. He managed to make some influential friends, including General ...