1862 April 30: Who Are The Union’s Western Generals?
The Prescott Journal of April 30, 1862, ran an article giving a short biography of each of the generals serving in the western theater.
THE WESTERN GENERALS.
—Major Gen. Halleck is a native of Oneida county, N.Y. He entered the Military Academy at West Point as a cadet in 1835, stood third in the class, and was breveted [sic] Second Lieutenant of Engineers in 1839. In 1845 he was appointed 1st lieutenant. In 1847 he was promoted for his gallantry in California. In 1832 he was appointed Captain of Engineers. He is the author of a book on “Bitumen and its Uses,” and a series of lectures on Military Science, delivered before the Lowell Institute in Boston. He was a member of the committee to draft the constitution for the State of California ; had previously been Secretary of State for the Territory of California.—In the naval and military operations on the Pacific coast, he was Chief of Commodore Shubric’s staff. He is an astute lawyer—a man of fortune, and is now comparatively a young man, being only 43 years of age. His grandfather, now in his hundredth year, is living in the village of Western, near Utica.
—Major Gen. Grant is a native of Ohio, and is just 40 years of age. He is a graduate of West Point ; was attached to the 4th Regiment of the United States Infantry eleven years. Immediately after the outbreak of the Rebellion he offered his service of Gov. Yates of Illinois, and was appointed Col. of the 21st Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. He has been active in south-eastern Missouri. His occupation of Paducah and stopping supplies to the rebels by the way of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, his plan of the battle of Belmont, his skill and strategy and courage at the memorable capture of Fort Donelson, are fresh in the memory of a grateful nation. He is a man of few words and many deeds—modest, generous and humane. He has light brown hair, fair complexion, (now stained by the sun and the smoke of battle,) and electric blue eyes. He was with Gen. Taylor in Mexico, and distinguished himself for his soldierly attributes. At the battle of Pittsburgh [sic] Landing he headed his troops and led through the terrible tempest of shot and shell, and his brave boys followed him as though they were guests hastening to a festival.
—Gen. Wallace, who was killed at the battle of Pittsburg landing [sic], is a native of Illinois and a graduate of West Point. Prior to the present war he was Captain of the Washington Territory Mountain Volunteers, in which position he took part in the Indian war. At the commencement of the rebellion he raised a regiment of volunteers in Illinois, and was appointed it Colonel. With this regiment of noble and daring fellows he was at Fort Donelson, where he greatly distinguished himself.
—Gen. McClernand won his spurs during the present war. He was a leader in the Douglas wing of the Democratic party, and in 1860 occupied a seat in the House of Representatives. He also figured conspicuously in the Baltimore and Charleston Conventions. He was opposed to Breckinridge [John C. Breckinridge] in Congress, and he opposed him again at Pittsburg. He left his seat in Congress to take up arms in defense of the Government. As a soldier he had his first trial at the battle of Belmont, and came off with flying colors. His administration of affairs in Cairo was very satisfactory. At Fort Henry and Fort Donelson he won fresh laurels, and for his bravery was created a Major General. He is about 45 years of age, tall and graceful—a true gentleman and a true soldier.
—Gen. Buell is a native of Ohio, a graduate of West Point, and now in the meridian of life. He has been in the service twenty years ; was in the Mexican war. When the present war broke out he was in the regular service in California. Congress made him a Brigadier General and gave him command of a division of the army of the Potomac. When Gen. Anderson resigned his command, Gen. Buell was appointed to take his place in the department of Ohio. It was under his supervision that the army that marched from Bowling Green to Nashville was raised and disciplined. On the reconstruction of the Departments he was created a Major General. He is a man of great physical strength and powers of endurance ; has light hair, blue eyes, and wears a full beard. He is 42 years of age. Though slow to move he is terrible in execution.
—Gen. Crittenden is a Kentuckian, son of the Hon. J. J. Crittenden, and a brother to the rebel general, George B. Crittenden. When the rebels first assumed a warlike attitude in Kentucky, he took command of the Home Guard—not the stay-at-home—and checked the progress of the rebels toward Louisville.—He comes of a good stock, and gives a good account of himself.
—Gen. Hurlbut is a Carolinian by birth, but a citizen of the State of Illinois. At the outbreak of our troubles, he served in Missouri, under Gen. Fremont. He now commands a part of Gen. Grant’s glorious army. He has the chivalry, the courage, and the magnanimity of the true soldier.
—Gen. Smith is a native of Pennsylvania, and a graduate of the Military Academy ; has been teacher of infantry tactics. He was at the battle of Fort Donelson, and for his gallantry was created a Major General. He was severely wounded at the battle of Pittsburg Landing. His wounds are red stripes and his deeds stars upon his coat of arms.