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 Adelbert Ames

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Adelbert Ames

Civil War Union Brigadier General, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, US Senator. Born in Rockland, Maine, as a youth he sailed on clipper ships. In 1856, he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and graduated fifth in his class in 1861. Commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in the 5th United States Regular Artillery, he was immediately sent to the battle lines in Virginia. He was badly wounded at the July 21, 1861 First Battle of Bull Run, but his heroic actions, however, would eventually have him awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. In 1862 he was commissioned as a Colonel of Volunteers and given command of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry. Colonel Ames and the 20th Maine fought at the Battles of Antietam, Fredricksburg and Chancellorsville. In 1863, he was promoted to Brigadier General, US Volunteers, and commanding a brigade in the Army of the Potomac, which he led at the Battle of Gettysburg (command of the 20th Maine was then given to Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain). He was promoted again during the Siege of Petersburg in 1864, eventually attaining the brevet rank of Major General, US Volunteers. He had an outstanding war record for someone of his age (he was 29 at the end of the war), however, this would be tarnished after the war as he embarked on a "carpetbagging" political career in Mississippi. He would serve as a Republican United States Senator and as Governor of Mississippi during Reconstruction. In 1876, he resigned as Governor to avoid impeachment. He served briefly as a Brigadier General during the Spanish-American War. The son-in-law of controversial Civil War figure Major General Benjamin F. Butler, he died in Florida at age 97, the last surviving full rank general officer of either side of the Civil War. His Medal of Honor citation, awarded to him on June 22, 1894, reads "Remained upon the field in command of a section of Griffin's Battery, directing its fire after being severely wounded and refusing to leave the field until too weak to sit upon the caisson where he had been placed by men of his command."


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 17 Oct 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13057
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Adelbert Ames (31 Oct 1835–13 Apr 1933), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13057, citing Hildreth Family Cemetery, Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .