CHARLES SPENCER MERCHANT
USMA CLASS OF 1814
CULLUM'S REGISTER # 92
SERVED 45 YEARS IN THE ARMY
VETERAN , WAR OF 1812, SEMINOLE WARS, MEXICAN WAR, CIVIL WAR
COLONEL, 4TH ARTILLERY, BREVET BRIG. GENERAL
92. (Born N. Y. ). CHARLES S. MERCHANT (Ap'd N. Y. )
Military History. ---Cadet of the Military Academy, Sep. 7, 1812 to Mar. 11, 1814, when he was graduated and promoted to the Army to
( THIRD LIEUT., 1ST ARTILLERY, MAR 11, 1814 )
Served in the War of 1812-15 , with Great Britain, in garrison in New
( SECOND LIEUT., 1ST ARTILLERY, MAY 1, 1814 )
( TRANSFERRED TO CORP OF ARTILLERY, MAY 12, 1814 )
York Harbor, 1814--- on Recruiting service, 1814, --- and in garrison at Ft. Trumbull, Ct., 1814-15; in garrison at Ft. TrumbullCt. , 1815-16, --- Pittsfield, Mar. , 1816, --- Castine, Me., 1816-17, --- and Portsmouth, N. H.,
( FIRST LIEUT, CORPS OF ARTILLERY, APR 20, 1818 )
1817-18, ---Eastport, Me., 1818, ---Portsmouth, N. H., 1818-21, ---Plattsburg, N. Y., 1821-24, ---and Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., 1824; on Ordinance
( FIRST LIEUT. 2D ARTILLERY, IN RE-ORGANIZATION OF ARMY, JUNE 1, 1821 )
duty, July 6 to Sep. 16, '1824; in garrison at Pittsburg Arsenal, Pa., 1824-26, ---Ft. Monroe, Va. (Artillery School for Practice ), 1826-28, --- Savannah, Ga., 1828-29, 1829-30, --- Augusta Arsenal, Ga., 1830, ---Savannah,
( BVT. CAPT., Apr. 20, 1828 For FAITHFUL SERVICE TEN YEARS IN ONE GRADE )
Ga., 1830-31, --- Augusta Arsenal, Ga., 1831, --- Savannah, Ga., 1831-33, --- Ft. Moultrie, S. C., 1833, --- and Savannah, Ga., 1833-35; in
( CAPTAIN, 2D ARTILLERY, NOV., 17, 1834 )
the Florida War, 1836 and 1837-38; on the Northern Frontier, during Canada Border disturbances, at Ft. Gratiot, Mich., 1838-39, --- Buffalo, N. Y., 1839, --- and Ft. Niagara, N. Y., 1839-41; in garrison at Ft. Lafayette, N. Y., 1841-42, ---Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., 1842, ---Ft. Trumbull, Ct., 1842-46, ---Ft. Adams, R. I., 1846, and Ft. Columbus, N. Y., 1846-47 ; in the Mexican War in command of Ft. Brown, Tex. , 1847-48; on Recruiting service, 1848; in garrison at Ft. Johnston, N. C., 1848-49 ; on sick leave of absence, 1849-50 ; on frontier duty at San Diego, Cal.,
( MAJOR, 3D ARTILLERY, FEB 14, 1849 )
1850-51, ---and San Francisco, Cal., 1851-52 ; in garrison at Ft. Preble, Me., 1853 ; on board steamer San Francisco, 1853-54, when the wreck of the vessel compelled his return to New York; awaiting orders, 1854-57;
( LIEUT- COLONEL, 3D ARTILLERY, JUNE 10, 1857 )
on frontier duty at Benicia, and San Francisco, Cal., 1857-61.
Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, in command
( COLONEL, 4TH ARTILLERY, AUG 28, 1861 )
of Ft. Washington, Md., 1861-63, --- and of Ft. Wood, Bedloe's
( RETIRED FROM ACTIVE SERVICE, AUG. 1, 1863,
UNDER THE LAW OF JULY 17, 1862,
HAVING BEEN BORNE ON THE ARMY REGISTER MORE THAN 45 YEARS )
Island, N. Y. , 1863-66 : and on Court Martial duty , 1866.
( BVT. BRIG. GENERAL, U. S. ARMY, MAR 13, 1865, FOR LONG AND FAITHFUL SERVICE IN THE ARMY)
DIED DEC. 6, 1879 at CARLISLE, PA. AGED 84
Buried , Ashland Cemetery, Carlisle, Pa.
CHARLES SPENCER MERCHANT
MERCHANT, Charles Spencer, soldier, born in Albany, New York, 22 February, 1795; died in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 6 December 1879.
His father ,George , was a graduate of Princeton, a paymaster in the army in the War of 1812-15, subsequently mayor of Albany, and treasurer of the State of New York.
The son was appointed to the recently established United States Military Academy, 7 Sept., 1812, and was the first cadet that presented himself there. He was graduated in 1814, assigned to the corps of artillery, and during the war with Great Britain was engaged in garrison and recruiting service. He was promoted 1st Lieutenant, 20 April, 1818 , and with thirty soldiers escorted Gen. James Miller to Eastport, Maine, where the British garrison of Fort Sullivan was relieved , and Merchant left in command. At the reorganization of the army , on 1 June 1821, he was retained as its Lieutenant in the 2d Artillery, and on 20 April , 1828, received the brevet of captain for faithful service for ten years in one grade.
During the disturbances on the borders of Canada in 1838-41 he was stationed at northern frontier posts , and during the later part of the war with Mexico he was in command of Fort Brown , on the Rio Grande. On 14 February, 1849, he was promoted major of the 3rd Artillery. He was with his regiment in December 1853, on board the steamer " San Francisco", when she was wrecked off Cape Hattaras, and suffered from the effects for several years.
On 10 June 1857, he was promoted lieutenant colonel of the 3rd Artillery, which he rejoined in California, remaining there until 1861. On 27 August of that year he was promoted colonel of the 4th Artillery, and he was subsequently placed in command of Fort Washington, on the Potomac, until he was retired from active service 1 August 1863. Notwithstanding his retirement, he remained on active duty at Bedloe's island, New York Harbor, and on court-martial until 1869.
On 13 March 1865 , he received the brevet of Brigadier General , " for long and faithful service in the army." At the time of his death he was the senior officer of the army in date of original commission. and president of the Association of graduates of West Point.
Charles Merchant graduated from West Point in 1814. Although a veteran of both the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, he was consigned to garrison duty in both and never witnessed combat. He served with an artillery company during the Florida Indian Wars, but his involvement there is unknown. During subsequent garrison duty in New York, he performed as quartermaster. By the Civil War, longevity had granted him the rank of lieutenant colonel in the 3rd U.S. Artillery, and war prompted his promotion to colonel of the 4th U.S. Artillery. Once again, his lot was garrison duty as commandant of Fort Washington, Maryland, and, on August 1, 1863, he retired from the army. He never held the rank of general except for the brevet (essentially honorary) brigadier generalship the army bestowed on him two years after his retirement.
Researched and Transcribed by :
Brigadier General, Us Army, a faithful soldier from 1814 to 1879