The 2nd son of David Vinton & Mary Atwell, he entered the Academy at West Point at the age of 14 and finished all of the required courses in 2 1/2 years, receiving a commission 17 Jul 1817 as 3rd Lieut. in the Artillery, at the age of 16. 2nd Lieut. 31 Oct 1817. 1st Lieut. 30 Sep 1819. Retained as 1st Lieut. 4th Artillery, in the re-organization of the army 1 Jun 1821. Adjutant of the Artillery School for Practice at Fort Monroe, Va., 1824-5. Aid-de-camp to Maj. Gen. Brown, then General-in-Chief of the Army, from 1 Mar 1825 to 24 May 1828. Brevet Capt. 30 Sep 1829, Capt. 28 Dec 1835. In Florida, during the Seminóle war, his thoughts turned towards religion and a life in the Christian ministry. He resolved to resign his commission, and to take holy orders, as soon as possible. However, after the battle of Lake Monroe, 8 Feb 1837, he abandoned his plans to join the church. He remained in military service, and distinguished himself in the battle of Monterey, Sep 1846. After some time spent at Monterey and Saltillo, He was then ordered to join Gen. Scott in the attack on Vera Cruz. In the evening of 22 Mar 1847, he had just returned to his post when a large shell, hit the top of a parapet, glanced and struck his head, fracturing his skull, and killing him instantly. The shell did not burst, and it is supposedly that very cannon ball, that now adorns his grave. Sadly, a few days after his death, a dispatch dated 23 Sep 1846 reached the camp for his promotion to Brevet Major "for gallant conduct in the several conflicts at Monterey, Mexico, Sept. 21, 22, and 23, 1846."
Aside from his military career, he was a scholar in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew; theology, metaphysics, ethics, constitutional and international law; a master of mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, and Fine Art: his paintings now hang in museums and are highly prized by todays collectors.
. Lucretia Dutton Parker, 29 Sep 1829
1. Helena Lucretia Vinton [1830-1830]
2. Louise Claire Vinton [1832-1891]
+ sp: Dr. Washington Hoppin [1827-1867]
3. Parker Vinton [1834-1834]
4. Francis Laurens Vinton [1835-1879]
Lucretia Dutton Parker Vinton
1810–1858 (m. 1829)