Civil War Union Brigadier General, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. Born in Winhall, Vermont, he was educated in the common schools of Vermont. He later taught school in New Jersey and Massachusetts, then studied law and successfully practiced his profession in his native state. On August 15, 1861, he was commissioned Major of the 5th Vermont. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, he participated in the 1862 campaigns in the East. At Savage's Station in June the 5th Vermont suffered grievous casualties. He was promoted to Colonel on September 15, assumed command of the famed Old Vermont Brigade, and led it at Fredericksburg, where he fell wounded. Given permanent command of the brigade, he gallantly performed during the battles of 1863 to 1864. In the Chancellorsville Campaign in May 1863, the Vermonters captured 3 Confederate flags in the action at Salem Church, earning the Medal of Honor. He participated in the Gettysburg Campaign and, with the rank of Brigadier General, fought at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor. At the Wilderness his brigade lost nearly half its members. During the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864, he commanded his division at Cedar Creek, on October 19. In this battle the Confederates launched a surprised attack at dawn, crushing the Union lines. The routed Federals reformed on his line, from which they counterattacked in the afternoon, defeating the Southern troops. For his distinguished conduct, he received the rank of brevet Major General. Wounded during the war's final week, he mustered out in August 1865. Declining a commission in the Regular Army, he journeyed westward after the war. He lived in Illinois and Iowa before settling permanently in Minneapolis, Minnesota. From 1890 to 1893 the veteran officer served as assistant Secretary of War. Living to the age of 90, he died in his adopted city. On May 11, 1893, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. His citation states: Personal gallantry and intrepidity displayed in the management of his brigade and in leading it in the assault in which he was wounded.
Bio by: Ugaalltheway