Civil War Union Major General. Born in Manlius, New York, he attended the United States Military Academy, graduating 8th out of 39 in 1843 (his class included future Civil War luminaries as Ulysses S. Grant, William B. Franklin, Samuel G. French and Franklin Gardner). Posted to the 2nd United States Artillery as a 2nd Lieutenant, he served in garrison duty in New York before being sent to Mexico upon the start of hostilities there in 1846. During that War he rendered exemplary service, fighting in the Battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Vera Cruz, Churubusco, Molino del Rey, Chapultepec and the capture of Mexico City. His bravery won him a promotion to 1st Lieutenant in 1847, and he was brevetted up to Major, US Regular Army. He spent the next few years in Frontier service in New Mexico, then resigned his commission in 1853. In the years before the Civil War he rose to prominence in Syracuse as a businessman and railroad executive, and served as a Delegate to the 1860 Democratic Convention (where he voted for Stephen Douglas’ Presidential Nomination). He offered his services after the eruption of the Civil War, and was appointed as a Brigadier General of Volunteers on August 9, 1861. In the 1862 Peninsular Campaign in Virginia, he led the IV Corps 2nd Division at the Battles of Williamsburg and Fair Oaks and the Siege of Yorktown. On July 25 he was promoted to Major General, US Volunteers (backdated to July 4) and was assigned to command the various Federal troops stationed south of the James River. In the Spring of 1863 Confederate forces under General James Longstreet was detailed to raid the area of Suffolk, and to capture as many supplies and material as he could. His forces laid siege to General Peck’s command in Suffolk, who successfully defended it against two Confederate divisions, and broke the siege on May 4 when a small detachment of Union troops captured a strong Confederate artillery position on Hill’s Point. He sustained a severe wound in the operation, but garnered praise and accolades for his efforts. After a three-month convalescence, he returned in August to command troops in North Carolina, which by that time had become relatively peaceful. He remained there from August 1863 until April 1864, when he took a few months sick leave. In July 1864 he was assigned to command the Department of the East’s Canadian Border, where he was in control of relations with the Canadian provinces. On August 25, 1865 he was honorably mustered out of the United States Army and he returned to Syracuse, where he helped organize the New York State Life Insurance Company. He led that business from 1867 until 1878, when, his health wrecked by wounds sustained during two wars, he passes away in Syracuse.
Bio by: RPD2
Rhobie H Loomis Peck