Civil War Union Brigadier General, US Senator, Nebraska Governor. Born in Bellingham, Massachusetts, he briefly taught school before graduating from Brown University in 1841. Studying law, he opened an office in Worcester, Massachusetts, and in 1854 moved to Nebraska Territory, where he farmed near Omaha. A former Lieutenant of a militia company in Worcester, he was appointed the territory's first Brigadier General of militia when the Pawnees staged an uprising. He performed capably in that post and the legislature elected him Major General. When the Civil War began, he became Colonel of the 1st Nebraska on July 21, 1861. By early 1862 he was commanding a brigade in the division of Major General Lew Wallace, leading it at Fort Donelson and Shiloh. He was promoted to Brigadier General on October 4, 1862, but the Senate failed to confirm the nomination before it expired. Reappointed and confirmed on March 13, 1863, he commanded a division in the XV Corps during the Vicksburg Campaign. He then transferred to Arkansas. On February 22, 1864, he was named commander of the District of the Frontier. That spring he participated in Major General Frederick Steele's Camden Expedition in southwestern Arkansas. Relieved of his command of the district on February 27, 1865, he was stationed at St. Charles, Arkansas, until he resigned on July 19. For his war services, the War Department brevetted him Major General. Returning to Nebraska, he engaged in politics for nearly 30 years, becoming one of Nebraska's first 2 senators in 1867. A Republican, he favored Radical Reconstruction and gave his political support to President Ulysses S. Grant. When his constituents failed to reelect him in 1871, Grant appointed him Governor of Wyoming Territory. From 1886 to 1892 he served as Governor of Nebraska, retiring from public life when his term expired.
Bio by: Ugaalltheway
Mary Torrey Allen Thayer