Civil War

4th Engineer Battalion

In its 140-plus year history, thousands of soldiers have proudly worn the insignia of the 4th Engineers and staunchly upheld the battalion’s motto, Volens et Potens (Willing and Able).  The origins of the 4th Engineer Battalion date back to 31 December 1861 when the Army organized several new and existing engineer companies into a provisional engineer battalion …

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Major General John Buford, USA

During the early years of the Civil War, the Union cavalry was often outclassed by Confederate troopers.  Rebel cavalrymen became legendary for their exploits against federal horsemen, often riding circles around them and routing them on numerous occasions.  Eventually, through the implementation of improved organization, training, weaponry, and leadership, Union troopers began to match the …

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Major General Henry Wager Halleck

Henry Halleck was born in Westernville, New York, on 16 January 1815. He was educated at Hudson Academy, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Union College. He then graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1839 and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. Halleck delivered a series of lectures which were eventually published under the title …

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Major General George Brinton McClellan

George McClellan was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 3 December 1826. He attended college preparatory schools, and briefly attended the University of Pennsylvania before he accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy. In the Mexican War he served as an engineer for Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. After the war, he taught at West Point until 1851. McClellan …

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Lieutenant General John Coalter Bates

John Coalter Bates was born in St. Charles County, Missouri on 26 August 1842 and attended Washington University in St. Louis. At the opening of the Civil War, Bates was commissioned a first lieutenant in the 11th Infantry. He fought with the 11th Infantry in the Army of the Potomac and saw action at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. …

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Lieutenant General John McAllister Schofield

John McAllister Schofield was born in Gerry, New York on 29 September 1831. He attended the United States Military Academy and was commissioned in the artillery in 1853. Schofield was promoted to first lieutenant in 1855 and then taught natural philosophy and experimental philosophy at the Military Academy from 1855 to 1860. In 1857, he married Harriet Bartlett. In 1860, he left West …

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General William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio, on 8 February 1820. When his father died, Thomas Ewing adopted him. Sherman attended the United States Military Academy, graduating in 1840. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and assigned to the 3d Cavalry in Florida. In 1841, he was promoted to first lieutenant. During the Mexican …

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General Ulysses Simpson Grant

Ulysses Simpson Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio, on 27 April 1822. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1843 and commissioned in the infantry. After graduation, he served with the 4th Infantry and participated in the occupation of Texas from 1843 to 1846. Grant fought under Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott in the Mexican …

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