The grandson of a surgeon in Revolutionary Army, and the great-grandson of a Lieutenant in the French and Indian Wars, he was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, August 20, 1824. He graduated from Washington College and then in 1849 from the United States Military Academy, ranking 9th in a class of 43.
Assigned to the Artillery, he campaigned against the Seminoles in Florida, instructed for 6 years at West Point and did a tour of duty on the Texas frontier. He Transferred from line to staff duty at the outbreak of the Civil War and was present at First Manassas as adjutant of Tyler's Division. In the Spring of 1862, he took part in the Peninsular Campaign as Inspector General and Chief-of-Staff of the IV (Keyes's) Corps. Appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers, April 28 1862, his subsequent Civil War career was in the Western theater.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor on April 22, 1896 for voluntarily leading a detached brigade in an assault on the enemy's works at Jonesboro, Georgia, on September 1, 1864. At the time of the assault he was serving as a Brigadier General of Untied States Volunteers.
At end of the war he was breveted Major General in both the Volunteers and the Regular Army, and was mustered from the Volunteer service in 1866, reverting to his regular rank of Major, Assistant Inspector General.
He Served at various times as Inspector General of many military departments and, 1885, was appointed Inspector General of the United States Army, first with the rank of Colonel and, in same year, with that of Brigadier General. He retired in 1888 and died near Relay, Maryland, June 14, 1905. He is buried in Section 1, Grave 55, with his wife, Cornelia Wyntue Smith Baird, who was born at Oxford, New York, May 31, 1828 and who died in Washington, D.C. on May 16, 1883. On their tomb is written, “Whereas I was blind, now I see.”
Rank and organization: Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Jonesboro, Georgia, 1 September 1864. Entered service at: Washington, Pennsylvania. Birth: Washington, Pennsylvania. Date of issue: 22 April 1896.
Citation: Voluntarily led a detached brigade in an assault upon the enemy's works.
MAJ GEN United States Army
- DATE OF DEATH: 06/14/1905
- BURIED AT: SECTION 1 SITE 55
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
BAIRD, CORNELIA W W/O ABSALOM
- DATE OF DEATH: 05/06/1883
- BURIED AT: SECTION OFFIC SITE 55
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard