Appointed Colonel, 1st United States Sharpshooters, November 30, 1861 shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, he was breveted Brigadier General, United States Volunteers, for services at Chancellorsville, and breveted Major General, U.S. Volunteers, for services rendered at the Battle of Gettysburg. He commanded the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, III Corps and 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, III Corps. He resigned from the service on January 2, 1864.
A mechanical engineer in New York City when the war commenced, he had been the top rifle shot in the country for fifteen years prior to the Civil War. He is identified with two regiments of U.S. sharpshooters, and with the “breech loader question.” Although crusty, old Winfield Scott was “very favorably impressed” with this aggressive man, “an associate of Berdan called him ‘most unscrupulous' and ‘totally unfit for a command.'” Major Dyer of the Springfield Armory considered him “thoroughly unscrupulous and unreliable.”
He had invented a repeating rifle and a patented musket ball before the war. Later he developed a twin-screw submarine gunboat, a torpedo boat for evading torpedo nets, a long-distance range finder and a distance fuse for shrapnel.
He was born on September 6, 1824 and died on March 31, 1893. He was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.
- U.S. VOLS.
- VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
- DATE OF DEATH: 03/31/1893
- DATE OF INTERMENT: 04/03/1893
- BURIED AT: SECTION 2 SITE 979
- 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