Joseph Prentice Sanger – Major General, Untied States Army

Joseph Prentice Sanger was born at Detroit, Michigan, May 4, 1840. He was a student at the University of Michigan, 1858-60 (honorary AM, Bowdoin College, 1872). He married: Frances E. Kent, December 27, 1877.

He served as Second Lieutenant, 1st Michigan Volunteer Infantry, May 1, 1861. He was mustered out of the Volunteer service, August 7, 1861 and appointed Second Lieutenant 1st United States Artillery, August 5, 1861, and was promoted to First Lieutenant, October 26, 1861. With a battery of light artillery, he was twice breveted for bravery and gallantry. He was also an Orderly Officer to President Lincoln for one week in 1862.

After the Civil War, he was adjutant of his regiment and served in an expedition against Fenians, 1866. He was an honor graduate of the Artillery School, 1869, and its First Adjutant.

He was appointed Captain, 1st United States Artillery, February 7, 1875, and was promoted to Major, Inspector General on February 12, 1889. He commanded a battery in the Brooklyn “Whiskey Raids,” in 1871. He served as Professor, Military Science, Tactics and Law, Bowdin College, 1872-75. He ws also admitted to the bar, Portland, Maine, April 21, 1874.

He was subsequently detailed to accompany General Upton on a tour of inspection of the armies of Japan, China, Persia, India, Turkey, Italy, Russia, Austria, France, and England, 1875-77.

Returning to the United States, he commanded a battery, 1877-84, serving in the railroad riots as aide to Major General Schofield, 1884-88. Aide, Acting Secretary to President Harrison, 1891. Military Secretary to the Lieutenant General Commanding, 1895, Inspector, South Atlantic Inspection District and Principal Assistant to the Inspector General of Army, 1895-98.

He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Inspector General, Untied States Volunteers, 1898. And was Acting Inspector General of the Army, with the rank of Brigadier General of Volunteers, May 27, 1898. In command consecutively of 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Corps, June 19, 1898; 3rd Division, 1st Corps, June 29-November 19, 1898; 1st Corps, December 4-December 23, 1898. Assigned to command the Department and subsequently the District of Matanzas, Cuba, Jan 11, 1899. He was honorably discharged from the volunteer service on June 12, 1899 and assigned to duty with the Assistant Secretary of War, July 3, 1899. He was appointed by the President to be Director of the Census for Cuba and Puerto Rico, August 9-September 8, 1899. Appointed a Member of the War College Board, June 21, 1900. He was promoted to Colonel, Inspector General, February 2, 1901. He was then Inspector General and Chief of Staff, The Division of the Philippines, July 4, 1901-October 1, 1902.  He was promoted to Brigadier General, June 23, 1902. Director, Philippine Census, October 6, 1902. Major General, January 20, 1904. He retired January 21, 1904. He was a Member, Brownsville Court of Inquiry, 1908-09. He was finally a Member, Medal of Honor Board.

He died on March 15, 1926 and was buried with full military honors in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.  His wife, Frances E. Kent Sanger (December 2, 1850-June 8, 1938) is buried with him.

His daughter Edith Kent Sanger Carlisle, married Major James Mandsville Carlisle, and they are also buried in Arlington National Cemetery.



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