Joseph Rodman West – Major General, United States Army United States Senator

Courtesy of the U.S. Senate:

Senator from Louisiana; born in New Orleans, La., September 19, 1822; moved with his parents to Philadelphia in 1824; educated in private schools; attended the
University of Pennsylvania 1836-1837; moved to New Orleans in 1841; captain attached to Maryland and District of Columbia Volunteers in the Mexican War 1847-1848; moved to California in 1849 and engaged in newspaper work in San Francisco; proprietor of the San Francisco Price Current; during the Civil War entered the Union Army as lieutenant of the First Regiment, California Volunteer Infantry, in 1861; promoted to the rank of colonel and brigadier general, and was brevetted major general in 1866; returned to New Orleans, La.; deputy United States marshal; auditor for customs 1867-1871; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1871, to March 3, 1877; was not a candidate for reelection; chairman, Committee on Railroads (Forty-fourth Congress); member of the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia 1882-1885; retired from public life in 1885; died in Washington, D.C., October 31, 1898; interment in Arlington National Cemetery(Section 1, Grave 553).

Joseph Rodman West, United States Senator, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, 19 September, 1822. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania, but was not graduated, served in the war with Mexico as a captain of volunteers, and emigrated in 1849 to California, where he engaged in commercial pursuits.

At the opening of the civil war he was proprietor of the San Francisco “Prices Current.” He entered the army as lieutenant-colonel of the 1st California Infantry, saw service in New Mexico, and afterward in Arkansas and the southwest, was appointed Brigadier General of volunteers, 25 October, 1862, and became brevet Major General, 4 January, 1866, when he was mustered out of the service.

After the war he settled for a short time in Texas, and then removed to New Orleans, where he served as chief deputy United States Marshal and auditor of the customs, and afterward as administrator of improvements, till he was elected United States Senator from Louisiana as a Republican, serving from 4 March, 1871, till 3 March, 1877. Removing afterward to Washington, D. C., he engaged in business, and in 1882-‘5 was a commissioner of the District of Columbia.

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