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Civil War Soldiers - Duryee

Duryee, Abram, brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born in New York city, April 29, 1815. His father and two uncles were officers in the war of 1812, while his grandfather was a soldier in the Revolution and was for a time a prisoner in the old sugar house on Liberty street. He received a high school education and acquired a fortune through the sale of mahogany. Joining the militia as a private when eighteen years old, he rose through the grades, becoming colonel of the 7th regiment in 1849 and holding this office fourteen years. He commanded his regiment in live desperate riots in New York city, was wounded in the Astor place riot, and his prompt action on that occasion suppressed a serious outbreak, though not without the loss of several lives. He was among the first to recruit volunteers for the Civil war, raising in less than a week, in April, 1861, the 5th N. Y. regiment, known as "Duryee's Zouaves," leading it to the front and participating in the first important battle of the war, the disastrous engagement at Big Bethel, June 10, 1861. After the battle he was made acting brigadier-general, superseding Gen. Pierce, and, in Aug., 1861, he was commissioned brigadier-general. He commanded his brigade at Cedar mountain, Thoroughfare gap, 2nd Bull Run and Chantilly, and at South mountain and Antietam commanded Ricketts' division when that officer succeeded Gen. Hooker to the command of the corps. He was then for a time absent on furlough, and on his return, finding that his brigade had been given to an inferior, and that his claims to the old position were ignored, he resigned Jan. 5, 1863. He was brevetted major-general of volunteers, March 13, 1865, for distinguished services. He was appointed police commissioner of New York city, in 1873, holding that office for many years, and distinguishing himself by routing the assembled communists in Tompkins square in 1874. He was dockmaster from 1884 until 1887. He died in New York city, Sept. 27, 1890.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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