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Civil War Soldiers - Gillmore

Gillmore, Quincy A., major-general, U.S. Army, was born in Black River, Ohio, Feb. 28, 1825, was appointed cadet at the United States military academy in 1845 and graduated at the head of his class in 1849. The interval between graduation and the opening of the Civil war he spent as engineer at Hampton Roads, instructor and subsequently treasurer and quartermaster at the academy, and in charge of the fortifications in New York harbor. He was promoted captain of engineers in Aug., 1861, and as chief of engineers in the Port Royal expedition and after the capture of Hilton Head, S. C. rebuilt the forts and otherwise strengthened their position. Gen. Gillmore gained his greatest reputation and recognition as a leading military engineer by reducing Fort Pulaski, defending the water approach to Savannah, a strong fortification built on a marshy island that was entirely surrounded by deep water. The reduction of this fort, while considered essential to the success of the expedition, was regarded as impracticable by the ablest engineers of both armies. Capt. Gillmore, then acting brigadier-general, accomplished this by establishing on Tybee island, a mile distant, eleven batteries of mortars and rifled guns, which, aimed and fired under his minute directions, so shattered the fort as to render it untenable. The bombardment was begun at 8 a. m., April 10, 1862, and lasted until 2 p. m. the following day. For the exploit Capt. Gillmore was brevetted lieutenant-colonel U. S. A. He was given important commands in Kentucky in Aug., 1862, defeated Gen. Pegram at Somerset in March, 1863, for which he was given the brevet rank of colonel, and in June, 1863, he was given command of the Department of the South, comprising all territory occupied by Union troops on the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. He was placed in command of the 10th army corps in July, 1863, and commanded it in the operations against Charleston, S. C. Here he again won distinction and was promoted by brevet to lieutenant-colonel, colonel, brigadier-general and major-general in the regular army for the capture of Fort Wagner in July, 1863. For the part he took in the bombardment of Fort Sumter, capture of Fort Wagner and Battery Gregg, and for operations against Charleston, at long range, from the battery known as the "Swamp Angel," he was also promoted major- general of volunteers and received the commendation of the commander-in-chief, who said of him, "His operations on Morris island constitute a new era in the science of engineering and gunnery." Being transferred in 1864 to the command of the 10th corps in Virginia, he was engaged at the landing at Bermuda Hundred and the action at Swift creek, captured the line in front of Drewry's bluff and enabled Gen. Butler to withdraw his army to the intrenchments at Bermuda Hundred. He commanded two divisions of the 19th army corps in the defenses of Washington in July of the same year, and in 1865 was again ordered to the Department of the South, which he commanded until near the end of that year, when he resigned his commission in the regular army, and, returning to service in the engineer bureau in Washington, was made engineer-in-chief of all fortifications on the Atlantic coast south of New York. He was promoted major U. S. A., in June, 1863; lieutenant-colonel in 1874, and colonel, Feb. 20, 1883. He was president of the Mississippi river commission created by Congress in 1879, of the boards of engineers for the improvement of the Cape Fear river, N. C., and the Potomac river and flats, of several boards for important harbor improvements, and was one of the judges at the Centennial exhibition of 1876. Gen. Gillmore's works on professional subjects are considered among the highest authorities in their class. He died in Brooklyn, N. Y., April 7, 1888.

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

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