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Civil War Soldiers - Lander

Lander, Frederick W., brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born in Salem, Mass., Dec. 17, 1822. He attended Dummer academy at Byfield and studied civil engineering at the military academy at Norwich, Vt. ; practiced his profession for a time in Massachusetts and then entered the service of the United States government as a civil engineer. He made two expeditions across the continent to determine a feasible railroad route, making the second trip at his own expense, and being the only member of the party who survived its hardships. He afterwards, in 1858, surveyed and constructed the great overland wagon route, and while engaged in this work his party of 70 men was attacked by some Pah Ute Indians, whom they defeated in a decisive engagement. In all he made five trips across the continent, and for his efficiency he received official recognition from the Secretary of the Interior. In 1861 he was employed by the United States government to visit secretly the southern states in order to ascertain the strength of the insurgents, and when McClellan assumed command of the army in western Virginia he became volunteer aide on his staff. He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers May 17, 1861 ; participated in the capture of Phillippi, June 3, and in the battle of Rich mountain July 11, and was given command of one of the three brigades composing Gen. C. P. Stone's division on the upper Potomac. Upon hearing of the disastrous defeat of the Union forces at Ball's bluff, Oct. 21, 1861, Gen. Lander hastened to Edward's ferry, which he held with a single company of sharp-shooters, but was severely wounded in the leg. He reported for duty before his wound was healed, reorganized his brigade into a division, and at Hancock, Md., Jan. 5, 1862, defended the town against a vastly superior force of Confederates. Although still suffering keenly from his wound, he led a brilliant charge at Blooming Gap into a pass held by the Confederates, thereby securing a victory for which he received a special letter of thanks from the secretary of war. He received orders on March 1, 1862, to move his division into the Shenandoah valley to cooperate with Gen. Banks, and while preparing an attack on the enemy he died suddenly of congestion of the brain, at Paw Paw, Va., March 2, 1862. Gen. Lander was a gallant and energetic soldier, and his death was a great loss to the Union army.

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

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