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Civil War Soldiers - Schenck
|Schenck, Robert C., major-general,
U.S. Army, was born in Franklin, Warren county, Ohio, Oct. 7, 1809. He
was graduated at Miama university in 1827, remained there three years
as a tutor in French and Latin, studied law, and was admitted to the
bar in 1831. Settling in Dayton, Ohio, he soon acquired a large
practice, and entered political life as a Whig. In 1838 he was
defeated as a candidate for the legislature, in 1840 stumped the state
for William Henry Harrison, in 1841 was elected to the legislature,
and in 1842 was re-elected to the legislature and also elected to
Congress. In Congress he rendered conspicuous service both on the
floor and in several committees to which he was appointed. He was
re-elected three times, serving from 1843 to 1851, and during 1847-49
he was chairman of the committee on roads and canals, and had the
opportunity for carrying out some of the plans he had formed for the
internal improvement of several commercial sections in the western
states. In 1850 he declined a renomination for Congress, and in 1851
was appointed United States minister to Brazil. During his two years
residence in South America he negotiated commercial treaties with the
states bordering the La Plata river, personally visiting Buenos Ayres,
Montevideo, and the Uruguay, Paraguay, and Parana river regions.
Returning to the United States in 1853, he resumed professional
practice and was engaged in the management of the Fort Wayne railroad
till the beginning of the Civil war. When the first call for
volunteers was made, he offered his services to Gov. Dennison, and was
appointed a brigadier-general of state militia. On reaching the field
he was placed in command of all the Ohio troops in eastern Virginia,
and had his first encounter with the Confederates at Vienna, June 17,
1861. Soon afterward he was transferred to western Virginia, where he
aided Gen. Rosecrans in driving the Confederates from that department.
In the spring of 1862 he succeeded Gen. Lander in command at
Cumberland, Md.; on June 8 he commanded the right of Gen. Fremont's
army in the battle of Cross Keys; and during the interval between Gen.
Fremont's relief and Gen. Sigel's assumption of the command of the 1st
corps of the Army of Virginia Gen. Schenck was its commander. On Aug.
30, he was wounded in the second battle of Bull Run and had to retire
from the field, and on Sept. 18 he was promoted major-general United
States volunteers, his commission dating from Aug. 30. While on
disability leave he was again elected to Congress as a Republican,
where he was appointed chairman of the committee on military affairs,
and, resigning his commission in the army, was re-elected to Congress
in 1864, 1866, and 1868, and defeated in 1870. In 1870 he was
appointed United States minister to England, but before departing he
served by appointment as a member of the joint high commission, which
resulted in the treaty of Washington, the Geneva arbitration, and the
settlement of the "Alabama" controversy. While he was in England a
charge was preferred against him of complicity in the celebrated Emma
mine fraud, and as a result of such charge he resigned his position
and returned home to appear before a committee of investigation. He
was completely exonerated by the committee, but never re-entered
public life, and he died in the city of Washington on March 23, 1890.
Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal
States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908