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Civil War Soldiers - Schofield

Schofield, John M., major-general, U.S. Army, was born in Chautauqua county, N. Y., Sept. 29, 1831. His father, a clergyman, removed to Bristol, Ill., when the son was about twelve years of age, and in 1845 to Freeport, in the same state. In June, 1849, young Schofield entered the U. S. military academy, being graduated in 1853 seventh in the same class with Gens. McPherson, Sheridan, Sill, Terrill, R. O. Tyler, and the Confederate Hood. On July 1, 1853, he was made brevet second lieutenant of artillery, serving at Fort Moultrie, S. C., and on Aug. 31, second lieutenant of the 1st artillery, stationed in Florida, 1854-55. From Nov. 19, 1855, till Aug. 28, 1860, he was at the West Point military academy, as acting assistant, and then as assistant professor of natural and experimental philosophy. While on leave of absence for one year he held the chair of professor of physics at Washington university, St. Louis, Mo., but when the Civil war began he waived the remainder of his leave, and was made mustering officer of Missouri, April 20, 1861, serving one month. By permission of the war department, he accepted the commission of major of the 1st Mo. volunteers on April 26, and on May 14 he received the rank of captain in the 1st artillery of the regular army, remaining, however, with the Missouri troops. As chief of staff to Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, he participated in the engagements of Dug springs and Curran P. O., Aug. 2, 3, and 4, and the battle of Wilson's creek on Aug. 10. In the fall of the same year he was charged with the conversion of the 1st Mo. infantry into an artillery regiment, and with battery A, hastily forwarded from St. Louis, took part in the battle of Fredericktown, Mo., on Oct. 21. On Nov. 21 he was appointed by the president brigadier-general of volunteers, and on the 26th he received the same commission from the governor of Missouri in the Missouri state militia, with orders to organize and equip a force of 10,000, to be at the service of the Federal government, within the limits of the state, while the war should last, and which should relieve the main armies for service in more important fields. From Sept. 26, 1862, until April, 1863, he organized and commanded the Army of the Frontier in the southwest part of the state and in northwest Arkansas, driving the Confederates south of the Arkansas river, having been made major-general of volunteers on Nov. 29, 1862. For about one month, April 20 to May 13, 1863, Gen. Schofield commanded the 3d division of the 14th army corps, but was assigned to the command of the Department of the Missouri, and retained it until Jan. 31, 1864, sending troops to assist Gen. Grant in the capture of Vicksburg, operating successfully to obtain possession of the line of the Arkansas river, and clearing the state of guerrilla and border war. With the Army of the Ohio, of which he was in command, he took part in all the battles and operations of the entire Atlanta campaign, viz., the demonstration at Buzzard Roost gap, the battles of Resaca and Dallas, the movement against and engagements near Lost mountain, the action of Kolb's farm, the battle of Kennesaw mountain, the passage of the Chattahoochee, and the battles near and siege of Atlanta, ending in the capture of that city on Sept. 2, 1864. In October Gen. Schoheld was sent by Gen. Sherman to the assistance of Gen. George H. Thomas in Tennessee, commanding the troops in the field opposed to Gen. Hood from Nov. 3 till Dec. 1. Falling back from Pulaski to Columbia, skirmishing, and from the latter place to Spring Hill, he finally gave battle at Franklin on Nov. 30. He also participated in the battle of Nashville, which terminated the campaign, on Dec. 15 and 16, and was engaged in the pursuit of Hood's army until Jan. 14, 1865. His commission of brigadier-general in the U. S. army was dated from the battle of Franklin, and on March 13, 1865, he also received the rank of brevet major-general, U. S. A., for "gallant and meritorious services" in the same battle. Gen. Schofield then operated with Gen. Sherman in the final campaign against Gen. Johnston, and after the surrender he remained in command of the Department of North Carolina until June 21. After the war he visited Europe on a special mission, relative to the occupation of Mexico by French troops. From Aug. 16, 1866, till June, 1868, he was in command first of the Department of the Potomac, and then of the 1st military district of Virginia, as confirmed under the reconstruction laws. On June 2, 1868, he was appointed secretary of war by President Johnson, retaining the office under President Grant until March 14, 1869, and on March 4 of the same year he was made major-general in the regular army. From March 20, 1869, till May 3, 1870, he was in command of the Department of the Missouri, and from the last date to July, 1876, of the Division of the Pacific. Then until Jan. 21, 1881, he was superintendent of the military academy at West Point, and commander of the Department of West Point. For a few months thereafter he commanded the Division of the Gulf, but on Oct. 15, 1882, he again commanded the Division of the Pacific, and on Nov. 8, 1883, he succeeded Gen. Sheridan in command of the Division of the Missouri, with headquarters at Chicago, Ill. From April 2, 1886, he commanded the Division of the Atlantic, and on Aug. 14, 1888, on the death of Gen. Sheridan, was assigned by President Cleveland to command the U. S. army, with headquarters at Washington, D. C. He occupied this position until Sept. 29, 1895, when he was retired from the service, the rank of lieutenant-general having been conferred upon him on Feb. 5 of that year. Gen. Schofield died of cerebral hemorrhage at St. Augustine, Fla., on March 4, 1906.

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

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