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Civil War Soldiers - Torbert

Torbert, Alfred T. A., brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born in the state of Delaware in 1833, and was the cadet from that state in the military academy at West Point from Sept. 1, 1851, to July 1, 1855, when he was graduated and entered the army as brevet second lieutenant of infantry. He served on frontier duty in conducting recruits to Texas, 1855-56; was commissioned second lieutenant in the 5th infantry on July 19, 1855; was engaged in the Florida hostilities against the Seminole Indians, 1856-57; was on frontier duty on the Utah expedition, 1857-60; then in the march to New Mexico, and was stationed at Fort Stanton, N. M., 1860-61, being commissioned first lieutenant in the 5th infantry, Feb. 25, 1861. He served during the Civil war, first in mustering New Jersey volunteers into service from April 17 to Sept. 1, 1861; was commissioned colonel of the 1st N. J. infantry Sept. 16, captain in the 5th infantry Sept. 25, 1861, and was in command of his regiment in the defenses of Washington, stationed near Alexandria, Va., from Sept. 17, 1861, to March 10, 1862. He was in the Peninsular campaign with the Army of the Potomac, being engaged in the siege of Yorktown, the action at West Point, and the battles of Gaines' mill and Charles City cross-roads. He was in command of a brigade in the 6th corps from Aug. 28, 1862, in the northern Virginia campaign, being engaged in the battle of Manassas; in the Maryland campaign with the Army of the Potomac, being engaged in the battles of South mountain and Antietam, and in the march to Falmouth, Va. On Nov. 29, 1862, he was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers and participated in the Rappahannock campaign. In command of a brigade of the 6th corps, Army of the Potomac, he was in the Pennsylvania campaign, being in the battle of Gettysburg, the skirmish at Fairfield, Pa., and the pursuit of the enemy to Warrenton, Va. On July 4, 1863, he was brevetted major, U. S. A., for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Gettysburg. He was engaged in the Rapidan campaign, participating in the action at Rappahannock station and the operations at Mine run. He was in command of the 1st cavalry division, Army of the Potomac, during April and May, 1864, and participated in the Richmond campaign, being engaged in the actions at Milford Station, the North Anna river, Hanovertown, where he was in command, Haw's shop, Matadequin creek, where he was again in command, battle of Cold Harbor, Trevilian Station, Mallory's cross-roads, Tunstall's station, and at Darbytown. He was brevetted lieutenant-colonel, U. S. A., on May 28, 1864, for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Haw's shop. He served as chief of cavalry of the middle military division in the Shenandoah campaign; was in command at the battles of Winchester and Kearneysville; was brevetted major-general of volunteers Sept. 9, 1864, for distinguished services during the rebellion; and on Sept. 19, 1864, he was given the brevet rank of colonel, U. S. A., for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Winchester. He was in command at the actions of Milford, Luray, Waynesboro, Mount Crawford and Tom's brook; was engaged in the battle of Cedar creek and the actions near Middletown, and was in command at Liberty mills and Gordonsville. He was brevetted brigadier-general, U. S. A., March 13, 1865, for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Cedar creek, and on the same date received the brevet rank of major- general, U. S. A., for gallant and meritorious services in the field during the rebellion. He was in command of the Army of the Shenandoah, with headquarters at Winchester, Va., from April 22 to July 12, 1865, of the District of Winchester from July 12 to Sept. 1, and of the District of Southeastern Virginia from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 1865, and he was mustered out of the volunteer service Jan. 15, 1866. He resigned from the regular army Oct. 31, 1866. He served as United States minister resident to the Central American states from April 21, 1869, to July 10, 1871; was U. S. consul-general at Havana, Cuba, from July 10, 1871, to Nov. 6, 1873, and served in the same capacity at Paris, France, from Nov. 6, 1873, to May, 1878. Gen. Torbert was drowned, Aug. 29, 1880, by the wrecking of the steamer Vera Cruz, off Cape Canaveral, Fla.

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

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