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Civil War Soldiers - Wool
|Wool, John E., major-general, U.S.
Army, was born at Newburg, N. Y., Feb. 20, 1784, son of a soldier of
the War for Independence. He was for a time a book-seller at Troy and
then a law student, but raised a company of volunteers at the
beginning of the war of 1812, and through the influence of De Witt
Clinton was made a captain in the 13th infantry in April, 1812. He was
badly wounded in his first battle, that of Queenstown heights,
received a major's commission April 13, 1813, took part at Plattsburg
and was brevetted lieutenant-colonel. After the reduction of the army
to a peace footing he was made colonel and inspector-general (1816).
He was brevetted brigadier-general in 1826 and attained the rank by
commission in 1841. In 1832 he went to Europe on a tour of inspection
and witnessed the siege of Antwerp by the French. In 1836 he had
charge of the removal of the Cherokees. In the early days of the war
with Mexico he equipped and forwarded from the West 12,000 volunteers.
Following them in person, he led 3,000 men from San Antonio to
Saltillo and was next in command to Gen. Taylor during the later
operations in the interior. At Buena Vista he chose the ground,
disposed the forces for action and led them in the beginning of the
battle. For his services here he received the brevet of major-general,
and at a later date was presented swords by New York and Congress,
with the thanks of the latter. He had command in the East, with
headquarters at Troy, 1847-54 and 1857-60; was in charge of the
Department of the Pacific, 1854-57, taking the field in 1856 against
hostile Indians in the northwest. His promptness in reinforcing
Fortress Monroe in the spring of 1861 secured that important post to
the Union, and in August he was placed there as commander of the
Department of Virginia. He occupied Norfolk and Portsmouth May 10,
1862, was commissioned major-general, U. S. A., six days later, and in
June was sent to Baltimore to command the Middle Military Department.
From Jan. to June, 1863, he had command of the Eastern Department and
was stationed at New York, where he called on veterans to volunteer
for the suppression of the draft riots. He was retired on Aug. 1,
1863, being long past the age for active service, and died at Troy, N.
Y., Nov. 10, 1869.
Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal
States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908