Friday, August 13, 2010

Famous File: General Francis Engle Patterson

(Located at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadephia, PA.)

Civil War Union Brigadier General. Entered the US Army during the Mexican War as a 2d Lieutenant in the 1st United States Artillery, and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant before the end of the war. He remained in the army, being posted to the 9th United States Infantry, become a Captain in 1855. Resigned in 1857, but returned to the service when the Civil War started. Commissioned Colonel and commander of the 17th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, a 90-day enlistment militia regiment. Mustered out with his unit in August 1861, he received an appointed as Brigadier General, US Volunteer in April 1862. Just prior to the Battle of Williamsburg he was given command of the "Second New Jersey Brigade" in the Army of the Potomac's III Cops, which he led at Williamsburg and the Battle of Fair Oaks. In November of that year he led his unit in an unauthorized withdrawal near Catlett's Station, Virginia, which was done on the basis of unconfirmed intelligence about the proximity of Confederate forces. He was roundly criticized by division commander General Daniel Sickles, who called for an inquiry into the matter. On November 22 he was found dead in his tent due to a gunshot, which was officially deemed to be an ‘accidental discharge of his own pistol', but speculation that it was suicide prevail to this day. His father was General Robert Patterson of Mexican War fame, and his brother was Union Brevet Brigadier General Robert E. Patterson, both of whom are buried next to him. (bio by: Russ Dodge from Find-A-Grave)

1 comment: