Major General Samuel Ryan Curtis
1805 – 1866
Despite having commanded
the Union Army in one of its gravest victories west of the
Samuel R. Curtis is little remembered in Civil war annals.
and raised in
he served the obligatory one year after his 1831 graduation from
He took up civil engineering in
He eventually shifted to the law.
Active in the militia, he was Colonel of the 3rd
in the Mexican War.
he took up the dual occupations of law and, again, engineering.
By the outbreak of the Civil War he was serving in his third term in
congress, having previously been the mayor of
He resigned from congress on 4
August 1861, when he accepted his Brigadier’s commission.
he commanded at the victory at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, in early
March 1862. By the fall of that year
he was in command of the Department of the
and had been a Major General since March 21, 1862.
Eventually he was given charge of the department of
and took part in the repulse of Price’s
invasion in 1864 and in the Battle of Westport.
In the last
months of the war he commanded the department of the Northwest.
He was in charge of negotiations with several Indian tribes and assigned
to inspecting railroads. He mustered
out on April 30, 1866, and died within eight months.
Was Who In The Civil War, by Stewart Sifakis; Facts on File
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