Bio19c: 19th Century Biographies

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John Ellis Wool Biography

Born: Feb. 20, 1784 Newburg, N.Y.

Died: Nov. 10, 1869 Troy, N.Y.

From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans 1904

John Ellis Wool, soldier, was born in Newburg, N.Y., Feb. 20, 1784. His father was a Revolutionary soldier. He attended the common schools; engaged as a bookseller in Troy, N.Y., and subsequently began the study of law, which he abandoned to raise a company of volunteers for service in the second war with England. He was commissioned captain in the 13th U.S. infantry, April 14, 1812; took a gallant part in the battle at Queenstown Heights, Oct. 13, 1812, being seriously wounded; was promoted major of the 29th infantry, April 13, 1813, and for his services at Plattsburgh; N.Y., was brevetted lieutenant-colonel, Sept. 11, 1814. He was transferred to the 6th infantry, May 17, 1815, and upon the reorganization of the army was made inspector-general with the rank of colonel, April 29, 1816, visiting Europe in his official capacity in 1832. He was brevetted brigadier-general, 1826; accomplished the removal of the Cherokee Indians beyond the Mississippi in 1886; was commissioned brigadier-general, June 25, 1841, and at the outbreak of the Mexican war equipped and sent forward 12,000 volunteers. With a force of 3000 men he himself proceeded to the seat of war, where he selected the site for the subsequent battle of Buena Vista, arranging and commanding the troops until the arrival of Gen. Zachary Taylor, under whom he held second command. He was brevetted major-general for Buena Vista, Feb. 23, 1847, and awarded a sword and a vote of thanks by congress, and also given a sword by the state of New York, for his services during the war with Mexico. He commanded the eastern military division, headquarters at Troy, N.Y., 1848-53 and 1857-60; the department of the Pacific, 1854-57, conducting a campaign against the Indians in the northwest, 1856; and had charge of the department of the east in 1860, opportunely re-enforcing Fort Monroe at the beginning of the civil war. In August, 1861, he was appointed to succeed General Butler in the command of Fort Monroe and the department of Virginia, and soon after receiving the formal surrender of Norfolk, May 8, 1862, was relieved of his command and succeeded by Gen. John A. Dix. He was promoted major-general, U.S.A., May 16, 1862; commanded the middle military department, headquarters at Baltimore, Md., until January, 1863, and the department of the east, headquarters, New York city, until July 18, 1863, when he was succeeded by Gen. John G. Foster, and he was retired from active service, Aug. 1, 1863. See: "Early Coast Operations in North Carolina," by Rush C. Hawkins, Brevet Brigadier-General, in "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War" (Vol. II.). A monument was erected to his memory and that of his wife, at Troy, N.Y., where he died, Nov. 10, 1869.


Johnson, Rossiter, ed.
Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans.
Vol. I-X. Boston, MA, USA: The Biographical Society, 1904.

Biographical Sketch for John Ellis Wool

Born: Feb. 20, 1784 Newburg, N.Y.

Died: Nov. 10, 1869 Troy, N.Y.

From: Succinct Biographies of Famous Men and Women 1902

WOOL, JOHN ELLIS, soldier, was born Feb. 20, 1784, in Newburg, N.Y. He served in the war of 1812; in 1841 was appointed a brigadier-general in the United States army, and for services in the Mexican war he was brevetted major-general. He was retired in 1863, being long past the age for active service. He was especially eminent in the organizing and discipline of troops. A monument seventy-five feet high has been erected to his memory in Troy, N.Y. He died Nov. 10, 1869, in Troy, N.Y.


Herringshaw, Thomas William, ed.
Accurate and Succinct Biographies of Famous Men and Women in All Walks of Life ...
American Publishers Association, Chicago 1902.

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