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Brigadier And Brevet Major-General Adelbert Ames, U.S.A.

Brigadier and Brevet Major-General Adelbert Ames was born in Maine October 31, 1835, and was graduated at the Military Academy in the class of May 6, 1861. He was promoted to second lieutenant Second U. S. Artillery the same day, and first lieutenant Fifth U. S. Artillery May 14, 1861.

He was on duty with Griffin's Regular Battery, and was wounded at the battle of Bull Run, Virginia, July 21, 1861. He was promoted brevet major U. S. Army for gallant and meritorious services in that battle.

October 1, 1861, he was assigned to the command of Battery A, Fifth U. S. Artillery, and in the Peninsular campaign was engaged in the siege of Yorktown and the battles of Golding's Farm and Malvern Hill, Va. He was brevetted lieutenant-colonel U. S. Army, July 1, 1862, for gallant and meritorious service at the battle of Malvern Hill. As colonel of the Twentieth Maine Volunteers in the Fifth Corps, he participated in the battles of Antietam, Md., Sept. 17, 1862, and Fredericksburg, Va., Dec. 13, 1862.

In the spring of 1863 his regiment was inoculated with the small-pox. Before it was fit for duty the Chancellorsville campaign opened. He served throughout that campaign as an aide-de-camp to General Meade, commanding the Fifth Corps, and General Hooker, commanding the Army of the Potomac.

He was commissioned as a brigadier-general of volunteers May 20, 1863; was given a brigade of picked troops in a movement against Culpeper Court-House, and was engaged in the battle of Beverly Ford, Virginia.

He was assigned to the command of the Second Brigade, First Division, Eleventh Corps, on the march north from the Rappahannock River, and led it in the first day's fight at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1, 1863.

The division commander being wounded and disabled, the command of the division devolved upon him for the rest of the day and the two subsequent days of the battle. He was brevetted colonel U. S. Army for gallant and meritorious services on that occasion.

In August following he was sent with his command to join forces besieging Charleston, S. C. He remained before Charleston, S. C., and in Florida till April, 1864, when, with troops of department, he proceeded to Fortress Monroe, Va. In the Army of the James he took part in the operations before Petersburg and Richmond, Va., being engaged in the action at Port Walthall Junction in May, the battle of Cold Harbor in June, and Darbytown Road in October, 1864.

In December, 1864, he was selected to command a division of three brigades in an expedition against Fort Fisher, N. C. The following month he led the same troops in a second expedition against that fort. In the battle which resulted in the capture of Fort Fisher, after his division was formed for the assault, the only order received from the general commanding the expedition affecting the movements of the attacking force was, " The time has come to make the assault." He was promoted brevet brigadier-general U. S. Army for gallant and meritorious services at the capture of Fort Fisher, N. C., January 15, 1865. After the surrender of the rebel forces he was assigned to the command of territorial districts in North and South Carolina till April 30, 1866.

He was brevetted a major-general of volunteers, March 13, 1865, for gallant and meritorious services in the field during the rebellion. He was promoted a captain Fifth U. S. Artillery Feb. 22, 1865, and lieutenant-colonel Twenty-fourth U. S. Infantry July 28, 1866.

A board of general officers, consisting of Major-Generals W. T. Sherman, G. G. Meade, and G. H. Thomas, assembled at St. Louis, Mo., March 14, 1866, recommended certain officers of the regular army for promotion by brevet to the grade of brigadier-general, among them General Ames, for the capture of Fort Fisher, N. C.

Although the action of this board was deemed too restricted for the times, it was none the less commendatory of the officers recommended. Subsequent to his Presidency, General Grant said, referring to one of his army commanders, " If I had given him two corps commanders like Adelbert Ames, or a dozen I could mention, he (said army commander) would have made a fine campaign ... and helped materially in my plans. I have always been sorry I did not do so." General Ames was placed in command of the Military District of Mississippi, by General Grant, in 1869. He resigned from the army, was elected to the U. S. Senate, and subsequently to the governorship of the State. Compelled by political persecution, he resigned his office and left the State. He is at present a resident of New Jersey.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.

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