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Brevet Major-General Edward Leslie Molineux, U.S.V.

Brevet Major-General Edward Leslie Molineux was born October 12, 1833. He first became identified with the National Guard of the State of New York in 1854; subsequently joined the Brooklyn City Guard (Thirteenth Regiment) and passed through the several grades of non-commissioned rank, his membership being terminated by his acceptance of an important mission to South America. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was among the first to volunteer in defence of the Union, enrolling himself as a member of the Seventh Regiment. He was one of the foremost promoters of the Twenty-third Regiment of Brooklyn, when brigade inspector of the Eleventh Brigade; subsequently unanimously elected lieutenant-colonel of the Twenty-third Regiment. In August, 1862, as lieutenant-colonel, he raised the One Hundred and Fifty-ninth Regiment New York Volunteers; was mustered into the United States service the following November as full colonel, and assigned to the Banks expedition with his regiment. He commanded a detachment of General Banks's army, protecting the right wing of the main body during the feint against Fort Hudson. On April 14, 1863, during the battle of Irish Bend, Colonel Molineux was severely wounded in the jaw while leading a charge. As soon as his wounds permitted he returned to active service, and participated in the various fights of the Red River campaign; was appointed assistant inspector-general of the Department of the Mississippi; afterwards provost-marshal-general and commissioner for the exchange of prisoners. He was made military commander of the Lafourche District, Louisiana, and was assigned to the duty of organizing State troops or independent companies of Louisiana scouts. Upon the construction of the celebrated dam at Alexandria, Colonel Molineux was given command of all the United States forces on the north side of the Red River. After the campaign he was ordered North with his regiment, joining General Grant in the operations against Petersburg and Richmond; organized a provisional division of the Nineteenth Army Corps and re-enforced General Sheridan in the Valley, and participated in all the engagements and battles of that campaign.

He was promoted brigadier-general by brevet for conspicuous gallantry and zeal at Fisher's Hill, Winchester, and Cedar Creek. At the close of this campaign his brigade was sent by sea to re-enforce General Sherman, and General Molineux was placed in charge of the works at Savannah, of Fort Pulaski, and Tybee. He was instrumental in saving the ship "Lawrence," in recognition of which the New York Board of Underwriters voted him a service of plate. He was made military commander of the District of Northern Georgia, with head-quarters at Augusta. He seized and secured to the United States government Confederate coin and bullion to a very large amount, over seventy thousand bales of cotton, and quartermaster and commissary stores aggregating in value ten million dollars, and government buildings and factories of great value.

His administration of affairs was marked by wisdom, uniform courtesy, and kindness, combined with a bold execution of military law. General Molineux won the esteem of the entire community, receiving the thanks of the City Council and merchants of the city for his honest and fair treatment of the people of the town. He returned to civil life with the rank of major-general by brevet "for gallant and meritorious services during the war." He was subsequently made major-general of the Second Division National Guard, State of New York. He has for a number of years been connected with the firm of F. W. Devoe & C. T. Raynolds Co., New York City. He has contributed valuable articles to periodicals on subjects relating to physical culture in the public schools, the suppression of riots on railroads and in cities, and on various military subjects. Although he has been frequently nominated for office, he has persistently declined political preferment. He is an active member of the Military Order Loyal Legion, Grand Army of the Republic, and various public and charitable associations.

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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