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Brigadier-General Francis E. Pinto. U.S.V.
Brevet Brigadier-General Francis E. Pinto. U.S.V.
Brevet Brigadier-General Francis E. Pinto The oldest brick house in New
Haven, Connecticut, at this date is the old Pinto house, which was erected
in the year 1745 of brick imported from England. In that house was born
William Pinto, of Spanish descent, who was the father of Francis E. Pinto.
At the time of the invasion by the British during the Revolution he was
one of the students of Yale who armed themselves in defence of the town,
and did other military service during the war.
Francis Effington Pinto was born in New Haven June 30, 1823, and at a
proper age he attended the Lancasterian school. In 1835 he was placed as a
boy in a dry-goods house in the city of New York. At the outbreak of the
Mexican War, in 1846, he was commissioned second lieutenant in the First
New York Volunteers. He was at the landing and siege of Vera Cruz, the
storming of Cerro Gordo, the taking of Pueblo, the battle of Contreras,
the storming of Chapultepec, and the capture of the City of Mexico. He
claims to have placed the first scaling-ladder against the wall of
Chapultepec, and assisted the color-sergeant of the regiment up and over
the wall, being the first colors in the enemy's works. He was promoted
first lieutenant September 14, the date of the capture of the city, and
brevetted captain the same date. He was junior member of the first Court
of Commissions assembled in the palace of the city. At the close of the
war he was mustered out of the service at Fort Hamilton, New York, July,
1848. On Christmas Day, 1848, Captain Pinto took passage, on the steamer "
George Law" for the Isthmus, enroute to California, and arrived at San
Francisco February 28, 1849. In the spring of 1856 the celebrated
Vigilance Committee of San Francisco was formed. He took an active part,
and was soon made second in command of the military department of the
committee. In July, 1856, he returned to New York, having closed up his
business relations and joined his wife, she having preceded him the year
||At the outbreak of the war of the
Rebellion he joined Colonel Baker and Roderick Mattheson. Baker
having an order from President Lincoln to create and equip a
California regiment, dissensions soon arose, and Roderick Mattheson,
of California, proposed to withdraw from Baker and toss up with
Pinto for the command; Mattheson won. The regiment was organized as
the Thirty-second Regiment, New York. It was mustered into the
United States service in May, 1861, and went to Washington in June.
It was engaged in the first battle of Bull Run, and was the last
troops to retire from that field, not leaving Centreville Heights
till near midnight, and went into camp at Fairfax Court-House and
remained till the morning of the next day, when it hauled a
four-horse ambulance, which had been abandoned, from Centreville to
Alexandria. General Franklin said the ambulance should always belong
to the regiment.
At West Point, Virginia, the regiment was severely engaged by the
retreating enemy from Yorktown, Virginia. The regiment was engaged at
Gaines's Mills, White Oak Swamp, Malvorn Hill, and the second Bull Run.
While at Harrison's Landing, on the James River, Pinto was ordered to take
command of the Thirty-first New York. He commanded that regiment at the
storming of Crampton's Pass, South Mountain, Maryland. Colonel Mattheson
having been killed at Crampton's Pass, Colonel Pinto was ordered back to
his own regiment, the Thirty-second New York, and commissioned colonel. He
took his regiment into action at Antietam on the 17th of September, 1862.
While in front that day he received a flag of truce from the enemy (signed
by Colonel Colquitt) requesting the body of a Georgia colonel. He found
the body, and, by General Franklin's permission, passed it through the
lines. This flag caused much comment by the press, charging McClellan with
receiving a flag instead of driving the enemy into the Potomac. The
regiment was engaged at Fredericksburg, December, 1862, and made the
advance at the lower crossing of the Rappahannock, and also at the second
crossing of the Sixth Corps, under Sedgwick, at night, and taking the
enemy's rifle-pits by surprise. It also participated in the storming of
Fredericksburg Heights, and in the battle of Salem Heights the next day.
The regiment returned to New York and was mustered out of service June 8,
1863, the time of service having expired.
Colonel Pinto was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers. Soon
afterwards he engaged in the warehouse business at the Atlantic Docks,
Brooklyn, Long Island, and has continued in that to the present time under
the firm-name of F. E. Pinto & Son.
Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who
served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419
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