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Francis J. Herron, U.S.V.
Major-General Francis J. Herron, U.S.V.
Major-General Francis J. Herron was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania,
February 17, 1838, and graduated from the Western University of
Pennsylvania in 1854. He entered the United States Army as captain in the
First Iowa Volunteers in April, 1861, although previously, January 15,
1861, he had tendered the services of his fully-uniformed and equipped
company, the " Governor's Grays," of Dubuque, Iowa, to the Secretary of
War, the Honorable Joseph Holt, who declined the offer, stating the
government had no need for troops at the time. It was, however, the first
offer of troops to the government. Captain Herron commanded his company
through the entire campaign of General Lyon in Missouri, being in the
engagements at Booneville, Dug Springs, Ozark, and the final engagement at
Wilson's Creek, where General Lyon was killed while leading the First Iowa
Regiment in a charge.
In September, 1861, Captain Herron was promoted to the
lieutenant-colonelcy of the Ninth Iowa, and commanded the regiment through
all the campaigns of General Curtis, in Missouri, Arkansas, and the Indian
Territory. At the battle of Pea Ridge he was severely wounded and taken
prisoner, but soon exchanged for Colonel Louis Hebert of the Third
Louisiana. His regiment lost one-third their number in this battle. For
services at Pea Ridge he was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers
July 16, 1862, and in December of that year commanded the Army of the
Frontier, at the decisive battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, which ended
Confederate rule north of the Arkansas River. It was to reach this point
he made the celebrated forced march of one hundred and fourteen miles in
three days, with his entire command and an immense train. For services at
Prairie Grove he was promoted major-general of volunteers November 19,
||After further service in
Arkansas, General Herron joined Grant at Vicksburg, in 1863, with
his Western troops, and was in command of the left division of the
investing forces until the surrender. Generals Logan, McPherson, and
Herron were the three officers selected by Grant to lead each a
division into Vicksburg to receive the formal surrender on July 4,
1863. Immediately after Vicksburg he commanded the army and navy
expedition that captured Yazoo City and the large fleet of boats and
supplies there. He was then ordered to the Department of the Gulf,
and was in command of the Thirteenth Army Corps, occupying the Texas
coast, with head-quarters at Brownsville, Texas. While there he
broke up the traffic across the Rio Grande, and under private
instructions gave what aid he could to President Juarez, of Mexico,
and prevented Maximilian's troops from establishing themselves at
any point on the Rio Grande frontier. For his services in this line
he received complimentary notice from Secretary Seward, and later an
offer of a high command in the Mexican army from President Juarez.
In March, 1865, he was assigned to the command of the Northern Division
of Louisiana, with head-quarters at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from which
point he co-operated with Major-General Canby in his movement against
Mobile, Alabama, and the army of the Confederate General Richard Taylor.
In May he arranged a meeting with Lieutenant-Generals S. B. Buckner,
Sterling Price, and Brent, at the mouth of the Red River, and negotiated
the surrender of Lieutenant-General Kirby Smith's Trans-Mississippi Army,
and soon after received the formal surrender of all their troops, over
sixty thousand men, with their arms, artillery, and other war material,
and the entire Trans-Mississippi Department from Generals Kirby Smith and
Buckner, at Shreveport, Louisiana. Here he remained until all the
Confederate troops were paroled and sent home, and meantime stationed
garrisons throughout Texas, Northern Louisiana, and the Indian Territory.
In July, 1865, General Herron was appointed on a commission with General
Harney and others to negotiate new treaties with the Indian tribes. In
1865 he resigned his commissions as major-general and Indian commissioner.
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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