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Major-General Grenville M. Dodge, U.S.V.

Major-General Grenville M. Dodge was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, April 12, 1831. He received considerable military training as a boy at Norwich University, and had as a classmate the brilliant young general, Ransom. He moved to the West and secured a position on the engineer corps of the Rock Island Railroad, and was soon entrusted with the survey of the Rock Island road to Peoria. While here he prophesied the building of, and the route for, the first great Pacific Railroad, a line to which, in later years, he was to become so potently related. After finishing his Peoria survey he was for some years in Iowa, in the employ of the Mississippi & Missouri Railroad Company, and finally settled in business at Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he was engaged in the manifold interests of banker, real-estate dealer, and freighter when the war of the Rebellion commenced.

Dodge having previously organized a militia company at Council Bluffs, hastened to tender himself to the State government; but, not having any arms, Governor Kirkwood sent him to Washington, and by his energy and zeal obtained what the members of Congress could not get for the State,-arms and ammunition.

The War Department, recognizing his push and ability, offered him a captaincy in the regular army, which Dodge declined. Then an additional regiment of Iowa volunteers was accepted from the governor, on the express condition that Dodge should be its colonel. The Fourth Iowa Infantry was immediately organized at Council Bluffs, and in two weeks' time Colonel Dodge was leading it against the rebels in Northern Missouri. He did not wait for the government to slowly clothe and equip it, but pledged his own credit for the purpose, and at the same time recruited a battery in like manner.

It was Dodge's regiment that first entered the city at the battle of Springfield, and at Pea Ridge his brigade saved Curtis's army from disaster, although he was there wounded and had three horses killed and a fourth wounded under him. Colonel Dodge was then promoted brigadier-general, and, after recovering from his wounds, was assigned to duty at Columbus, Kentucky, with the task set before him of rebuilding the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. This was through a long stretch of country, where every mile had to be watched and every stream and bridge guarded from guerillas, but by the 26th of June, 1862, General Dodge had trains running from Columbus to Corinth.

November 15, 1862, General Grant appointed Dodge to the important command of Corinth.

All sorts of business talent was required in his position of general, engineer, judge, railroad manager, chief of corps of observation, etc., and both Grant's army at Corinth and Rosecrans's army at Chattanooga relied on him for all information as to the movements of the enemy. He built all railroads needed in his department, and those that could be of use to the enemy he destroyed; he intercepted and defeated all raiding parties and almost effectually put a stop to guerilla warfare. He was of great assistance to our own raiding parties, in one of which, under his protection, twenty million dollars of supplies for Bragg's army was destroyed.

About this time President Lincoln called him to Washington to consult about the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. When Vicksburg fell, Grant recommended Dodge for important promotion in recognition of his services. Then Grant succeeded Rosecrans, and he sent for Dodge for one of his fighting generals, but before he reached him he ordered him to halt and rebuild the railroad from Decatur to Nashville. This he did in forty days. After this he participated in all the campaigns of the Western army. He with his corps (the Sixteenth) covered himself with glory at Atlanta, where he was subsequently wounded. After recovering, he was assigned to the Department of the Missouri until the close of the war.

Since the war days, General Dodge's career has been one of great business and political importance. He was elected to Congress over a rival possessed of many and varied accomplishments, and on going to Washington was recognized as an authority on all great national questions. His important duties in connection with the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad-a directorship and the executive position he held in that great corporation led him to decline re-election to Congress. In Iowa he is still a great projector and constructor of railways, and is credited with near association with the first capitalists of the nation. His home is still in Council Bluffs, though a large portion of his time is spent in New York City, where his counsel is sought by capitalists and engineers.

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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