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Brevet Brigadier-General John Pulford, U.S.V.

Brevet Brigadier-General John Pulford was born in New York City July 4, 1837. He was educated in the public schools and afterwards read law, and is now a member of the Detroit bar, in which city he has resided since 1850. When the war of the Rebellion broke out in 1861 he was proprietor of a hotel and foreman of Engine Company No. 3 in said city, and on April 20 he, in conjunction with Mr. E. T. Sherlock, proprietor of the Metropolitan Theatre, reorganized said fire company into a military company and offered their services to the general government, and on June 19, 1861, he was commissioned first lieutenant Fifth Michigan Infantry. He was stationed at Fort Wayne, Michigan, to September 11, 1861, when he, with his regiment, left to join the Army of the Potomac, and was actively engaged with said army in all its campaigns and battles up to Malvern Hill, where he was severely wounded by a ricochet cannon-ball, which fractured his temporal bone and also broke his jaw and collar bones. He was taken prisoner and retained at Richmond until July 18, 1862. He was promoted captain May 15, 1862, and major January 1, 1863. He did not recover from his wounds until September 12, 1862, when he again took the field, and participated in the battle of Fredericksburg. In this battle his company and regiment suffered severely.

The regimental commander having been killed, Captain Pulford, although one of the junior captains, was soon after appointed major of the regiment, the officers of the regiment having petitioned to the governor for his promotion, on account of his efficient services as an officer. At the battle of Chancellorsville, May 2, 1863, he assisted in the capture of the Twenty-third Georgia

Infantry, and the next day, May 3, assumed command of the regiment, after Lieutenant-Colonel E. T. Sherlock had been killed, and remained in command of the regiment (though suffering severely from a wound received at Chancellorsville) up to and including the battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he was twice wounded, but did not leave the field or his command.

Major Pulford was promoted lieutenant-colonel of the Fifth Michigan May 3, 1863, and in August of that year was sent to New York City with his regiment on account of the draft riots, and from there to Troy, New York, for the same purpose, returning to the Army of the Potomac September 18, 1863. On December 29, 1863, he went on veteran furlough, and returning to the field in February, 1864, he participated in the actions and movements of the Army of the Potomac to the surrender of Lee, April 9, 1865.

At the battle of the Wilderness Colonel Pulford was severely wounded, having his back broken and both arms partially disabled from an injury to the brachial plexus and loss of part of the first and second dorsal vertebra. He was promoted colonel of his regiment July 12, 1864, and brevet brigadier-general of volunteers March 13, 1865, "for good conduct and meritorious services during the war," and was honorably mustered out July 5, 1865.

General Pulford held on various occasions command of a brigade and division during the war, and of several Western regiments at its close.

He has to his credit all general engagements the Army of the Potomac participated in (except first and second Bull Run, Chantilly, and Antietam), including surrender of insurgent armies at Appomattox Court House.

On February 23, 1866, he entered the regular army as lieutenant and served in the Southwest and West, and engaged in General Hancock's expedition across the Plains against hostile Indians to April, 1867. Subsequently he was placed on reconstruction duty in the South, and was retired from active service with the rank of colonel, on account of wounds received in the line of duty, December 15, 1870.

General Pulford is the seventh son and ninth child of Edward and Sarah Lloyd (Anis) Pulford, the former a native of Norwich, and the latter of Bristol, England. They emigrated to New York City in 1833.

In 1856 he married Miss Sarah L. Lee, who died in 1875, leaving four children,-namely, Ida A., wife of George F. Summer; Josephine A., wife of Henry Cleland; Grant L., a clerk in the Detroit post-office; Sadie E., wife of Theodore E. Quinby, one of, the editorial staff of the Detroit Free Press. In 1883 General Pulford married Mrs. Emma J. Cady. They have one child, John Pulford, Jr.

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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