Major General Oliver O. Howard, U.S.A.
Commander, Army of the Tennessee, Sherman’s March to the Sea (right wing)

HOWARD, Oliver Otis, soldier, b. in Leeds, Me., 8 Nov., 1830. He was graduated at Bowdoin in 1850, and at the U. S. military academy In 1854, became 1st lieutenant and instructor in mathematics in 1854, and resigned in 1861 to take command of the 3d Maine regiment. He commanded a brigade at the first battle of Bull Run, and for gallantry in that engagement was made brigadier-general of volunteers, 3 Sept., 1861. He was twice wounded at the battle of Fair Oaks, losing his right arm on 1 June, 1862, was on sick-leave for six months, and engaged in recruiting service till September of this year, when he participated in the battle of Antietam, and afterward took Gen. John Sedgwick's division in the 2d corps. In November, 1862, he became major-general of volunteers. He commanded the 11th corps during Gen. Joseph Hooker's operations in the vicinity of Fredericksburg, 2 May, 1863, served at Gettysburg, Lookout Valley, and Missionary Ridge, and was on the expedition for the relief of Knoxville in December, 1863. He was in occupation of Chattanooga from this time till July, 1864, when he was assigned to the Army of the Tennessee in the invasion of Georgia, was engaged at Dalton, Resaca, Adairsville, and Pickett's Mill, where he was again wounded, was at the surrender of Atlanta, and joined in pursuit of the Confederates in Alabama, under Gen. John B. Hood, from 4 Oct. till 13 Dec., 1864. In the march to the sea and the invasion of the Carolinas he commanded the right wing of Gen. William T. Sherman's army. He became brigadier-general in the U. S. army, 21 Dec., 1864. He was in command of the Army of the Tennessee, and engaged in all the important battles from 4 .Jan. till 26 April, 1865, occupying Goldsborough, N. C., 24 March, 1865, and participating in numerous skirmishes, terminating with the surrender of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston at Durham, N. C., 26 April, 1865. In March of this year he was brevetted major-general for gallantry at the battle of Ezra Church and the campaigns against Atlanta, Ga. He was commissioner of the Freedmen's bureau at Washington from March, 1865, till July, 1874, and in that year was assigned to the command of the Department of the Columbia. In 1877 he led the expedition against the Nez Perces Indians, and in 1878 led the campaign against the Bannocks and Piutes. In 1881-'2 he was superintendent of the U. S. military academy. In 1886 Gen. Howard was commissioned major-general, and given command of the division of the Pacific. Bowdoin college gave him the degree of A. M. in 1853, Water field college that of LL. D. in 1865. Shurtleff college the same in 1865, and Gettysburg theological seminary in 1866. He was also made a chevalier of the Legion of honor by the French government in 1884. Gen. Howard was retired in 1894, and in 1898 was active in the movement for National volunteer reserves. He has contributed various articles to magazines, and has published" Donald's School Days" (1879); "Chief Joseph, or the Nez Perces in Peace and War" (1881); and "General Taylor" (in the" Great Commanders" series, New York, 1893).

Source: Wilson, James Grant, & Fiske, John (Eds.). Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 1. New York: Appleton, 1888, 1915.

Content last updated May 5, 2012