Isaac Munroe St. John

Monument: Find-a-Grave

Isaac Munroe St. John was born at Augusta, Georgia, November 19, 1827. He moved with his parents to New York City, and was educated at the Poughkeepsie (N. Y.) Collegiate School and at Yale, from which he graduated in 1845. He first studied law, and then engaged in newspaper work in Baltimore. In 1848 he gave up journalism to become a civil engineer, and was associated with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and from 1855 to 1861 with the Blue Ridge Railroad in Georgia and South Carolina. Enlisting as a private in the Fort Hill Guards of South Carolina, he soon became John B. Magruder's chief engineer at Yorktown, Virginia. In February 1862 he was commissioned captain of engineers. In October of that year, with rank of major of artillery, St. John was placed in charge of the Nitre Corps (subsequently the Nitre and Mining Corps), and was promoted lieutenant colonel and colonel in 1863. In this capacity he rendered invaluable service in producing desperately needed ordnance supplies. On February 16, 1865, by special act of Congress, he was made brigadier general and commissary general to supersede General Northrop. Paroled at Thomasville, Georgia, he returned to his profession of civil engineering. He was again connected with various railroads, and for two years with the city of Louisville, Kentucky, as chief engineer. At the time of his death at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, April 7, 1880, General St. John was in charge of the mining and engineering department of the Chesapeake & Ohio. He is buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.

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