Adam Jacoby Slemmer

Adam Jacoby Slemmer, was born on January 24, 1829, in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He received his early education in the local country schools and at the age of seventeen entered West Point, where he was graduated in the class of 1850. Slemmer's first active service was against the Florida Seminoles; he was then stationed in southern California for four years; and from 1855 to 1859 taught a variety of subjects at the Military Academy. At the beginning of hostilities he was a first lieutenant, 1st Artillery, commanding Fort Barrancas and the barracks on Pensacola Bay. On January 10, 1861, the day Florida seceded from the Union, he contributed a key bit of strategy to the Union cause by moving his little command to Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island. This position remained from first to last in the hands of the Federal forces and ensured control of the Gulf of Mexico. On May 14 he was promoted directly to major of the newly authorized 16th Infantry, which he aided in recruiting and organizing. He soon became acting inspector general of the Department of the Ohio and served under General D. C. Buell in 1862 in his operations in Mississippi, North Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky, taking part in the siege of Corinth and the advance into Kentucky to oppose Braxton Bragg's Confederates. At the battle of Murfreesboro, Slemmer commanded, as major, the 1st Battalion and one company of the 2nd Battalion of the 16th Infantry in a brigade of Regulars assigned to L. H. Rousseau's division of G. H. Thomas' XIV Corps of the Federal forces under W. S. Rosecrans. In the course of this battle on December 31, 1862, Slemmer was so badly wounded that his active field service was brought to a close. During convalescence from his wound he was promoted brigadier general of volunteers on April 4, 1863, to rank from November 29, 1862. From July, 1863, until the end of the war General Slemmer served as president of a board for examination of sick and wounded officers at Columbus and Cincinnati. He was promoted lieutenant colonel in the regular service in 1864 and brevet brigadier general in 1865; after the war he served in garrison and as a member of a board for examination of candidates for promotion. While in command of Fort Laramie, Wyoming (then Dakota Territory), a post to which he had been assigned in 1867, he died on October 7, 1868, of heart disease at the age of thirty-nine and was buried in Montgomery Cemetery, Norristown, Pennsylvania, in the county of his birth.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.