Charles Cleveland Dodge

Charles Cleveland Dodge, a son of the William E. Dodge and Melissa Phelps whose marriage cemented the present copper firm of Phelps Dodge Corp., was born on September 16, 1841, in Plainfield, New Jersey. On December 10, 1861, three months after his twentieth birthday, he was mustered into the army as captain of the 7th New York Cavalry, a regiment originally called the 1st Battalion New York Mounted Rifles, and was its colonel by August 13, 1862. His entire war service was spent in and near Suffolk, Virginia, under the immediate command of General John J. Peck and the department command of Major General John A. Dix, a New Yorker. In the months between May, 1862, and the siege of Suffolk by James Longstreet in April, 1863, Dodge performed commendably but seems to have incurred criticism from both Peck and Dix by the time he was nominated for brigadier general by President Abraham Lincoln (a grade to which he was confirmed to rank from November 29, 1862).

On March 17, 1863, Dix wrote Peck: "I do not intend that General Dodge shall command the cavalry ... at Suffolk."  Peck had already expressed a preference for another officer, who was junior to Dodge by date of commission as colonel and who would not be appointed brigadier general even by brevet until the omnibus promotions of March 13, 1865. Dodge, perhaps unwilling to be subordinated to the orders of a man junior in rank, although old enough to be his father, resigned his commission as of June 12, 1863. During the draft riots in New York the following month, he volunteered his services which were used and officially appreciated by General John E. Wool. After the war, he was connected with innumerable business enterprises, including a partnership in Phelps Dodge Corp. At the time of his death he had been for some years the president of the New York and Boston Cape Cod Canal Co.; the canal, completed in 1914 by private capital, is now operated by the Federal government. Dodge died in New York on November 4, 1910, and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Previous Page

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