Frederick Tracy Dent

Frederick Tracy Dent was born on his father's farm near St. Louis, Missouri, on December 17, 1820. (96) He entered West Point at the age of nineteen and was graduated thirty-third in the class of 1843. Of this class's thirty-nine members, twenty-seven were living in 1861, fifteen of whom became general officers of full rank in the Union or Confederate armies. One of these was Ulysses S. Grant, whom Dent introduced to his sister who in due course became Mrs. Grant. Dent's army career at various frontier posts was creditable, and in the course of the Mexican War he received two brevets for gallant and meritorious conduct, being badly wounded at Molino del Rey. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Dent was a captain of the 9th Infantry stationed in San Francisco, where he remained until March, 1863, when he was promoted to major of the 4th Infantry and ordered to duty in the East. He was stationed in New York City and served on a military commission to try prisoners of state until the spring of 1864, when Grant, who was now lieutenant general, appointed Dent "Aide-de-Camp to the General-in-Chief" with rank of lieutenant colonel. At the close of the war he served briefly as military governor of Richmond and was made a brigadier general of volunteers to rank from April 5, 1865, as well as a brigadier by brevet in the Regular Army. As a colonel of staff, U. S. Army, he served as President Grant's military secretary until 1873, when he was assigned to the command of Fort Trumbull, Connecticut (at New London), with rank of lieutenant colonel. General Dent was retired from active service as colonel of the 3rd Artillery on December 1, 1883, "upon his own application . . . having served over forty years." He then established residence in Washington, but five years later moved to Denver, Colorado, where one of his sons was practicing law. He died there on December 23, 1892. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, the simple inscription on his grave marker reciting his Regular Army rank of "Colonel, U. S. Army," and ignoring the volunteer rank which he also held.

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