Albion P. Howe

Burial: Mount Auburn Cemetery
Cambridge
Middlesex County
Massachusetts, USA
Plot: Golden Rod Path, Lot 6547

Albion Parris Howe, a native of Maine, was born in Standish on March 13, 1818. Although first inclined to an academic career, at the instance of his state governor he received an appointment to West Point at the age of nineteen and was graduated eighth in a class of fifty-two in 1841. Prior to the Mexican War, where he won a brevet promotion for gallantry during Winfield Scott's advance upon Mexico City, Howe served in the East and at his alma mater as an instructor. From then until the outbreak of the Civil War he saw" much frontier duty intermingled with garrison stations in the eastern states, was promoted to captain in 1855, and was present with his battery at Harpers Ferry after the celebrated raid of John Brown. As an artillery officer by training, Howe's Civil War career was not as newsworthy as those of some of his colleagues; it was, however, creditable to a degree. After some service under George B. McClellan in western Virginia in 1861, he commanded an artillery brigade during the Peninsular campaign and was made a brigadier general of volunteers to rank from June 11, 1862. He then commanded an infantry brigade of the IV Corps in Maryland and the 2nd Division of the VI Corps at the battle of Fredericksburg. Directing the same command, he stormed Marye's Heights during the campaign of Chancellorsville, and at Gettysburg was lightly engaged, John Sedgwick's corps being held in reserve. After the Mine Run operations in the autumn of 1863, Howe was put in command of the Artillery Depot and in charge of the Office of the Inspector of Artillery at Washington—an obvious move by U. S. Grant and/or Sedgwick to remove him from infantry command. He remained in this capacity until 1866. Despite this seeming demotion, General Howe received all the brevets in both the regular and volunteer services through that of major general at the end of the war. He discharged a number of postbellum duties; the most distinguished of which was his assignment to the honor guard who stood watch upon the corpse of Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps not so honorable was his membership on the commission which tried the Lincoln conspirators. He was retired as colonel of the 4th Artillery in 1882, and died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on January 25, 1897. General Howe was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge.

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