George Washington Cullum

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George Washington Cullum was born in New York City, February 25, 1809. When he was a child, his parents moved to Meadville, Pennsylvania, from which state he was appointed to the Military Academy at the age of twenty. He was graduated third in the class of 1833 and was commissioned into the Engineer Corps. As an officer in this elite organization, Cullum had a prominent part in harbor defense work in most of the principal Atlantic Coast ports, performed instruction duty at West Point and at New York, but by 1861 was still only a captain. During the first months of the Civil War, Cullum served as aide to Winfield Scott, then commander in chief. His principal war service, however, was performed as chief of staff to General Henry W. Halleck, with rank of brigadier general of volunteers from November 1, 1861. After leaving Halleck's staff in September, 1864 General Cullum was superintendent of the Military Academy for two years. He then discharged various engineering duties until his retirement in 1874, with rank of colonel. The following year he married Halleck's widow, a granddaughter of Alexander Hamilton; he thus became a brother-in-law to General Schuyler Hamilton. He inherited a substantial fortune from his wife, much of which he bequeathed to the Military Academy and the American Geographical Society. Cullum is best known for his monumental compilation, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy, published in three volumes in 1890 and supplemented at ten-year intervals by a provision of his will. This work gives a minute record of the military service of every graduate of West Point. Although the work is open to criticism in some respects because of Cullum's intense anti-Confederate bias, its value transcends all such considerations. General Cullum died in New York City, February 29, 1892, and was buried in Green Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.

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