Gordon Granger was born on November 6, 1822, in Joy, New York, a hamlet in Wayne County. According to Cullum's Register, Granger received "at his home a good English education" before entering West Point in the class of 1845, fourteen of whose graduates became full-rank general officers. After graduation he served in the war with Mexico, winning the brevets of first lieutenant and captain for gallant and meritorious service. Until the outbreak of the Civil War, Granger's service was on the western frontier as an officer of the Mounted Rifles, which in 1861 became the 3rd U. S. Cavalry. At the battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri, in August, 1861, his conduct won him the colonelcy of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry and the following spring—in the campaigns against New Madrid and Island No. 10 and in the subsequent investment of Corinth—he commanded a brigade. He was commissioned brigadier general of volunteers on March 26, 1862, and major general to rank from September 17, 1862. On September 20, 1863, at the battle of Chickamauga, he marched his command, without orders, to the relief of the beleaguered George H. Thomas who was clinging precariously to Horseshoe Ridge with the remnant of his corps. Attacking with two brigades of his Reserve Corps and sustaining 44 per cent casualties in less than two hours, Granger contributed in great measure, by his heroic conduct, to saving William S. Rosecrans' army and the campaign in the western theater from total disaster. At the battle of Chattanooga, Granger commanded the IV Corps and thereafter sometimes a corps and sometimes a division in the relief of Knoxville, the operations against Forts Gaines and Morgan, and the capture of Mobile in 1865. At the end of the war he received the brevet of major general in the Regular Army and in 1866 was appointed colonel of the 25th Infantry. He commanded the District of Memphis on two separate occasions during 1867-69 and the District of New Mexico intermittently from 1871 to 1876. During much of the time after the Civil War he was on sick leave; he died in Santa Fe on January 10, 1876, and was buried in Lexington, Kentucky, the home of his wife's family.
Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.