Innis Newton Palmer

Innis Newton Palmer, a direct descendant of an Englishman who came to America in 1621, was born March 30, 1824, in Buffalo, New York. After attending the local schools he was appointed to West Point and was graduated in 1846 along with George B. McClellan, Darius N. Couch, Stonewall Jackson, and George E. Pickett. Palmer served for nearly two years in Mexico as a lieutenant of mounted rifles and was twice brevetted for gallantry in action. Following the Mexican War his duty stations were almost entirely on the western frontier. When the 2nd Cavalry was authorized in 1855, Palmer became one of its captains and served under three officers who were to become celebrated figures in the ConfederacyŚA. S. Johnston, R. E. Lee, and W. J. Hardee. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Palmer succeeded to a majority in the 2nd Cavalry (changed to the 5th Cavalry in August, 1861) and was in command of the Regular Cavalry in the campaign of First Manassas; he was made a brigadier general of volunteers to rank from September 23, 1861. During the Peninsular campaign Palmer commanded a brigade of infantry in Couch's division of Reyes's IV Corps and fought creditably at Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Glendale, and Malvern Hill. That autumn he was engaged in organizing and sending to the front volunteer regiments from New Jersey and Delaware and in supervising the Philadelphia draft rendezvous. From December, 1862, until the end of the war he discharged various duties in the state of North CarolinaŚcommanding at times a division of the XVIII Corps as well as the entire corps, the Department and District of North Carolina, the New Bern defenses, and the District of Beaufort. In 1865 he was awarded all the brevet ranks through brigadier in the Regular Army and major general in the volunteers. During the war General Palmer had become lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Cavalry and in 1868 succeeded to its colonelcy. The remaining years of his military life were spent primarily in the area now constituting the states of Wyoming and Nebraska; he also served on several cavalry boards. From 1876 until 1879 he was on sick leave, and on March 20, 1879, was retired on his own application. More than twenty years of life remained to him, and these he spent in retirement in and near Washington. He died at Chevy Chase, Maryland, on September 9, 1900, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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