Isaac Hardin Duval

Isaac Hardin Duval was born September 1, 1824, near the Ohio River at Wellsburg, in the strip of (West) Virgina between Ohio and Pennsylvania. After attendance at the common schools of the neighborhood, he joined an elder brother in conducting a trading post at Fort Smith, Arkansas. He became a hunter and trapper on the western plains and voyaged to Mexico and Central and South America. In 1849 Duval is said to have led the first emigrant train from Texas to California and two years after that took part in the Cuban insurrection of Narciso Lopez. In 1853 Duval returned to Wellsburg and entered the mercantile business. His section was attached more to the North than the South both geographically and by settlement; consequently he supported the Union and on June 1, 1861, was mustered into service as major of the 1st (West) Virginia Infantry—a three-month regiment mustered out in August and replaced in October by a three-year regiment. On September 19, 1862, he was appointed colonel of the 9th West Virginia. Duval spent most of his time in the West Virginia mountains chasing bushwhackers but also engaged in more than thirty battles and skirmishes, was wounded three times, and had eleven horses shot from under him. At the battle of Cloyd's Mountain in May, 1864, he led his regiment in a desperate, uphill charge against the Confederate breastworks—breaking the line, but suffering 30 per cent casualties in the process. He was made a brigadier general to rank from September 24, 1864, meantime participating in Philip Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley campaign in the Army of West Virginia under George Crook. With the brevet of major general for gallantry, Duval embarked upon a postwar career of persistent office-holding. He was successively state senator in West Virginia, state adjutant general, Congressman (1869-71), U. S. assessor of internal revenue, collector of internal revenue for twelve years, and member of the lower house of the state legislature. He died at Wellsburg on July 10, 1902, and was buried there.

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