Isaac Ferdinand Quinby

Issac Ferdinand Quinby, a descendant of an old New England family, was born on a farm near Morristown, New Jersey, on January 29, 1821. He entered West Point in 1839 and was graduated in the class of 1843; he ranked sixth in the class whereas his lifelong friend U. S. Grant ranked twenty-first.  Quinby's early army service was spent in various garrisons and as an assistant professor of "natural philosophy" (physics) at the Military Academy. In 1852 he resigned his commission in order to teach mathematics and science at the University of Rochester, where he remained until the outbreak of the Civil War. In May, 1861, Quinby raised the "Rochester regiment," which was mustered into the service as the 13th New York for ninety days, although it had been accepted by the state as a two-year regiment. With Quinby as its colonel, the 13th New York fought at First Manassas in Sherman's brigade and was swept from the field along with the other demoralized Federal commands. Quinby resigned the following month and returned to his scholastic pursuits, but on March 20, 1862, he accepted a commission as brigadier general of volunteers (to rank from March 17) and was assigned to the command of the District of Mississippi. In September he was assigned the 7th Division of the Army of the Tennessee. In the course of the operations against Vicksburg in the spring of 1863, Quinby and his division, under Grant's orders, unsuccessfully attempted to reach Vicksburg by the Yazoo Pass. Although General Quinby was plagued by illness, he took part in the battles of Champion's Hill and Big Black River and the first assaults on Vicksburg proper. He finally resigned on December 31, 1863, and resumed his academic career, remaining connected with the University of Rochester until 1884. Meanwhile he served as provost marshal of the 28th (New York) Congressional District in 1865 and as United States marshal for the northern district of New York by appointment of Grant from 1869 until 1877. From 1885 to 1890 he was city surveyor of Rochester. General Quinby died at his home in Rochester on September 18, 1891, and was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery.

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