James Henry Carleton

James Henry Carleton was born on December 27, 1814, in Lubec, Maine, five months after his parents had fled nearby Eastport on Moose Island after the British occupation.  As a young man he had literary aspirations and corresponded from Boston with Charles Dickens.  After participating as a lieutenant of militia in the 1839 Aroostook War (a bloodless encounter occasioned by the conflict over the Maine-New Brunswick boundary, which nearly involved the United States in a third war with Great Britain), Carleton was appointed a second lieutenant of the 1st U. S. Dragoons on October 18, 1839. In 1846 he accompanied Stephen W. Kearny's Rocky Mountain expedition and the following year served on General John E. Wool's staff in Mexico, where he was brevetted major for gallantry at Buena Vista. From the close of the Mexican War until the beginning of the Civil War, Carleton was chiefly employed in scouting and exploring expeditions. In the spring of 1862 he recruited and organized the "California column," which he led from the Colorado River to the Rio Grande. He was commissioned brigadier general of volunteers to rank from April 28, 1862. At this time Carleton relieved General Edward R. S. Canby as commander of the Department of New Mexico, where he remained until the end of the war and was frequently a center of controversy in a sparsely settled and highly partisan area. He was eventually relieved from command on September 19, 1866. Meantime he had been brevetted through all grades to that of major general in both the Regular Army and the volunteer service, and on July 31, 1866, he was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 4th Cavalry. Seven years later he died of pneumonia at San Antonio, Texas, January 7, 1873, and was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts. General Carleton's son, Henry Guy Carleton (1852-1910) became a distinguished New York playwright.

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