James Sanks Brisbin

James Sanks Brisbin was born in the village of Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, on May 23, 1837. After obtaining a good classical education, he taught school and won prominence as an antislavery orator. At the beginning of the Civil War, Brisbin enlisted as a private in a Pennsylvania regiment; however, on April 26, 1861, he was appointed a second lieutenant in the 1st U. S. Cavalry (a regular unit then called the 1st Dragoons). While in charge of a detachment of recruits from Carlisle barracks destined for service with the 2nd Artillery, Brisbin was twice wounded at the battle of First Manassas and was praised for his conduct there. He was promoted through grades in the volunteer service and became a brigadier on May 1, 1865; he also won the brevets of major general of volunteers and colonel in the Regular Army. He served in the Peninsular campaign as a captain of the 6th Cavalry, took part in the Blue Ridge expedition, and won the brevet of major at the battle of Beverly Ford. In the Gettysburg campaign, he commanded the Pennsylvania state cavalry and acted as chief of cavalry on the staff of General Albert L. Lee during the Red River campaign, where at Sabine Crossroads, he was again wounded. Toward the close of hostilities he was chief of staff to General Stephen G. Burbridge, who was in command of the District of Kentucky and, subsequently, in Tennessee. Mustered out of the volunteers on January 15, 1866, Brisbin served with distinction in the post-Civil War army. He was promoted to major, 2nd Cavalry, in 1868; to lieutenant colonel, 9th Cavalry, in 1885; and to colonel, 1st Cavalry, in 1889. In 1876 he commanded the battalion of cavalry which formed part of John Gibbon's column in the Little Big Horn campaign. An aspiring author, Brisbin was the author of The Beef Bonanza, or, How to Get Rich on the Plains. He died in Philadelphia on January 14, 1892, and his remains were taken to Red Wing, Minnesota, for burial.

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