John Haskell King

John Haskell King was born, according to his grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery, in Sackets Harbor, New York, on February 19, 1820. His army dossier, however, reflects that he was born in Michigan, where he was taken by his parents as a young boy. In any event he was appointed a second lieutenant of the 1st U. S. Infantry from Michigan, two months before his eighteenth birthday and promoted to first lieutenant in 1839 and captain in 1846. He served in Florida against the Seminoles, on the frontier at Vera Cruz during the Mexican War, and in Texas where, at the beginning of the Civil War, he defied the insurgent authorities and brought nine companies of Regulars safely to New York. King commanded detachments of Regular troops at Shiloh, Corinth, and in the battle of Murfreesboro, or Stone's River, where he was wounded. In April, 1863, he was appointed brigadier general of volunteers to rank from November 29, 1862, and on the first day at Chickamauga again commanded a brigade of Regulars in Baird's division of George Thomas' XIV Corps, which along with Brannan's division of the same corps, "were thoroughly beaten up, fell back and were practically out of action for the rest of the day." The following day, however, they fought magnificently on Horseshoe Ridge, doing much to save W. S. Rosecrans' army from destruction and sustaining the largest number of casualties in the battle. In the course of the Atlanta campaign he was in brigade and divisional command, and he was present at Resaca, New Hope Church, Kennesaw Mountain, and Peachtree Creek, commanding for a time the 1st Division of the IV Corps. From July, 1864, until the end of the war he commanded a brigade of five battalions of Regulars in the District of the Etowah under General James B. Steedman. General King was brevetted major general in the Regular Army on March 13, 1865, and in the volunteer service on May 31, 1865. At the end of the war, and a year before the reorganization of the army in 1866, he was promoted colonel of the 9th Infantry. He served at various stations on the western frontier until he was retired for age in 1882. Thereafter he made his home in Washington, where he died on April 7, 1888, and, as noted above, 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.