John Joseph Abercrombie

John Joseph Abercrombie was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Upon the authority of a daughter, the date was March 4, 1798; however, his gravestone reports "March 28, 1798." He was a son-in-law of General Robert Patterson of Mexican War fame and a brother-in-law of Brigadier General Francis E. Patterson, U. S. Volunteers. Considerable mystery surrounds his early life, and some sources record his birthplace as Tennessee. In any event, he was graduated from the Military Academy in 1822, standing thirty-seventh in a class of forty. Abercrombie established a long and gallant army record during his service at many posts in the South and Northwest. He was promoted to first lieutenant of infantry in 1828, to-captain in 1836, to major in 1847, to lieutenant colonel in 1852, and to full colonel at the outbreak of the Civil War. Meanwhile, he received the brevet promotions of major for gallant and meritorious services in Florida, and of lieutenant colonel in the Mexican War. He was appointed brigadier general of volunteers on August 31, 1861. In the early part of the war he was in field command: at Falling Waters, Virginia; at Seven Pines, where he was wounded; and at Malvern Hill during the withdrawal of George B. McClellan's army to Harrison's Landing. With the use of younger officers in the field, Abercrombie's activities were confined mainly to garrison and administrative duties, including command of depots around Fredericksburg and White House, Virginia, during U. S. Grant's Overland campaign. Brevetted brigadier general in the Regular Army on March 13, 1865, and retired from active service the following June 12, he continued on court-martial duty until 1869. He then made his home in Roslyn, Long Island, where he died on January 3, 1877. He is buried in Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia.

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