John Sanford Mason

John Sanford Mason was born in Steubenville, Ohio, August 21, 1824, and after attending the local schools, was appointed to the Military Academy in 1843. From his graduation in 1847 until his retirement forty-one years later at the statutory age of sixty-four, Mason pursued an exclusively military career. His service began with garrison duty in Tampico during the Mexican War and ended with the colonelcy of the 9th U. S. Infantry at Fort Whipple, Arizona. In the interval he served in such widely separated posts as Fort Adams at Newport, Rhode Island, San Diego, California, and Fort Vancouver, Washington, where he was stationed when the Civil War broke out. In October, 1861, he was appointed colonel of the 4th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, a regiment with which he fought in western Virginia during that fall and winter under the command of General James Shields. In George B. McClellan's Peninsular campaign Mason served briefly at Harrison's Landing. He is not mentioned in the Official Records again until the battle of Fredericksburg, where he commanded a brigade of Sedgwick's II Corps of the "Right Grand Division." Mason had been promoted to brigadier general on November 29, 1862 (although listed at Fredericksburg as colonel), and in April, 1863, was assigned to muster and recruit duty, first in Ohio, and for the last two years of the war in California and Nevada. In 1865 he was brevetted through grades to that of brigadier general, U. S. Army. Promoted to major of the 17th Infantry in 1864, General Mason stood duty in a number of posts on the western frontier in the 1870's and 1880's, receiving promotions to lieutenant colonel in 1873 and colonel in 1883. His stations included the states and territories of Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, Ohio, and Arizona. After retirement in 1888 General Mason resided in Washington, D. C, where he died November 29, 1897, and 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.