Rufus Ingalls

Rufus Ingalls, perhaps the only officer in a position of great responsibility who gave satisfaction to every commander of the Army of the Potomac from first to last, was born in Denmark, Maine, August 23, 1818. He was graduated from West Point in the class of 1843 and during the Mexican War won the brevet of first lieutenant for his services in northern New Mexico. Soon after, Ingalls accepted quartermaster duty, beginning a career of distinction in the U. S. Army. He was successively stationed at Monterey, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Yuma, and Washington, D. C, joined Steptoe's expedition across the continent via Fort Leavenworth and Salt Lake, and at the outbreak of the Civil War was stationed at Fort Pickens, Florida. Almost immediately he was appointed chief quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac, and served successively under Generals George B. McClellan, Ambrose E. Burnside, Joseph Hooker, and George G. Meade. In June, 1864, his classmate and intimate, Ulysses S. Grant, with whom he had served in Mexico, made him chief quartermaster of all the armies operating against Richmond, a post which he occupied until the end of the war. In the interval he had been promoted major in the quartermaster department in 1862, brigadier general of volunteers to rank from May 23, 1863, and had won all the brevets through that of major general in both the regular establishment and the volunteer forces. Upon the reorganization of the army in July, 1866, Ingalls became assistant quartermaster general with the staff rank of colonel. For the next sixteen years he was employed as chief quartermaster of the Division of the Pacific and the Division of the Missouri; and in 1881-82 was in charge of the quartermaster's depot in New York City. On February 23, 1882, he was promoted to quartermaster general of the army with the staff rank of brigadier general. Fifteen months later, at his own request, he was retired, having served forty years. It might be said of Ingalls, who arrived in Washington a week after First Manassas and was relieved from duty at City Point, the vast Union supply depot, on May 9, 1865, that corps and army commanders might come and go, but Ingalls went on forever. He died in New York City, January 15, 1893, 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.