Russell Alexander Alger

Civil War Union Brevet Major General, Michigan Governor, Presidential Cabinet Secretary, US Senator. He was a lawyer in practice and ran a lumber business, when he enlisted as a Private in the Union Army at the start of the Civil War. Rising through the ranks, he was commissioned a Major in the 2nd Michigan Volunteer Cavalry and at the Battle of Boonsville on July 11, 1862, he defeated a Confederate force, was wounded, taken prisoner and escaped the same day. Promoted Colonel of the 5th Michigan Volunteer Cavalry in February 1863, his command was the first to enter the field at the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. Considered a military strategist, he was brevetted Brigadier General, US Volunteers, participated in the Virginia Vally Campaigns and captured a large force of Confederates at Trevellian Station in October 1864. He was brevetted Major General, US Volunteers om June 11, 865 for "gallant and meritorious services during the war". After the war, he was elected Governor of Michigan in 1884 and served until 1887. In 1897, President William McKinley appointed him Secretary of War and he served until he resigned in 1899. In 1902, he was elected as a Republican Senator from Michigan to the United States Senate, serveing until his death while in office at age 70. (bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith)

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