Truman Seymour

Truman Seymour, the son of a Methodist preacher, was born in Burlington, Vermont, op September 24, 1824. He spent two years at Norwich University (then in Norwich, Vermont, but now located in Northfield, Vermont) and then accepted an appointment to West Point, where he was graduated in 1846. As a young artillery officer he fought with distinction in the Mexican War, gaining the brevets of first lieutenant and captain. A three-year tour at the Academy was followed by serving in action against the Florida Seminoles in 1856-58. The outbreak of war found him stationed in Charleston Harbor and he was brevetted major for gallant conduct in the defense of Fort Sumter. After some recruiting duty and service in the Washington defenses he was made a brigadier general of volunteers on April 28, 1862, and assigned to a brigade in McCall's division of Fitz John Porter's V Corps on the Peninsula. After the capture of McCall at the battle of Glendale (or Frayser's Farm) on June 30, Seymour commanded the division at Malvern Hill. At Second Manassas the division, now under John F. Reynolds, was temporarily attached to Irvin McDowell's corps of the Army of Virginia. Seymour and his brigade distinguished themselves at the battle of South Mountain by forcing Turner's Gap, a feat for which he was brevetted lieutenant colonel in the Regular Army. His command also did well at Sharpsburg where he won the brevet of colonel. In November, 1862, he was transferred to Charleston Harbor and led the abortive attack on Battery Wagner in July, 1863; Seymour was severely wounded in this encounter. After returning to duty in December, General Seymour was detailed to the Florida expedition, where his troops were roughly handled at the battle of Olustee, or Ocean Pondó the sole major engagement fought on Florida soil during the war. Relieved and ordered again to the Army of the Potomac, he was taken prisoner at the Wilderness in May and was not exchanged until August. After his release he commanded a division of the VI Corps in the Shenandoah Valley, at the siege of Petersburg, and in the Appomattox campaign. Upon the termination of hostilities Seymour was brevetted major general in both the Regular Army and the volunteers. In 1866 he- was promoted to the substantive rank of major of the 5th Artillery, a position he occupied until his retirement, at his own request, in 1876. Thereafter, he lived in Florence, Italy, where he died on October 30, 1891. His remains were interred in the Cimitero degli Allori there. Curiously enough, his wife, who survived until 1919, was buried at West Point.

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