Washington Lafayette Elliott

Washington Lafayette Elliott, son of Commodore Jesse Duncan Elliott, U. S. Navy, was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, March 31, 1825. During his boyhood he accompanied his father on cruises to the West Indies and abroad. He left the sophomore class of Dickinson College to enter West Point, where he was a cadet from July 1, 1841, to June 30, 1844, leaving to study medicine.  However, on May 27, 1846, he was commissioned directly into the army as a second lieutenant of Mounted Rifles. Participation in the siege of Vera Cruz was followed by illness and assignment to recruiting duty. He later served on the frontier and was made captain in 1854. After some service as a regular officer at Springfield and Wilson's Creek at the beginning of the Civil War, Elliott was commissioned into the volunteers as colonel of the 2nd Iowa Cavalry on September 14, 1861, and assigned to the command of General John Pope, with whom he took part in the operations against new Madrid and Island No. 10. Commanding a cavalry brigade during the siege of Corinth, he was in charge of the first cavalry raid of the war, against the Mobile 8c Ohio Railroad; on June 11, 1862, he was made a brigadier general of volunteers. He went east with Pope and at Second Manassas, where he was wounded, was chief of cavalry of the Army of Virginia. General Elliott was successively in command of the Department of the Northwest, of the 3rd Division of Sickles' III Corps at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and of the 1st Cavalry Division of the Army of the Cumberland during the relief of Ambrose E. Burnside in East Tennessee. In the Atlanta campaign he was chief of cavalry under General George H. Thomas and took part in the pursuit of John B. Hood. At the battle of Nashville he commanded a division of the IV Corps. After having been in command of the District of Kansas, he was mustered out of volunteer service on March 1, 1866, with the brevets of major general in both the Regular Army and volunteers, his regular rank being that of major, 1st Cavalry. This was shortly augmented by promotion to lieutenant colonel; in 1878 he became colonel, 3rd Cavalry, and was retired the following year. He then engaged in the banking business in San Francisco, where he died on June 29, 1888. He was buried in the Presidio there.

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