William Passmore Carlin

William Passmore Carlin was born in the Richwoods neighborhood, near Carrollton, Illinois, November 24, 1829. His appointment to West Point in 1846 was obtained through a competitive examination in his Congressional district. After his graduation in 1850, he was posted to the 6th Infantry as a brevet second lieutenant. In the decade preceding the Civil War, Carlin did garrison duty, participated in William S. Harney's expedition against the Sioux in 1855, in Edwin V. Sumner's campaign against the Cheyenne in 1857, and in Albert Sidney Johnston's celebrated Mormon expedition of 1858. At the outbreak of hostilities Carlin was a captain in the regular service. On August 15, 1861, he was commissioned colonel of the 38th Illinois Infantry. Stationed in the then Southwest (Missouri and Arkansas), Carlin performed creditably in a number of minor operations and distinguished himself in the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, in October, 1862. The following month he was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers. He fought at Stone's River, in the Tullahoma campaign (which forced the Confederate Army under Braxton Bragg from Tennessee) and at Chickamauga and Chattanooga. Taking a gallant part in the Atlanta campaign, he commanded a division at the battle of Jones-boro. During the campaign of the Carolinas he directed the 1st Division of the XIV Corps. He was brevetted major general in both the volunteers and regular services and reverted to his regular rank of major of infantry after the war. In 1867 and 1868 he acted as assistant commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau in Tennessee and for the following four years was in garrison command at various points in the South. He returned to frontier duty in the West, commanding at various posts, and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1872 and to colonel in 1882. On May 17, 1893, he was appointed brigadier general and in the same year was retired. He then established residence in Spokane, Washington, meantime traveling widely in the United States and abroad. General Carlin died near Whitehall, Montana, on board a Northern Pacific train on October 4, 1903. He was buried in Carrollton.

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