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Christopher C. Augur

christopher c. augur, major general christopher c. augur
Christopher Columbus Augur July 10, 1821 – January 16, 1898 was an American military officer, most noted for his role in the American Civil War Although less well known than other Union commanders, he was nonetheless considered an able battlefield commander


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Civil War
  • 3 Postbellum career
  • 4 See also
  • 5 Notes
  • 6 External links

Early lifeedit

Augur was born in Kendall, New York He moved with his family to Michigan and entered West Point in 18391 Augur graduated in 1843 in the same class as General of the Army Ulysses S Grant2 Following his graduation, Augur served as aide-de-camp to Generals Hopping and Cushing during the Mexican-American War, and during the 1850s took an active part in the campaigns of the western frontier against the Yakima and Rogue River tribes of Washington and, in 1856, against the Oregon Indians In Oregon, he was responsible for building Fort Hoskins in Kings Valley3

Civil Waredit

Augur was promoted to the rank of Major in the 13th Infantry on May 14, 18614 The American Civil War was just over four months old when Augur was made Commandant of Cadets at West Point on August 26, 1861, replacing John F Reynolds who, newly promoted to Brigadier General, had left that position on June 25, 1861, to perform other military duties5 Augur served as Commandant of Cadets and West Point's infantry tactics instructor until December 5, 18616

In November, 1861, Augur was appointed Brigadier General of volunteers and assigned a brigade command in Brigadier General Irvin McDowell's Corps4 In July, 1862, Augur was transferred to command a division under Major General Nathaniel Banks4 Augur was severely wounded at the Battle of Cedar Mountain in August 18624 He was appointed Major General of volunteers by President Abraham Lincoln on November 14, 1862, with the date of August 9, 1862, as his effective date of rank4 President Lincoln had to submit the nomination three times before the US Senate finally confirmed the appointment on March 10, 18637

In November, 1862, Augur was reunited with his Corps, the XIX Army Corps The XIX Corps comprised the whole of the Army of the Gulf under the command of Major General Benjamin Butler, which was in Louisiana at that time Major General Augur was in command at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on May 2, 1863, where he unexpectedly received Colonel Benjamin H Grierson leading his tattered and exhausted volunteer Brigade of Union cavalrymen from their sixteen-day, 600 mile raid Grierson's Raid behind Confederate lines in Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana8 Augur insisted that Grierson’s command be honored with a parade, and subsequently Grierson and his troopers were regaled with flying banners and martial music as they entered the city marching in a column that extended for two miles through the streets of Baton Rouge9

During the Siege of Port Hudson, which lasted from April 27 to July 9, 1863, Augur commanded the First Division in the XIX Corps of Major General Bank's Army of the Gulf1011 Banks had replaced Butler as the Army's commander in December, 18621213 Augur's First Division acted as the left wing of Bank's army throughout the siege4 Augur was brevetted first to Brigadier General in the United States Army on March 13, 1865, for his meritorious service during the Post Hudson Campaign and then, on the same date, brevetted to Major General for his service during the war4

After the fall of Port Hudson, Augur was assigned command of the XXII Corps and the Department of Washington which he held from October 13, 1863 to August 13, 186641311

Augur was one of the Army officers who were present at the Petersen House where the mortally wounded President Abraham Lincoln was taken after he was shot by John Wilkes Booth At Secretary of War Edwin Stanton’s request, Augur went into the street and called out for a competent phonographer who knew shorthand well enough to take verbatim notes for Stanton as he interviewed witnesses to that night’s tragic event14 Corporal James R Tanner answered Augur’s call and volunteered to transcribe the witness accounts for Secretary Stanton15 Augur escorted Corporal Tanner into the Petersen House where he introduced Tanner to Secretary Stanton and Chief Justice David K Cartter, who was also present for the depositions16 Augur then outlined to Tanner what his duties would be for the rest of the night16

Throughout that fateful night, and in the following days, Augur was instrumental in mobilizing troops in his command to pursue and eventually capture Booth and his co-conspirators,17 including detailing the detachment of the 16th Regiment New York Volunteer Cavalry under the command of Lt Edward P Doherty 18 to follow a lead given to Stanton by a Union spy which eventually led to Lt Doherty and his detachment tracking down and cornering President Lincoln’s assassin, Booth, and his associate, David Herold, in a tobacco barn near Port Royal, Virginia19

At about 9:30 AM on the morning of April 15, 1865, about ninety-minutes after Mr Lincoln had succumbed to the assassin's bullet, Augur served as one of the officers who walked as escorts for the president's body from the Petersen House, where the president died, to the White House20 On Wednesday, April 19, 1865, Augur served as the officer in charge of the military procession that escorted the president’s body from the White House to the Capitol where it would lie in state21

Postbellum careeredit

Following the war, Augur went on to command several military departments: the Department of the Platte from January 15, 1867, to November 13, 1871; the Department of Texas from November, 1871, to March, 1875; the Department of the Gulf from 1875 to July 1, 1878; the Department of the South from July 1, 1878, to December 26, 1880; and then he returned to the Department of Texas where he commanded for approximately another three years between January 2, 1881, and October 31, 1883422 He headed up the Military Division of the Missouri from 1883-85 He also played a major role in negotiating the Treaty of Medicine Lodge23 in 1867 and the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 186824 A fort in the Wyoming Territory was briefly named Fort Augur in his honor In 1885, he retired from the Army with the rank of Brigadier General25

He was a member of the Aztec Club of 1847, the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and the Military Order of Foreign Wars

Augur died in Georgetown, Washington, DC on January 16, 1898,1 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery4

See alsoedit

  • Biography portal
  • United States Army portal
  • American Civil War portal
  • List of American Civil War generals Union


  1. ^ a b Who Was Who in American History - the Military Chicago: Marquis Who's Who 1975 p 19 ISBN 0837932017 
  2. ^ Bishop, Jim 1955 The Day Lincoln Was Shot New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers p 299 
  3. ^ Corning, Howard M 1989 Dictionary of Oregon History Binfords & Mort Publishing p 15
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Biography — Major General CC Augur
  5. ^ Boynton, Edward Carlisle 1864 History of West Point: And Its Military Importance During the American Revolution: and the Origin and Progress of the United States Military Academy New York: D Van Nostrand p 316 
  6. ^ Boynton, op cit, p 316
  7. ^ Eicher, John H, and Eicher, David J, Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3 p 702
  8. ^ Brown, D Alexander 1981 Grierson’s Raid: A Cavalry Adventure of the Civil War Dayton, Ohio: Morningside Bookshop p 216 ISBN 0317527533 
  9. ^ Brown, op cit p 218
  10. ^ Edmonds, David C 1984 The Guns of Port Hudson: The Investment, Siege and Investment Lafayette, Louisiana: The Acadiana Press p 387 
  11. ^ a b Eicher, op cit p 862
  12. ^ Hewitt, Lawrence L 1987 Port Hudson, Confederate Bastion on the Mississippi Louisiana State University Press p 34 
  13. ^ a b Boatner, Mark M III 1984 The Civil War Dictionary: Revised Edition David McKay Company, Inc p 34 
  14. ^ Steers, Edward 2001 Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky p 128 ISBN 0813122171 
  15. ^ Steers, op cit, p 128
  16. ^ a b Bishop, op cit, p 239
  17. ^ Steers, op cit p 128
  18. ^ Steers, op cit, pp 194-95
  19. ^ Steers, op cit, pp 200-05
  20. ^ Steers, op cit, p 269
  21. ^ Steers, op cit, p 171
  22. ^ https://wwwarchivesgov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/393html#3934%7C Records of United States Army Continental Commands, 1821-1920
  23. ^ "Treaty with the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache, 1867" Medicine Lodge Treaty 15 Stats 589, Oct 21, 1867 Ratified July 25, 1868; proclaimed Aug 25, 1868 In Charles J Kappler, compiler and editor, Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties — Vol II: Treaties, pp 982–984 Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1904 Through Oklahoma State University Library, Electronic Publishing Center
  24. ^ "Treaty with the Sioux — Brulé, Oglala, Miniconjou, Yanktonai, Hunkpapa, Blackfeet, Cuthead, Two Kettle, Sans Arcs, and Santee — and Arapaho, 1868" Treaty of Fort Laramie, 1868 15 Stat 635, Apr 29, 1868 Ratified Feb 16, 1868; proclaimed Feb 24, 1868 In Charles J Kappler, compiler and editor, Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties — Vol II: Treaties Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1904, pp 998–1007 Through Oklahoma State University Library, Electronic Publishing Center
  25. ^ Eicher, 2001, p 109
Bibliography  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D C; Peck, H T; Colby, F M, eds 1905 "article name needed" New International Encyclopedia 1st ed New York: Dodd, Mead 
  • Augur, EP The Augur Family Middletown, Connecticut, 1904
  • Eicher, John H, and Eicher, David J, Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3
  • Keenan, Jerry Encyclopedia of American Indian Wars, ABC-CLIO, Inc: California, 1997 ISBN 0-87436-796-4
  • Who Was Who in American History - the Military Chicago: Marquis Who's Who 1975 ISBN 0837932017 

External linksedit

  • Christopher Columbus Augur from the Handbook of Texas Online
  • Arlington National Cemetery biography
  • "Christopher C Augur" Find a Grave Retrieved 2008-02-12 
  • Christopher C Augur Papers at Newberry Library
  • Christopher C Augur Collection of Photographs of the Western United States at Newberry Library

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