American Abolitionists and Antislavery Activists:
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l to r: Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips

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Encyclopedia of Civil War Military Biography - V


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Sac-Sha                                                                             Wad-Whe
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Encyclopedia of Civil War Military Biography – V

VAN BRUNT, Gershom Jaques, naval officer, born in Monmouth County, New Jersey, 28 August, 1798; died in Dedham, Massachusetts, 17 December, 1863. He entered the service as a midshipman on 1 January, 1818, served in Commodore David Porter s Mosquito fleet against pirates in the West Indies, was made a lieutenant on 3 March, 1827, and rose to be a commander on 29 May, 1846, and commanded the brig "Etna" in the Gulf during the Mexican War, during which he participated in the expedition against Tuspan and the second expedition against Tobasco. He served as a commissioner to survey the boundary-line of California in 1848-'50, and was promoted a captain on 14 September, 1855. He commanded the "Minnesota," and took an active part in the reduction of the forts at Cape Hatteras and in operations in the North Carolina sounds and the blockade of Hampton Roads, where he saved his ship from the Confederate ram " Merrimac." He was commissioned as commodore on 16 July, 1862, and was retired because of his age on 28 April, 1863. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 229.

VAN BUREN, James Lyman, soldier, born in Dunkirk, New York, 21 June, 1837; died in New York City, 13 April, 1866. He was graduated at the New York Free Academy in 1850, studied law, and travelled in Europe, returning shortly before the beginning of the Civil War. He entered the National Army as a lieutenant of New York volunteers, was detailed to learn the signal code, and acted as signal officer on General John G. Foster's staff at Roanoke Island and at New Berne. After the taking of New Berne he served as judge-advocate of the department on the staff of General Ambrose E. Burnside, and subsequently as military secretary to Governor Edward Stanly. He rejoined General Burnside after the battle of Antietam, and was with him while he commanded the Army of the Potomac, and afterward in the East Tennessee Campaign. In 1864 he served with credit in General Grants Campaign against Richmond, receiving the brevet of lieutenant-colonel for his bravery, and subsequently that of colonel for his services in the Knoxville Campaign. In the assault on the works at Petersburg he gained the brevet rank of brigadier-general.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 229.

VAN BUREN, John Dash, merchant, born in New York City, 18 March, 1811: died in Newburg, New York, 1 December, 1885. He was graduated at Columbia in 1829, studied and practised law, afterward engaged in mercantile pursuits, and became the head of the importing-house of Benjamin Aymar and Company, New York City, retiring about 1850. He aided Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase in drafting tax and other financial bills, was a member of the legislature in 1863, and acted as Governor John T. Hoffman's private secretary in 1868-'72. Mr. Van Buren was a frequent writer for the press on questions of financial legislation, and a strong advocate of a metallic currency.—His son, John Dash, civil engineer, born, in New York City, 8 August, 1838, studied at the Lawrence scientific school of Harvard, and in Rensselaer polytechnic institute, where he was graduated in 1860. After serving for a Year as assistant engineer of the Croton aqueduct in New York City, he entered the engineer corps of the U. S. Navy, took part in the operations on James River, and was for four years assistant professor of natural philosophy and of engineering in the U. S. Naval Academy, being promoted first assistant engineer on 1 January, 1865. He resigned his commission on 22 September, 1868, was admitted to the bar in 1869, and practised law for a short time in New York City, then returned to the profession of engineering, was in charge for construction in the department of docks in New York City, was appointed on a commission to investigate canals in 1875, and in 1876-'7 was state engineer and surveyor. Besides papers in the "Journal of the Franklin Institute' and the "Transactions" of the American society of civil engineers, he has published "Investigation of Formulas for Iron Parts of Steam Machinery" (New York, 1869). 
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 229.

VAN BUREN, William Holme, surgeon, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 5 April, 1819; died in New York City, 25 March, 1883. His grandfather, Beekman, and his great-grandfather, Abraham, who came from Holland in 1700, after studying under Boerhaave at Leyden, were physicians to the New York City almshouse. He was a student at Yale of the class of 1838 for two years, and was subsequently granted his degree. On leaving college, he studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and in the Paris hospitals. He received his diploma from the University of Pennsylvania in 1840, presenting an essay on "Immovable Apparatus," which was published by the faculty, and on 15 June of that year was appointed an assistant surgeon in the U. S. Army. Resigning on 31 December, 1845. he went to New York City to assist his father-in-law, Valentine Mott, in his surgical clinic in the medical department of the University of the city of New York. He soon took high rank both as an operative surgeon and family practitioner, also as a teacher and demonstrator of anatomy and surgery. When Bellevue hospital was organized in 1847 he was appointed one of the surgeons. In 1849 he became surgeon to St. Vincent hospital, and in 1852 he was elected to the chair of anatomy in New York University Medical College. He was visiting surgeon to New York hospital from 1852 till 1868, and from the latter date consulting surgeon. He was consulting surgeon also to Bellevue and Charity hospitals. He was one of the founders of the U. S. sanitary commission in 1861, and served as the medical member of its executive committee throughout the Civil War, declining the appointment of surgeon-general of the U.S. Army. He resigned his professorship in the University Medical College in 1866, on being elected professor of surgery for the newly established department of diseases of the genito-urinary system in Bellevue hospital Medical College. […]. 
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 235-236.

VANCE, Zebulon Baird, senator, born in Buncombe County, North Carolina, 13 May, 1830. He was educated at Washington College, Tennessee, and at the University of North Carolina, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1852, established himself at Asheville, North Carolina, was chosen county solicitor, and in 1854 was elected to the legislature. When Thomas L. Clingman entered the Senate, Vance was elected to succeed him in the House of Representatives, taking his seat on 7 December, 1858. He opposed the secession of North Carolina, yet after that step was taken he raised a company and was chosen captain, and soon afterward was appointed colonel of the 26th North Carolina Regiment, which became one of the most famous of the organizations of southern soldiers. In 1862 he was elected governor, while serving in the field. He soon saw the impossibility of obtaining sufficient supplies for the troops of his state without recourse to foreign aid, and therefore sent agents abroad, and purchased a fine steamship in the 'Clyde, which successfully ran the blockade, not only supplying the state troops with clothing and arms, but furnishing also large stores for the use of the Confederate government and for the hospitals, and general supplies for the people of his state. As early as December, 1863, perceiving the desperate nature of the undertaking in which the south was engaged, he urged President Davis to neglect no opportunity of negotiation with the U. S. government, but at the same time he was so earnest and efficient in contributing men and material for the support of the cause that he was called the war governor of the south. He was also conspicuous in his efforts to ameliorate the condition of Federal prisoners in his state. He was overwhelmingly re-elected for the next two years in 1864. When the National troops occupied North Carolina, Governor Vance was arrested and taken to Washington, D. C., where he was confined in prison for several weeks. In November, 1870, he was elected U. S. Senator by the legislature, but he was not allowed to take his seat, and resigned it in January, 1872. In the same year he was again a candidate for a senatorship, but was defeated by Augustus S. Merrimon, to whom the Republicans gave their votes. He received a pardon from President Johnson in 1867, and his political disabilities were removed by Congress in 1872. Soon after he had been refused a seat in the U. S. Senate by reason of those disabilities. He continued to practice law in Charlotte, taking no part in politics, except his conspicuous efforts as a private citizen to overthrow the reconstruction government in North Carolina. In 1876, after an animated canvass, he was elected governor by a large majority. He resigned on being again elected U. S. Senator, took his seat on 4 March, 1879, and by his wit and eloquence soon acquired a high rank among the Democratic orators of the Senate. In 1884 he was re-elected for the term ending on 4 March, 1891.  
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 235.

VAN CLEVE, Horatio Phillips, soldier, born in Princeton, New Jersey, 23 November, 1809. He studied for two years at Princeton, then entered the U. S. Military Academy, was graduated in 1831, served at frontier posts in Michigan Territory, was commissioned as 2d lieutenant of infantry on 31 December, 1831, and on 11 September, 1836, resigned and settled in Michigan. He taught in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1840-'l, then engaged in farming near Ann Arbor. Michigan, was an engineer in the service of the state of Michigan in 1855, then United States surveyor of public lands in Minnesota, and in 1856 engaged in stock-raising. On 22 July. 1861, he was commissioned as colonel of the 2d Minnesota Infantry. He served under General George H. Thomas at Mill Springs, for his part in which action he was promoted brigadier-general of volunteers on 21 March, 1862. He was disabled by a wound at Stone River, but resumed command of the division on his recovery, was engaged at Chickamauga, and was in command of the post and forces at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, from December, 1863, till 24 August, I865, when he was mustered out, having been brevetted major-general on 13 March, 1865. He was adjutant-general of Minnesota in 1866-'70, and in 1876-'82.  
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 235-236.

VANDERPOEL, Ann Priscilla, philanthropist, born in London, England, 25 June, 1815; died in New York City, 4 May, 1870. Her father, Robert O. Barnes, came to this country with his family in 1833. She married Dr. Edward Vanderpoel in 1837, and for many years was identified with philanthropic work in New York City. She founded the Ladies' Home U. S. Hospital in 1861, and gave her gratuitous services, for four years and a half, as a nurse to the Union soldiers, her labors being recognized by the government, especially by President Lincoln, who sent her an engraved certificate as a memorial of her work. In July, 1863, during the draft riots in New York City, she saved Mayor George Opdyke's house from fire and pillage by driving in an open carriage from Fourth street to Mulberry street, where the police office was situated, and sending a company of soldiers to his aid. To reach the office she exposed her life by breaking through a dense mob. She has been called the Florence Nightingale of New York.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 243-244.

VAN DER VEER, Albert, surgeon, born in Root, New York, 10 July, 1841. He studied at Albany Medical College, was graduated in 1862 at the National Medical College, Washington, D. C, and served through the Civil War as a surgeon. He then settled in Albany, where in 1869 he became professor of the principles and practice of surgery in the Medical College. In 1882 he was given the chair of surgery and clinical surgery. During this time he was also connected with Albany and St. Peter's Hospitals. Dr. Van der Veer has achieved success in abdominal surgery. He has been president of the New York State Medical Society, and is a member of various other medical societies at home and abroad. Albany Medical College gave him the degree of M. D. in 1869, Williams that of A. M. in 1882, and Union and Hamilton that of Ph. D. in 1883. He has contributed to " Wood's Reference Handbook of Medicine and Surgery," and to several medical journals.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 244.

VAN DERVEER, Ferdinand, soldier, born in Butler County, Ohio, 27 February, 1823. He was educated at Farmer's College, Ohio, enlisted as a private in an Ohio Regiment during the Mexican War, rose to the rank of captain, and headed one of the assaulting columns at the capture of Monterey. He subsequently practised law, and became sheriff of Butler County, Ohio. At the beginning of the Civil War he became colonel of the 35th Ohio Volunteers, succeeded to the command of General Robert L. McCook's brigade, and led it, till the autumn of 1864, when he was made brigadier-general of volunteers, and assigned to the 4th Corps. General Van Derveer saw much active service, and, among many other engagements, participated in the battles of Mill Springs, Chickamauga, and Mission Ridge. Since 1870 he has been judge of the court of common pleas of Butler County, Ohio.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 244.

VAN DORN, Earl, soldier, born near Port Gibson, Mississippi, 17 September, 1820: died in Spring Hill, Tennessee, 8 May, 1863. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1842, assigned to the 7th U.S. Infantry, and served in garrisons. After his promotion to 2d lieutenant, 30 November, 1844, he took part in the military occupation of Texas in 1845-'6, was made 1st lieutenant, 3 March, 1847, and brevetted captain on 18 April for "gallant and meritorious conduct in the battle of Cerro Gordo." He was at Contreras and Churubusco, and was brevetted major, 20 August. 1847, for gallantry in those actions. He also took part in the assault and capture of the city of Mexico, and was wounded at Belen Gate. He was aide-de-camp to General Persifer P. Smith, from April, 1847, till May, 1848, at Baton Rouge, Louisiana Lieutenant Van Dorn engaged in the Seminole War in 1849-'50, was made captain in the 2d U.S. Cavalry, 3 March, 1855, took part in the battle with the Comanches, 1 July, 1856, and commanded the expedition against those Indians near Washita Village, Indian territory, 1 October, 1858, where he was four times wounded, twice dangerously by arrows. He was again engaged with the Comanches in the valley of Nessentunga, 13 May, 1859. He became major of the 2d U.S. Cavalry, 28 June, 1860, but resigned on 31 January, 1861, and was appointed by the legislature of Mississippi brigadier-general of the state forces, afterward succeeding Jefferson Davis as major-general. He was appointed colonel of cavalry in the regular Confederate Army, 16 March, 1861, took command of a body of Texan volunteers, and on 20 April captured the steamer "Star of the West" at Indianola. On 24 April, at the head of 800 men, at Salaria, he received the surrender of Major Caleb C. Sibley and seven companies of U. S. infantry, and on 9 May he received that of Colonel Isaac V. D. Keeve with six companies of the 8th Infantry. He became brigadier-general on 5 June, and major-general on 19 September, 1861, and on 29 January, 1862, took command of the Trans-Mississippi department. He was defeated at Pea Ridge on 6-8 March (see Curtis, Samuel R.), and, being superseded by General Theophilus H. Holmes, joined the Army of Mississippi. At Corinth, 3-4 October, where he was in command with General Sterling Price, he was again defeated, and he was superseded by General John C. Pemberton. On 20 Dee. he made an attack on Holly Springs, Mississippi, which was occupied by Colonel Murphy with a body of U. S. troops, and captured a large amount of valuable stores. On 10 April, 1863, he made an unsuccessful attack on General Gordon Granger at Franklin. Tennessee. In the following month General Van Dorn was shot by a physician named Peters, on account of a private grievance. General Van Dorn provoked many strictures at one time by an order restricting the comments of the press on the movements of the army, though the step was taken in obedience to the commands of General Braxton Bragg. He possessed a cultivated taste, and was a fine draughtsman. When stationed at Newport, Kentucky, barracks, opposite Cincinnati, he devised and successfully tried in that city an elevated electric railway.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 245-246.

VAN RENSSLAER, Henry, soldier, born in Albany, New York, in 1810; died in Cincinnati, Ohio, 23 March, 1864, was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1831, but resigned from the army the next year and engaged in farming near Ogdensburg, New York. He was a member of Congress in 1841-'3, having been chosen as a Whig, and in 1855-'60 was president of mining companies. At the beginning of the Civil War he was appointed chief-of-staff to General Winfield Scott, with the rank of brigadier-general, and he became inspector-general with the rank of colonel on the retirement of General Scott, served in the Department of the Rappahannock in April and August, 1862. subsequently in the 3d Army Corps, and in the Department of the Ohio from 17 September until his death.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 252.

VAN VALKENBURGH, Robert Bruce, 1821-1888, lawyer, Union Colonel.  Republican Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York.  Member of Congress 1861-1865.  Voted for Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. (Appletons’, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 256; Congressional Globe)

congressman, born in Steuben County, New York, 4 September, 1821; died at Suwanee Springs, Florida, 2 August, 1888. He received an academic education, adopted the profession of law, and served three terms in the New York assembly. When the Civil War opened he was placed in command of the state recruiting depot at Elmira, New York, and organized seventeen regiments for the field. He served in Congress in 1861-'5, having been chosen as a Republican, and took the field in 1862 as colonel of the 107th Regiment of New York Volunteers, which he commanded at Antietam. In the 38th Congress he was chairman of the committees on the militia, and expenditures in the state department. He was appointed by President Johnson in 1865 acting commissioner of Indian Affairs, during the absence of the commissioner, and in 1866-'9 was U. S. minister to Japan. He became a resident of Florida when he returned from that mission, and was chosen associate justice of the state supreme court, which place he held at his death. Judge Van Valkenburg was an able politician and jurist. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 256. 

VAN VLIET, Stewart, soldier, born in Ferrisburg, Vermont, 21 July, 1815. He was educated at the U. S. Military Academy, being graduated ninth in a class of forty-two in 1840, when he was promoted 2d lieutenant in the 3d U. S. Artillery. He served against the Seminole Indians and in garrison at several military posts in Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina, until 1846, when, having become 1st lieutenant and captain and assistant quartermaster. He was present at the battle of Monterey and siege of Vera Cruz, Mexico, in command of his company. Captain Van Vliet was in charge of the construction of Fort Laramie, Fort Kearny, and other frontier posts in 1847-'51, was actively employed in fitting out the Utah Expedition under Albert Sidney Johnston, and with General William S. Harney at the battle of Blue Water, 3 September, 1855, against the Sioux. He was chief quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac with rank of brigadier-general from August, 1861, till July, 1862, and rendered important service in fitting out troops for the field, and accompanied General George B. McClellan, serving under him in all the battles from Gaines's Mills to Malvern Hill. He was promoted major, 3 August, 1861, and lieutenant-colonel and deputy quartermaster-general, 29 July, 1866. He was on duty at New York City in 1862-'7, furnishing transportation and supplies, at Schuylkill Arsenal, Pennsylvania, in 1869, and was chief quartermaster of the Division of the Atlantic in 1872 and the Department of the Missouri in 1872-'5. He was brevetted major-general. U. S. Army, 13 March, 1865, for ''faithful and distinguished services during the war," and promoted to the full rank of colonel and assistant quartermaster-general, 6 June, 1872. On 22 January, 1881, General Van Vliet was retired from active service. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 257.

VAN WYCK, Charles Henry, senator, born in Poughkeepsie. New York, 10 May, 1824. He was graduated at Rutgers in 1843, adopted the profession of law, and in 1850-'6 was district attorney of Sullivan County, New York. He served in Congress in 1859-'63. having been chosen as a Republican, and while holding his seat in that body became colonel of the 10th Legion, or 56th Regiment, of New York Volunteers. He served with General George B. McClellan in the Peninsula Campaign, and in 1865 was made brevet brigadier-general of volunteers. He was again in Congress in 1867-'71, and was chairman of the committee on retrenchments. He moved to Nebraska in 1874, engaged in farming, was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1876, state senator in 1876-'80, and in 1881 became U. S. Senator. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 257.

VASSAR, John Ellison, lay preacher, born near Poughkeepsie, New York, 18 January, 1813; died in Poughkeepsie, 6 December, 1878, was the son of Thomas Vassar. In early life he was employed in the brewery of Matthew Vassar, but, having become a religious man of very earnest convictions, he left the service of his cousin and devoted his entire life to self-sacrificing labors for the good of others. He was employed in 1850 by the American Tract Society as a colporteur, his first missionary work being in Illinois and other western states. Subsequently New York and New England were his field of service. During the Civil War he was at the front, engaged in religious labors of all kinds among the soldiers. Just before the battle of Gettysburg he was captured by General James E. B. Stuart's cavalry, who were glad to let him go to escape his importunate exhortations and prayers. At the conclusion of the war he visited, in the service of the Tract Society, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. Few men of his day travelled more extensively or were more widely known than " Uncle John Vassar," as he was everywhere called. […]. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 264.

VASSAR, Thomas Edwin, clergyman, born in Poughkeepsie, New York, 3 December, 1834, is son of William Vassar. His plans for entering college were frustrated by family misfortunes, and he was ordained to the Baptist ministry in 1857, without the advantages of a formal education. He has been successively settled as pastor at Amenia, New York, Lynn, Massachusetts, Flemington, New Jersey, and Newark, New Jersey, and is now in Kansas City, Missouri. He was for one year chaplain of the 150th New York Regiment, and was at several battles, including Gettysburg. He is the author of a memoir of his cousin, John Ellison Vassar, entitled "Uncle John Vassar " (New York. 1879), of which about 20,000 copies have been sold in America and England. He has received the degree of D. D.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 264.

VEATCH, James Clifford (veech), soldier, born near Elizabethtown, Harrison County, Indiana, 19 December, 1819. He was educated in common schools and under private tutors, was admitted to the bar, practised for many years, and was auditor of Spencer County, Indiana, from 1841 till 1855. He was in the legislature in 1861-'2, became colonel of the 25th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, 9 August, 1861, brigadier-general of volunteers, 28 April, 1862, and brevet major-general in August, 1865, at which time he retired from the army. He was engaged at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, the sieges of Corinth and Vicksburg, the Atlanta Campaign, the siege and capture of Mobile, and many other actions during the Civil War. He became adjutant-general of Indiana in 1869, and was collector of internal revenue from April, 1870, till August. 1883.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 271.

VENABLE, Charles Scott, educator, born in Prince Edward County. Virginia, 19 April, 1827, was graduated at Hampden Sidney in 1842 and at the University of Virginia in 1848, and studied at Berlin in 1852 and at Bonn in 1854. He was professor of mathematics at Hampden Sidney in 1848-'56, of physics and chemistry in the University of Georgia in 1856, and of mathematics and astronomy in the University of South Carolina in 1858-'61. He became captain of engineers in the Confederate Army in the last-named year, and in 1862-'5 was lieutenant-colonel and aide-de-camp to General Robert E. Lee, participating in all the important battles in which the Army of Northern Virginia took part. He became professor of mathematics in the University of Virginia in 1865, and still holds that chair. In 1870-'3 he was chairman of the faculty, and in 1887 was again chosen to that office. In 1866, he was one of the five commissioners appointed to visit Labrador to observe the solar eclipse. The University of Virginia gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1868. He has published a series of mathematical text-books (New York, 1869-'75).
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 275.

VIELE, Egbert Ludovickus, engineer, born in Waterford, New York, 17 June, 1825, was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1847, assigned to the 2d U.S. Infantry, and, joining his regiment in Mexico, served under General Winfield Scott. He was then given duty on lower Rio Grande River, and was stationed at Ringgold Barracks and afterward at Fort Mcintosh. In 1853 he resigned, after attaining the rank of 1st lieutenant on 26 October, 1850. He then settled in New York City, where he entered on the practice of civil engineering, and in 1854'-6 was state engineer of New Jersey. In 1856 he was appointed chief engineer of Central Park, New York, and prepared the original plan that was adopted, tour years later he became chief engineer of Prospect Park, Brooklyn, for which he prepared the original plan, but resigned at the beginning of the Civil War. He responded to the first call for volunteers, and conducted an expedition  from New York to Washington, forcing a passage up Potomac River. After serving in the defences of Washington as captain of engineers in the 7th New York Regiment, he was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers on 17 August, 1861, and directed to form a camp of instruction in Scarsdale, New York. In April, 1862, he joined the South Atlantic Expedition and had charge of the forces in Savannah River. General Viele commanded the movement that resulted in the capture of Fort Pulaski, and also took Norfolk and its navy-yard, becoming military governor of that city from its capture in May, 1862, until October, 1863. After superintending the draft in northern Ohio, he resigned on 20 October, 1863, and resumed his engineering practice. In 1883 he was appointed commissioner of parks for New York City, and in 1884 he was president of the department. He was elected as a Democrat to Congress in 1884, but he was defeated in his canvass for re-election in 1886. General Viele is president of the Equitable Home Building Association, for building houses in the vicinity of Prospect Park, Brooklyn, to be sold to tenants who agree to use them as homes only. Besides papers on engineering, sanitation, and physical geography, he has published a " Hand-Book for Active Service" (New York, 1861), and a "Topographical Atlas of the City of New York" (1865).
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 291.

VIGNAUD, Jean Henry (veen-yo), author, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, 27 November, 1830. He is descended from an ancient Creole family, received his education in his native city, and was a teacher in the public schools of New Orleans in 1852-'6, being at the same time connected with " Le Courrier," of New Orleans, and other publications. In 1857 he established in the town of Thibodeaux, Louisiana, a daily entitled " L'Union de Lafourchu." which he edited till 1860, when he aided in founding in New Orleans a weekly review, " La renaissance Louisianaise," which did much to encourage the study of French literature in the state. In 1861 he published "L'Anthropologie," a work partly scientific but mainly philosophical. He became a captain in the 6th Louisiana Regiment, Confederate Army, in June, 1861, and was captured in New Orleans in April, 1862. In March, 1863, he was appointed assistant secretary of the Confederate diplomatic commission in Paris. At the same time he was a contributor to the " Memorial diplomatique," and in charge of the theatrical criticisms in several dailies. In 1869 he became secretary of the Roumanian legation in Paris, and in 1872 he was officially connected with the Alabama commission in Geneva, for which he translated nearly all the papers presented to that tribunal in behalf of the United States. In 1873 he was U. S. delegate at the International diplomatic metric conference, received the appointment, 14 December, 1875, of second secretary of the U. S. legation in Paris, in 1882 was U. S. delegate at the International conference for the protection of sub-marine cables, and on 11 April, 1882, was promoted first secretary of legation at Paris. Mr. Vignaud has contributed memoirs to the Institute of France and other learned societies, and since 1869 has been secretary of the Soeifite savante, of Paris. He has in preparation a " History of the Formation of the American Union " and a " History of the Discovery and Occupation of the Territory of the United States."
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 292.

VILAS, William Freeman (vy'-Ias), postmaster-general, born in Chelsea, Vermont, 9 July, 1840. He went to Wisconsin, when eleven years old, with his parents, who settled in Madison. He was graduated at the State university in 1858, and at the Albany law-school in 1860. He practised in Madison till the Civil War began, when he entered the army as a captain in the 23d Wisconsin Volunteers. He rapidly rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and commanded his regiment during the siege of Vicksburg and for two months afterward. Resigning his commission in August, 1863, he returned to the practice of his profession. He became a lecturer in the law department of the University of Wisconsin, and a regent of the institution. He was appointed by the Supreme Court in 1875 one of the board that for three years was engaged in revising the state constitution. He declined to be a candidate for governor in 1879. In 1884 he was elected to the legislature. The same year he attended the Democratic national convention as a delegate, and was chosen permanent chairman. On 5 March, 1885, President Cleveland made him Postmaster-General, and in December, 1887, he was transferred to the portfolio of the interior to succeed Lucius Q. C. Lamar, who had been appointed to the bench of the United States Supreme Court.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 293.

VILLEPIGUE, John Bordenave, soldier, born in Camden, S. C., 2 July, 1830; died in Port Hudson, Louisiana, 9 November, 1862. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1854, and served on the western border as a lieutenant of  U.S. Dragoons until the secession of South Carolina. Joining the Confederate Army, he was made a captain of artillery, and soon afterward promoted colonel and placed in command of Fort McRae, Pensacola, Florida. At the bombardment of this post he was severely wounded. He was transferred to Mobile, and a few weeks later to Fort Pillow, which he strengthened for the ensuing bombardment of fifty-two days, which was sustained until he was ordered to evacuate. His brigade opened the attack and covered the retreat of the army at Corinth. He was ordered to Port Hudson soon afterward with a major-general's command and the assurance of promotion to that rank, but reached his post only to die of fever.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 296.

VINCENT, Strong, soldier, born in Waterford, Erie County, Pennsylvania, 17 June. 1837; died near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 7 July, 1863, after passing through Erie Academy and working for two years in his father's iron-foundry, entered the scientific school at Hartford, Connecticut, next became a student of Trinity College, and, leaving that, was graduated at Harvard in 1859. He then studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1860, and began practice in Erie. When the Civil War began he enlisted as a private for three months in the volunteer army, was chosen 2d lieutenant, and soon afterward was appointed adjutant. He re-enlisted for three years, was made major, and promoted lieutenant-colonel of the 83d Pennsylvania Infantry in September, 1861. He was engaged in the construction of siege-works at Yorktown, and soon after the battle of Hanover Court-House was prostrated with swamp fever. He returned to his regiment in October, 1862. as its colonel, and at Fredericksburg temporarily commanded a brigade in a difficult retreat. He declined the appointment of judge-advocate of the Army of the Potomac, in April, 1863, took command of his brigade as ranking colonel, and effectively supported General Alfred Pleasanton’s cavalry at Aldie. At Gettysburg, orders having come from the front from General George Sykes, at the suggestion of General Gouverneur K. Warren, for a brigade to occupy Little Round Top, Vincent, in the absence of the division commander, assumed the responsibility of taking up his own brigade. On reaching the hill, he quickly selected a position, posting his men on the left-hand crest of Little Round Top, and in the hollow between it and Round Top, where the Confederates made their first attempt to ascend the ravine and turn the left flank of the National Army, in withstanding which his force was supported by the command of General Stephen H. Weed and the battery of Captain Charles E. Hazlett on the middle crest of Little Round Top, and by the regiment of Colonel Patrick H. O'Rorke, which was sent up by General Warren just in time to frustrate the flank movement of the enemy. Vincent was shot while cheering on this regiment as it faltered before the fire of the Confederate infantry.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 299.

VINCENT, Thomas McCurdy, soldier, born near Cadiz, Harrison County, Ohio, 15 November, 1832. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1853, and on 8 October, 1853, became 2d lieutenant in the 2d U.S. Artillery. During the three years that followed he served with his company in Florida during active operations in the field against hostile Indians, and from severe exposure in the line of duty became dangerously ill in May, 1855. During his convalescence Lieutenant Vincent compiled a "Sketch of South Florida," which was used by troops in the filial operations pending the removal of the Indians, and for which he received the thanks of the general-in-chief. During the years 1855-'6 he performed the duties of assistant adjutant-general and quartermaster and commissary of subsistence. He served with his company at Fort Hamilton and Plattsburg, New York, until August, 1859, when he was detailed as principal assistant professor of chemistry at the military academy. Declining the appointment of captain in the 18th Infantry, he was appointed assistant adjutant-general in July, 1861, and assigned to the Army of Northwestern Virginia, being engaged in the battle of Bull Run. In August, 1861, he became captain, and in July, 1862, major of staff. From 1861 till 1865 he was constantly on duty in the adjutant-general's office at Washington, particularly in charge of the "organization and miscellaneous business of the volunteer armies of the United States," persistent applications for service in the field being disapproved by Secretary of War Stanton for the reason that "the public interests demanded his presence in the war department." Not only did the responsibility for framing all the rolls and instructions issued for the government of the volunteer forces in service during the war, and the charge connected with a personnel of more than 90,000 commissioned officers, devolve upon General Vincent, but the preparation of the plan (of which he was also the sole author), and the immediate general direction of the work under it, for the muster-out and disbandment of the volunteer armies, numbering 1,034,064 officers and men, distributed to 1,274 regiments, 316 independent companies, and 192 batteries. This plan was prepared in advance of any notification from the Secretary of War, and was put into execution immediately upon submission to that officer and General Grant. Since the war General Vincent has been identified with all important changes in the methods of transacting the business of the War Department, the revision of army regulations, and he has served as adjutant-general of various departments, and in September, 1888, was ordered to Washington on duty. He became lieutenant-colonel and assistant adjutant-general in July, 1881, and was brevetted to the grade of brigadier-general. U. S. Army, "for faithful and meritorious services during the rebellion." General Vincent has made several reports to Congress on "army organization," and is the author of "The Military Power of the United States during the War of the Rebellion" (New York, 1881). 
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 300.

VINCENT, Albert Oliver, soldier, born in Cadiz, Ohio, 7 February, 1842; died in St. Louis, Missouri., 9 December, 1882, was educated at common schools, and at the age of nineteen was about to establish himself as a printer, when, at the opening of the Civil War, he was tendered by Secretary Cameron a commission as 2d lieutenant in the 2d U.S. Artillery. From 1861 till 1866 he served with his battery, part of the time commanding it during all the operations of the Army of the Potomac, principally with horse artillery in conjunction with the cavalry, comprising thirty-five battles and minor affairs, besides continuous and rapid marches. He was commissary of musters and superintendent of volunteer recruiting service in 1865, and served with his regiment in California and Washington Territory in 1865-'7. He was brevetted captain for Antietam, major for Gettysburg, and lieutenant-colonel for faithful and meritorious services, 13 November, 1865, and declined the appointment of captain, 38th U.S. Infantry, in July, 1866. He served as major of the 4th Arkansas Cavalry in 1864-'5, and was retired from active service in 1869.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 300.

VINTON, David Hammond, soldier, born in Providence, Rhode Island, 4 May, 1803; died in Stamford, Connecticut, 21 February, 1873, was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1822, was commissioned to the 4th U.S. Artillery, and in 1823 transferred to the infantry. After a term of garrison and special duty, he was sent to Florida in 1836, where he was employed on quartermaster duty, and in 1837 was made quartermaster-general of Florida. He continued in this service until 1846, in which year he was made chief quartermaster on the staff of General John E. Wool, with the rank of major, and served in Mexico. He was chief quartermaster of the Department of the West in 1852-'6, of the Department of Texas in 1857-'61, and was taken prisoner upon the surrender of General Twiggs to the Confederates in February, 1861. Being exchanged after a few months, in August, 1861, he was made deputy quartermaster-general and chief quartermaster at New York, where until 1866 he rendered valuable services. In 1864 he was brevetted, for faithful and meritorious services, colonel and brigadier-general. In 1866 he became assistant quartermaster-general, and in the same year was placed upon the retired list.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 301.

VINTON, Francis Laurens, engineer, born in Fort Preble, Maine, 1 June, 1835; died in Leadville, Colorado, 6 October, 1879, was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy in 1856, and assigned to the 1st U.S. Cavalry, but did not join his regiment, and on the expiration of his graduating leave of absence resigned on 30 September, and entered the Ecole des Mines at Paris, where he received the degree of engineer of mines in 1860. He was then an instructor in Cooper union, New York City, and afterward in charge of explorations in Honduras till 5 August, 1861, when he was commissioned captain in the 16th Infantry. On 31 October he became colonel of the 43d New York Regiment, with which he served in the Peninsular Campaign, and after a month's leave of absence he took command of a brigade on 25 September, 1862, having been commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers on the 19th, and led it in the Maryland and Rappahannock Campaigns till the battle of Fredericksburg, 13 December, 1862, where, his men being reluctant to advance, he himself headed the charge, and received a disabling wound that forced him to resign from the army on 5 May, 1863. His appointment as brigadier-general had expired on 3 March, 1863, but had been renewed ten days later. On 14 September, 1864, on the organization of Columbia school of mines, General Vinton became professor of mining engineering there, and in 1870 the duties of his chair were extended so as to include civil engineering; but he was retired on 15 August, 1877, and from that time till his death acted as a consulting mining engineer at Denver, Colorado. He was not only an accomplished mathematician, but a good draughtsman and musician. Many of his contributions to mining journals, notably those to the "Engineering and Mining Journal," of which he was staff correspondent after he went to the west, and his professional reports, were illustrated by his own hand. He was the author of "The Guardian." a poem (New York, 1869); also "Lectures on Machines," lithographed from notes (1869); and “Theory of the Strength of Materials" (1874).
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 302.

VOGDES, Israel, soldier, born in Willistown, Chester County, Pennsylvania, 4 August, 1816. He was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy, and promoted 2d lieutenant, 1st U.S. Artillery, 1 July, 1837. For the next twelve years he was assistant professor and principal assistant professor of mathematics in the academy, being promoted 1st lieutenant in 1838, and captain in 1847. He was stationed in Florida from 1849 till 1856, and took part there in the hostilities against the Seminole Indians. After being in command at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, and connected with the artillery-school for practice at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, in 1858-'61, he was ordered to re-enforce Fort Pickens, Florida, but he was virtually interdicted from carrying out his orders by instructions received from Washington subsequent to his arrival, and it was not until after the inauguration of President Lincoln that he was finally allowed to proceed with the work. He was promoted major, 14 May, 1861. On 9 October he was engaged in repelling the Confederate attack on Santa Rosa Island, Florida, during which he was captured. After his release in August, 1862, he served on the staff of General John F. Reynolds in the Maryland Campaign of that year. He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers in the following November, and was in command of Folly Island, South Carolina, from April till July, 1863, when he took part in the construction of the batteries on Lighthouse inlet for the proposed attack on Morris Island. He took part in that engagement, and also in the one on Folly Island. From August, 1863, till July, 1864, he was occupied in the operations against Fort Sumter and the city of Charleston. On 1 June, 1864, he was made lieutenant-colonel, and on 1 August he became colonel. After seeing further service in Florida, he had charge of the defences of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, from May, 1864, till April, 1865, in which month he was brevetted brigadier-general in the regular army for gallant and meritorious services in the field during the Civil War. On 15 January, 1866, he was mustered out of the volunteer service, and from that date until 2 January, 1881, when he was retired at his own request, after forty-three years of active service, he was in command of the 1st Regiment of U.S. Artillery. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 304-305.

VON SCHRADER, Alexander, soldier, born in Germany about 1821; died in New Orleans, Louisiana, 6 August, 1867. He was graduated at the military academy in Berlin, and became 2d lieutenant, in the army of the duke of Brunswick, in which his father was a lieutenant-general. After twenty years service in Europe he came to this country at the opening of the Civil War, and was made lieutenant-colonel of the 74th Ohio Regiment. He was soon afterward made assistant inspector-general on the staff of General George H. Thomas, and served with credit at Chickamauga, Stone River, Chattanooga, the Atlanta Campaign, and Nashville. On 13 March, 1865, he was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers. In 1867 he was commissioned major of the 23d regular Infantry and assigned to duty as acting assistant inspector-general of the District of Louisiana.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, pp. 306-307.

VROOM, Peter Dumont, soldier, born in Trenton, New Jersey, 18 April, 1842, was graduated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, in 1862. He served in the Civil War, being wounded at South Mountain, was promoted major of the 2d New Jersey Cavalry in 1863, and brevetted lieutenant-colonel and colonel of volunteers for meritorious services during the war. He became 1st lieutenant in the 3d U. S. Cavalry in July, 1866.
Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1888, Vol. VI, p. 306