Presented here is an Encyclopedia of Civil War Military Biography.
This Encyclopedia will give you an opportunity to read and research hundreds of entries of prominent American military and naval officers who led and fought for the Union and Confederate forces in the American Civil War, 1861-1865. These include most of the senior commanders of both sides of the conflict. Also included are the senior political leaders of both the Union and Confederate governments. We have also included leaders of the Sanitary and Christian Commissions of the Union Army.
This Encyclopedia was prepared using entries principally from Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography. The Cyclopaedia was published by D. Appleton & Company of New York City between 1887 and 1889. It was edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske; the managing editor from 1886-1888 was Rossiter Johnson. It was a six-volume compilation of biographies of eminent people involved in the history, culture, politics, arts, religion, commerce, and military of the United States. A seventh volume, issued in 1901, was added which contained an updated appendix with supplementary lists of individuals. The Cyclopaedia originally included the biographies of more than 20,000 citizens and adopted citizens of the United States.
This Encyclopedia includes verbatim entries from the Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography. You will have the opportunity to read from the original entries from this Cyclopaedia. The Appletons’ entries are indented.
Appletons’ was the first major compilation of biographies of Americans. When these entries were written, many of these individuals listed were still alive and may have contributed to their entries. A number of entries do not include the death date.
In order to improve readability, we have updated the text by replacing abbreviations with the full names of cities, states, territories, etc. We have also replaced abbreviations from the dates. In addition, we have added modern capitalizations that were not used in the 19thCentury, e.g., Civil War, Congress, the names of organizations, units, etc. Other than these updates, the text remains as it was published by Appletons.
The Appletons’ Cyclopaedia out of copyright and is in the public domain.
In addition, the editor of this website, Eric Saul, has written introductory paragraphs for some of the entries in this encyclopedia. They contain additional biographic information not mentioned in the Appletons’ entries, as well as additional bibliographic references to these individuals.
Please see our Encyclopedia of Abolition and Anti-Slavery for biographies of abolitionists and anti-slavery activists, as well as our lists of individuals and organizations involved in abolition and anti-slavery activism. See also CivilWarLibrary.org.
19th Century biographical compilations worth consulting are:
Barnes, William H. The Thirty-Eighth Congress of the United States: Historical and Biographical, 2 vols. (New York: George E. Perine, 1867.)
Barnes, William H. The Fortieth Congress of the United States: Historical and Biographical, 2 vols. (New York: George E. Perine, 1869.)
Drake, Francis Samuel. Dictionary of American Biography. (1872.)
Duyckinck, E. A. National Portrait Gallery of Eminent Americans, 2 vols. (New York: Johnson, Fry and Co., n.d.)
Duyckinck, E. A. History of the War for the Union, 3 vols. (New York: Johnson, Fry and Co., 1862.)
Greeley, Horace. The American Conflict, 2 vols. (Hartford: O. D. Case, 1864-1866.)
Herring, James, and James Barton Longacre. National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans, 4 vols. (New York: Bancroft, 1833-1836.)
Heitman, F. B. Historical Register of the United States Army from its Organization, 1789-1903, 2 vol. (Washington, 1903.)
McCullum, George W. Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, 3 vol. (Boston and New York, 1891).
Memorandum Relative to the General Officers in the Army of the United States During the Civil War, 1861-1865. (Military Secretary’s Office.)
Moore, Frank, ed. The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, 12 vols. (New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1860s.)
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 14 vols. (New York: James T. White, 1892.)
U.S. Army Registers, 1840-1866.
Wilson, James Grant, and John Fiske, eds. Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography. (New York: D. Appleton, 7 vols., 1887-1889, 1900.) This set was republished by Gale Research Company, Detroit, 1968.
20th Century Biographical Compilations:
Dictionary of American Biography, 20 vol. (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1936.)
The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 18671-1865 – Records of the Union Army – Cyclopedia of Battles – Memoirs of Commanders and Soldiers, 8 vols. (Madison, Wisconsin: Federal Publishing Company, 1908.)
Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1984.)
Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Grey. (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 1959.)
Special thanks to Amy Fiske for help in the preparation and organization of this compilation and manuscript.
Special thanks also to the staff of the West Virginia University Libraries. Thanks to Jessica Tapia, Martin Dunlap, and Autumn Summers.