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Biography of Wesley Merritt


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Merritt, Wesley. Major general of United States Army; retired June 16, 1900. Born in New York, June 16, 1836. Graduated from West Point, 1860. Commissioned brigadier-general United States volunteers, June 29, 1863; major-general, United States volunteers, April 1, 1865. After war, regularly promoted from lieutenant-colonel to major-general, United States Army. Served in army of the Potomac until June, 1864; participated in all its battles, and earned six successive brevet promotions for gallantry at Gettysburg, Yellow Tavern, Hawes' Shop, Five Forks, etc. Afterward accompanied General Sheridan on cavalry raid toward Charlottesville, and engaged in Battle of Trevilian's Station. Commanded cavalry division in Shenandoah Campaign, August, 1864 to March, 1865. Was engaged in battles of Winchester, Fisher's Hill, etc. Commanded corps of cavalry in Appomattox campaign. One of three commanders from National Army to arrange with Confederate commanders for surrender of Army of Northern Virginia. After war, served in various departments, participated in several Indian campaigns. Superintendent of United States Military Academy, 1882-87. Commanded department of the Atlantic until assigned in May, 1893, to command of United States forces in the Philippine Islands, continuing there until summoned to the aid of the American Peace Commissioners in session in Paris, December, 1898. Returned to United States. In command of department of the east, Governor's Island, until retirement, 1900. Died 1910.