Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Heintzelman, Samuel Peter

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HEINTZELMAN, Samuel Peter, soldier, b. in Manheim, Lancaster co., Pa., 30 Sept., 1805: d. in Washington, D. C., 1 May, 1880. He was graduated at the U. S. military academy in 1826, and entered the army as 2d lieutenant of infantry. He spent several years in border service and had his first experience of war in Florida, against the Indians. He served during the Mexican war with the rank of captain. At Huamantla he won distinction for bravery, and on 9 Oct., 1847, he was brevetted major. He organized a battalion of recruits and convalescent soldiers at Vera Cruz, and marched them to the city of Mexico. From 1849 till 1855 he served in California, where he had some rough experience with the Coyote and Yuma Indians, and established Fort Yuma on the Colorado river. In 1859-'60 he was in command of the troops on the Rio Grande against Mexican marauders. In May, 1861, he was brevetted lieutenant-colonel for meritorious services against the Indians in California, and ordered to Washington to take the office of inspector-general of the forces. In May of the same year he was commissioned colonel of the 17th regular infantry. On 17 May he was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, and ordered to the command of a brigade at Alexandria. He commanded a division of McDowell's army at Bull Run, and was wounded. During the organization of the army under Gen. McClellan, in the winter of 1861-'2, he retained command of his division. When the Army of the Potomac began to move, in March, 1862, Heintzelman was in command of the 3d army corps, was in the battle of Williamsburg on 5 May, was made major-general of volunteers on the same day, took an active part in the battle of Fair Oaks, where he commanded the 3d and 4th corps, and for his gallantry in both the first and second day's fighting was brevetted brigadier-general in the regular army. At the head of his command he took part in the seven days' fighting around Richmond, afterward joined Pope in his Virginia campaign, and at the second battle of Bull Run his corps formed the right wing of Pope's army. During the Maryland campaign he was in command of the defences at Washington, and later he was appointed to the command of the Department of Washington, and of the 22d army corps, which appointment he held during the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. He was relieved in October, 1863, and in January of the following year was put in command of the Northern Department, embracing Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. For some time before August, 1865, he was on court-martial duty. In March of that year he was brevetted major-general in the regular army, and in September resumed command of the 17th infantry, in New York harbor and in Texas. On 22 Feb., 1869, he was retired with the rank of colonel, and on 29 April, by special act of congress, was placed on the retired list, with the rank of major-general, to date from 22 Feb. His public career ended with his retirement from the army.