Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Parker, Ely Samuel

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PARKER, Ely Samuel, soldier, b. in the Indian reservation, Tonawanda, N. Y., in 1828; d. in Fairfield, Conn., 31 Aug., 1895. He was a full-blooded Seneca of the Six Nations. After receiving a careful education in schools in New York state, he adopted the profession of civil engineering, and settled in Galena, Ill., where he was the personal friend of Ulysses S. Grant, and subsequently, during the civil war, he became a member of the general's staff. He was appointed assistant adjutant-general with the rank of captain in May, 1863, and was afterward secretary to Gen. Grant until the close of the war. In that capacity he was present at Lee's surrender, and made the first engrossed copy of the terms of capitulation. He was appointed 1st lieutenant of U. S. cavalry in 1866, resigning in 1869. He was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers on 9 April, 1865, and captain, major, lieutenant-colonel, colonel, and brigadier-general, U. S. army, 2 March, 1867. He became commissioner of Indian affairs in 1869, but retired in 1871 to devote himself to his profession.