Charles K. Graham

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Charles Kinnaird Graham
Charles Kinnaird Graham -1096341609.jpg
Born (1824-06-03)June 3, 1824
New York City, New York
Died April 15, 1889(1889-04-15) (aged 64)
Lakewood, New Jersey
Place of burial Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx, New York
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1841 - 1848 (Navy)
1861 - 1865 (Army)
Rank USN Ensign rank insignia.jpg Midshipman (Navy)
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brigadier General (Army)
Union Army major general rank insignia.svg Brevet Major General
Commands held 74th New York Infantry
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, III Corps
1st Brigade, 1st Division, III Corps
3rd Division, III Corps (temporary)
Naval Brigade, XIII Corps

Mexican-American War
American Civil War

Charles Kinnaird Graham (June 3, 1824 – April 15, 1889)[1] was a sailor in the antebellum United States Navy, attorney, and later a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. As a civil engineer, he helped plan and lay out Central Park in New York City.

Early years and education[edit]

Graham was born in New York City. He entered the Navy in October 1841, at the age of 17 and served as a midshipman in the Gulf of Mexico during the Mexican-American War, resigning his commission in May 1848. Later he studied engineering and was for several years after 1857 constructing engineer of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Civil War[edit]

At the outbreak of the American Civil War he entered the Union Army as colonel of the 74th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, of one of the regiments of the "Excelsior Brigade". He resigned in 1862 but was restored to the colonelcy of the regiment during the Peninsula Campaign. On November 29, 1862 he was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers and assumed command of the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, III Corps. At the Battle of Chancellorsville he commanded the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, III Corps. Upon the mortal wounding of Amiel W. Whipple, Graham assumed command of the 3rd Division, III Corps on the last day of the battle. He returned to command the 1st Brigade, 1st Division in June during the Gettysburg Campaign. During the Battle of Gettysburg, Graham's brigade defended the Union position along the Emmitsburg Road, particularly the area of the Sherfy peach orchard. He was wounded in the hip and shoulders on July 2 and taken prisoner by the Confederates. He was sent to a prison camp in Richmond until he was exchanged (for James L. Kemper) on September 19, 1863.[1]

Upon his recovery, he was assigned by Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler to the command of a gunboat flotilla on the James River labeled the "Naval Brigade" and was attached to the XVIII Corps.[1] Graham led the Naval Brigade during the First Battle of Fort Fisher. When the Union forces of the First Fort Fisher expedition returned to Virginia, Graham was put in commanded the defenses of Bermuda Hundred and later the garrison of Norfolk, Virginia. In March 1865, he was appointed a brevet major general of volunteers.

Postbellum career[edit]

After the war, Graham returned to New York and resumed the practice of civil engineering. From 1878 to 1883, he was surveyor of the port of New York.

He died of pneumonia in Lakewood, New Jersey, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx, New York City.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Eicher, p. 261.