David Allen Russell
|David Allen Russell|
December 10, 1820|
Salem, New York
|Died||September 19, 1864
|Buried at||Evergreen Cemetery Salem, New York|
|Allegiance||United States of America
|Service/branch||United States Army
|Years of service||1845–1864|
Brevet Major General
|Commands held||7th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry|
David Allen Russell (December 10, 1820 – September 19, 1864) was a career United States Army officer who served in the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. He was killed in action as a brigadier general in the Union Army.
Russell was born in Salem, New York, the son of David Abel Russell, who was a member of the House of Representatives from 1835 to 1841, and his wife. During his final year in Congress, the senior Russell secured an appointment to the United States Military Academy for his son. The junior Russell graduated near the bottom of his class in 1845. His first assignment was with the U.S. 1st Infantry Regiment.
He transferred to the U.S. 4th Infantry Regiment where he served in Mexico. He was brevetted for gallantry and meritorious service at the Battle of Paso Ovejas and the Battle of Cerro Gordo. He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1848.
In 1861, the 4th Infantry was recalled to the East and placed in the defenses around Washington, D.C. Russell joined the volunteer army and accepted a commission as colonel of the 7th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Russell then served in the Peninsula Campaign and the Seven Days Battles. He was brevetted lieutenant colonel in the regular army for gallant and meritorious service.
In 1862, Russell was promoted to major in the regular army and assigned to the U.S. 8th Infantry Regiment. Still in command of the 7th Massachusetts, he fought in the Battle of Antietam. Later in 1862, Russell was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers and commanded a brigade during the Rappahannock campaign. He later fought at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Russell was primarily in reserve during the Battle of Gettysburg, but was brevetted colonel in the regular army shortly afterward.
In 1864, Russell fought in the Overland Campaign. He was mortally wounded later that year in the Shenandoah Valley during the Battle of Opequon, otherwise known as the Third Battle of Winchester, when he was struck by a shell fragment. On May 3, 1867, President Andrew Johnson nominated Russell for the grade of brevet major general in the regular army, to rank from the date of his death in the field, September 19, 1864, and the United States Senate confirmed the appointment on February 14, 1868.
He is buried in Salem, New York, in Evergreen Cemetery.
- Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1.
- Hubbell, John T., and James W. Geary (editors). Biographical Dictionary of the Union: Northern Leaders of the Civil War. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1995. ISBN 0-313-20920-0
- Johnson, Rossiter (editor). The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. Boston: The Biographical Society, 1904.
- Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964.