Edward D. Townsend

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Edward Davis Townsend
Edward D Townsend.jpg
Edward D. Townsend
Born(1817-08-22)August 22, 1817
Boston, Massachusetts
DiedMay 10, 1893(1893-05-10) (aged 75)
Washington, D.C.
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1837–1880
RankUnion Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brigadier General
Union Army major general rank insignia.svg Brevet Major General
Commands heldAdjutant General of the U.S. Army
Battles/warsSecond Seminole War
American Civil War
Indian Wars
RelationsElbridge Gerry (grandfather)

Edward Davis Townsend (August 22, 1817 – May 10, 1893) was Adjutant General of the United States Army from 1869 to 1880.

The son of David S. & Eliza (Gerry) Townsend and grandson of Vice President Elbridge Gerry, Townsend was educated at Boston's Latin School before graduating from the United States Military Academy in 1837. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Second U. S. Artillery and served as that regiment's adjutant and participating in the Second Seminole War and the relocation of the Cherokee Nation. In 1846 he was transferred to the Adjutant General's Corps and assigned to duty in Washington, D.C. He served on the Pacific coast from 1851 to 1856, after which he returned to Washington for the remainder of his career. In February 1869 he was promoted to brigadier general and became adjutant general. Townsend retired in 1880. He died in Washington in 1893 after an accidental shock from a cable car and is buried at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

See also[edit]


  • Association of Graduates (1893). Twenty-Fourth Annual Reunion of the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, June 9, 1893. Saginaw, Michigan: Seeman and Peters. pp. 133–137.
  • "Obituary, Gen. Edward D. Townsend" (PDF). The New York Times. May 12, 1893. Retrieved 2009-03-10.

Further reading[edit]

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Military offices
Preceded by
Lorenzo Thomas
Adjutant Generals of the U. S. Army
February 22, 1869-June 15, 1880
Succeeded by
Richard C. Drum