Francis E. Patterson
|Francis Engle Patterson|
Francis E. Patterson, c1861
March 7, 1821|
|Died||November 2, 1862
near Occoquan, Virginia
|Place of burial||Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Allegiance||United States of America
|Service/branch||United States Army
|Years of service||1846–1857, 1861–1862|
American Civil War
Patterson was born in Philadelphia to Irish-American army officer Robert Patterson (himself a general during the Mexican-American War and the Civil War) and Sarah Engle. His brother was brevet Brig. Gen. Robert Emmet Patterson, and he was brother-in-law to another Union general, John Joseph Abercrombie. Like his father, he entered the army during the Mexican-American War, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Artillery (June 24, 1847 October 28, 1847). He was promoted to first lieutenant October 29, 1847. After the war, Patterson transferred to the 9th U.S. Infantry where he was promoted to captain, March 3, 1855; he resigned May 1, 1857.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Patterson rejoined the army and was commissioned colonel of the 17th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, April 25, 1861. He was promoted to brigadier general in the United States Volunteers on April 11, 1862 and placed in command of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, III Corps, Army of the Potomac.
His career came to an end in 1862 after he allegedly conducted an unauthorized withdrawal at Catlett's Station due to unconfirmed reports of Confederate forces nearby. He was criticized by his division commander Daniel Sickles, who relieved him of command and called for an inquiry on the matter. Before an investigation could be conducted however, Patterson died from a gunshot wound in his tent near Occoquan, Virginia, either due to an accidental weapon discharge or suicide.
- Eicher, p. 418.
- Eicher, John H. & Eicher, David J. (2001). Civil War High Commands. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.