Granville O. Haller
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|Granville Owen Haller|
January 31, 1819|
|Died||May 2, 1897
|Buried at||Lake View Cemetery|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army
|Years of service||1839–1863
|Commands held||23rd U.S. Infantry|
Granville Owen Haller (January 31, 1819 – May 2, 1897) was a noted Indian fighter and United States Army military officer, as well as a wealthy postbellum businessman in the Seattle, Washington, area. During the American Civil War, he was charged with the defense of south-central Pennsylvania during the early days of Gettysburg Campaign prior to the arrival of the Army of the Potomac.
Early life and career
Haller was born and raised in York, Pennsylvania. After Haller graduated in 1838 from the York County Academy, the board of trustees recommended him for an appointment to the United States Military Academy. Not receiving Senator James Buchanan's appointment to West Point (it going instead to future Civil War general William B. Franklin), Haller responded to a summons to go to Washington, D.C., where he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. 4th Infantry Regiment.
He fought Seminole Indians in Florida in 1840–1841 and later served with distinction at Monterrey, Veracruz, and other battles during the Mexican-American War, officering in the same regiment as Ulysses S. Grant. He distinguished himself in the Battle of Churubusco, where he took a key part in the assault on Molino del Rey. In 1852, the Army promoted Haller to major and transferred him, in 1853, to Washington Territory, stationed at Fort Dalles, Oregon with U.S. 4th Infantry units. He took part in the Northwest Indian wars of 1855-56 and the San Juan Islands dispute.
Civil War and later career
After the Civil War started, Haller commanded George B. McClellan's headquarters guard during the Peninsula Campaign and again in the Maryland Campaign. In May 1863, he returned to his native York to recover from illness contracted in the field. In June, Maj. Gen. Darius N. Couch appointed Haller to command the defenses of Adams and York counties in south-central Pennsylvania. During the Gettysburg Campaign, Haller retreated from Gettysburg to Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, where his militia and that of Col. Jacob G. Frick burned the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge to prevent passage over the Susquehanna River by a Confederate brigade under John B. Gordon.
Accused by naval officer Lt. Clark Henry Wells of disloyal conduct and sentiments after the Battle of Fredericksburg, Haller was dismissed from the service in July 1863. He eventually returned to the American West and became prominent in Seattle business and industry. Congressional friends convinced the Army in 1873 to convene a court of inquiry, which exonerated him. President Rutherford B. Hayes helped him secure the regular army rank of colonel. Haller built a mansion in Seattle's fashionable First Hill neighborhood. After his death at the age of 78, he was buried in Seattle's Lake View Cemetery.
- Haller, Granville O., The Dismissal of Maj. Granville O. Haller of the Regular Army of the United States by Order of the Secretary of War in Special Orders, 331, of July 25, 1863. Patterson, NY: Daily Guardian Offices, 1863. Internet Archive
- Haller, Theodore, “Granville O. Haller,” The Washingtonian, Vol. 1, No. 3, (Tacoma: Washington State Historical Society, 1900).
- Breshears, Guy, Major Granville Haller: Dismissed with Malice, Heritage Books, 2006. ISBN 0-7884-3801-8.
- Chamberlain, Martin N., Granville Haller: Leader, Trafford Publishing, ISBN 1-4120-6614-X.