John Milton Brannan
|John Milton Brannan|
John M. Brannan
July 1, 1819|
|Died||December 16, 1892
New York City
|Place of burial||West Point Cemetery|
|Allegiance|| United States of America
|Service/branch|| United States Army
|Years of service||1841–1882|
|Rank|| Brigadier General
Brevet Major General
|Unit||1st U.S. Artillery|
|Commands held||4th U.S. Artillery
Department of Key West
Department of the South
3rd Division, XIV Corps
Chief of Artillery, Army of the Cumberland
Great Railroad Strike of 1877
John Milton Brannan (July 1, 1819 – December 16, 1892) was a career American Army officer who served in the Mexican-American War and as a Union general in the American Civil War, in command of the Department of Key West in Florida and assigned to Fort Zachary Taylor. His first wife was the daughter of Colonel Ichabod Crane; she mysteriously disappeared after taking a ferry from Staten Island to lower Manhattan and was presumed to have been murdered.
Early life and Mexico
Brannan was born in Washington, D.C., and was a messenger in the United States House of Representatives when he received his appointment to the United States Military Academy from Ratliff Boon, the U.S. Representative from Indiana in 1837. His appointment was supported by 114 other Congressmen. He finished West Point in 1841, ranking 23rd of 52 cadets, and was assigned to the 1st U.S. Artillery Regiment. After graduation, Brannan served at Plattsburgh, New York during the border dispute with Canada.
During the Mexican-American War, Brannan was in the battles of Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, La Hoya, Contreras and Churubusco. He was brevetted to captain for gallantry for Contreras and Churubusco. He was severely wounded during the battle for Mexico City.
After the war with Mexico, Brannan fought against the Seminoles. Brannan then remained in the Southeast at various posts until the beginning of the Civil War.
Civil War service
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Brannan was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers and placed in command of the Department of Key West. In October 1862, he fought in the Battle of Saint John's Bluff where he led infantry troops in the expedition on the St. Johns River against Confederate positions for control of Jacksonville, Florida. Also in the same month, Brannan was placed in command of the Department of the South after Ormsby Mitchel's death. He was brevetted a lieutenant colonel for his service during the battle for Jacksonville, Florida. He served as department commander until January 1863.
In 1863 he led an infantry division under Major General William Rosecrans in the Tullahoma Campaign where he fought at Hoover's Gap. Brannan then fought under Maj. Gen. George Henry Thomas during the Chickamauga Campaign in XIV Corps. At Chickamauga, Brannan lost 38 per cent of his command. Nevertheless, Brannan was awarded a brevet appointment to colonel for meritorious service. When Rosecrans was relieved by Ulysses S. Grant, Brannan was reassigned from infantry back to artillery. He was promoted to the rank of major in the regular army in August 1863.
From October 1863 until June 1865, Brannan was chief of artillery of the Department of the Cumberland, where he oversaw the defenses at Chattanooga. He was in the Battle of Missionary Ridge and in the Atlanta Campaign where he participated in the Battle of Resaca, Battle of Dallas, and the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. He was also at the siege and surrender of Atlanta. He was appointed a brevet major general in both the regular army and in the volunteer forces.
Postbellum career and death
After the Civil War, Brannan mustered out of the volunteer forces and reverted to the regular army rank of major with the 1st U.S. Artillery Regiment. He was assigned to artillery duties at Fort Trumbull, Connecticut, Fort Wadsworth, New York, and Ogdensburg, New York. While at Ogdensburg, he helped prevent the Fenian raids into Canada. In 1877, Brannan was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he helped put down the railroad riots.
Brannan was a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
Battery Brannan at Fort Worden, Washington was named in his honor.
- Eicher, p. 142.
- Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
- Hubbell, John T., James W. Geary, and Jon L. Wakelyn, eds. Biographical Dictionary of the Union: Northern Leaders of the Civil War. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995. ISBN 0-313-20920-0.
- Johnson, Rossiter, and John Howard Brown, eds. The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. 10 vols. Boston: The Biographical Society, 1904. OCLC 600014896.
- Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964. ISBN 0-8071-0822-7.
- Wilson, James Grant, and John Fiske, eds. Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography. 6 vols. New York: D. Appleton and Co, 1887. OCLC 63182755.