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Major General Wesley Merritt Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: June 16, 1836 in New York City, New York
Died: December 03, 1910 in Natural Bridge, Virginia
Biography | show moreshow less
Wesley Merritt (1836-1910), graduated from West Point in 1860. He was Aide-de-Camp ("ADC) to General Phillip Cooke, commander of the Cavalry Department, Army of the Potomac. After spending 1862 in the defense of the capital, Merritt received field commands in 1863, leading cavalry units at Chancellorsville and Brandy Station. He received a brevet promotion from captain directly to brigadier general, an extremely rare and rapid promotion achieved by few others (among them fellow cavalry officer George Armstrong Custer). He fought at Gettysburg and at Yellow Tavern (where Confederate cavalry commander "Jeb" Stuart was killed), and took command of the 1st Cavalry following the death of Gettysburg hero General John Buford (December 1863). He led the 1st Cavalry Division of General Sheridan's Army of the Shenandoah in 1864, and served on the commission negotiating the surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox. After cavalry duty on the Western frontier, Merritt became Superintendent of West Point (1882-1887). He served on the Board of Inquiry into General Custer's defeat at the Little Big Horn. A corps commander in the US assault on the Philippine Islands in 1898, he negotiated the surrender of Manila and served as first US Military Governor of the Philippines.

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