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Major General William W. Belknap Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: September 22, 1829 in Newburgh, New York
Died: October 13, 1890 in Washington, District of Columbia
Biography | show moreshow less
William W. Belknap (1829-1890), who joined the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War, was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel after the battle of Shiloh. Serving under Ulysses S. Grant at Vicksburg and as a division commander in William Tecumseh Sherman's Atlanta campaign, he was a Major General by 1865. On October 25, 1869, Belknap became President Grant's Secretary of War, succeeding Sherman. Belknap was charged with corruption in office. (His accusers included General George Custer.) Belknap admitted receiving bribes for the appointment of Indian post-traders and resigned from the Cabinet on March 7, 1876. He was impeached by the House of Representatives and was tried by the Senate. On August 1, 1876, Belknap was acquitted on the technical ground of lack of jurisdiction because he was no longer a government official.

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