Howard, Oliver Otis
HOWARD, OLIVER OTIS (1830-1909), American soldier, was born in Leeds, Maine, on the 8th of November 1830. He graduated at Bowdoin College in 1850, and at the U.S. Military Academy in 1854. In 1857 he served in Florida against the Seminole Indians, and from 1857 to 1861 he was assistant professor of mathematics at West Point. At the beginning of the Civil War he resigned to become colonel of the 3rd Maine volunteer regiment, and at the first battle of Bull Run was in command of a brigade. In September he was promoted brigadier-general of volunteers. He served in the Peninsular Campaign, and at the battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks) he was twice wounded, losing his right arm. On his return to active service in August 1862 he took part in the Virginian campaigns of 1862-63; a ' Antietam he succeeded Sedgwick in command of a division, and he became major-general of volunteers in March 1863. In the campaign of Chancellorsville (see WILDERNESS) he commanded the XI. corps, which was routed by " Stonewall " Jackson, and in the first day's battle at Gettysburg he was for some hours (succeeding Doubleday after Reynolds's death) in command of the Union troops. The XI. corps was transferred to Tennessee after Rosecrans's defeat at Chickamauga, and formed part of Hooker's command in the great victory of Chattanooga. When Sherman prepared to invade Georgia in the spring of 1864 the XI. corps was merged with the XII. into the new XX., commanded by Hooker, and Howard was then placed in command of the new IV. corps, which he led in all the actions of the Atlanta campaign, receiving another wound at Pickett's Mills. On the death in action of General M'Pherson, Howard, in July 1864, was selected to command the Army of the Tennessee. In this position he took part in the " March to the Sea " and the Carolinas campaign. In March 1865 he was breveted major-general U.S.A. " for gallant and meritorious service in the battle of Ezra Church and during the campaign against Atlanta," and in 1893 received a Congressional medal of hpnour for bravery at Fair Oaks. After the peace he served as commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands from 1865 until 1874; in 1872 he was special commissioner to the hostile Apaches of New Mexico and Arizona; in 1874-1881 was in command of the Department of the Columbia and conducted the campaign against Chief Joseph in 1877 and that against the Bannocks and Piutes in 1878. In 1881-1882 he was superintendent of West Point; and in 1882-1886 he commanded the Department of the Platte, in 1886-1888 the Department of the Pacific, and in 1888-1894 the Department of the East. In 1886 he was promoted major-general and in 1894 he retired. He died at Burlington, Vermont, on the 26th of October 1909.
Howard was deeply interested in the welfare of the negroes; and the establishment by the U.S. Government in 1867 of Howard University, at Washington, especially for their education, was largely due to him; it was named in his honour, and from 1869 t0 1873 he presided over it. In 1895 he founded for the education of the " mountain whites " the Lincoln Memorial University at Cumberland Gap, Tenn. (see CUMBERLAND MOUNTAINS), and became president of its board. He held honorary degrees of various universities, and was a chevalier of the Legion of Honour. He wrote, amongst other works, Donald's Schooldays (1877); Chief Joseph (1881); a life of General Zachary Taylor (1892) in the " Great Commanders " series; Isabella of Castile (1894); Fighting for Humanity (1898); Henry in the War (1898); papers in the " Battles and Leaders " collection on the Atlanta campaign; My Life and Experience among our Hostile Indians (1907); and Autobiography of O. O. Howard (2 vols., New York, 1907).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)