(1831 - 1863)
Home State: Vermont
Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1855;Class Rank: 17th
Command Billet: Assistant Adjutant General
Branch of Service: Cavalry
Unit: Army of the Potomac
He graduated from West Point in 1855 and was commissioned into the Cavalry. Appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the First (later renamed Fourth) US Cavalry as that unit was created in 1855, he served in Missouri and on "quelling the disturbance" in Kansas. He was on the Cheyenne and Utah Expeditions (1857, 58) and was Adjutant of the Regiment from 1857 through July 1861.
In July he returned East from Ft Riley Kansas, and led a squadron--Companies A and I-- of his Regiment in action at First Bull Run. He was then appointed Assistant Adjutant General on the staff of Major General George B McClellan, commanding the Army of the Potomac. He remained in that position until November 1862 and General McClellan's relief of command.
He had been offered command of the new 3rd Vermont Volunteer infantry by Governor Erastus Fairbanks, but declined (as had fellow Regular Captain Truman Seymour).
He was promoted to Captain (Staff/AAG) in August and Lieutenant Colonel (Staff, Aide de Camp) in September 1861. He was also given the rank of Major (Staff/AAG) in July 1862. He was at Headquarters of the Army in Washington DC until March and then on to active field operations beginning with the Peninsula Campaign (to August).
On the Campaign
He continued on General McClellan's staff on the Maryland Campaign.
The rest of the War
He lost his position when McClellan was relieved of command of the AoP on 7 November 1862, and traveled to Trenton, NJ with the General while also awaiting new orders. In December he was posted as Adjutant-General of the Department of the Missouri, on the staff (and at the request ) of Major General John Schofield at St. Louis. Albert died there in June 1863 of illness.
More on the Web
See more about Colburn and the references for this bio sketch in a post on behind AotW.
1831; Castleton, VT
06/17/1863 St. Louis, MO