(1816 - 1890)
Home State: Illinois
Command Billet: Martinsburg Garrison Commander
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: Harpers Ferry Garrison
see his Battle Report
He was a businessman, politician and friend of Abraham Lincoln. He had moved west at age 20, about 1836, and was successful in businesses in Illinois and Wisconsin. He was elected to the Wisconsin legislature in 1849 and moved to Evanston in 1859. By 1860 he was harbormaster of Chicago and a member of the Board of Trade. The new President appointed him collector of customs in Chicago in 1861.
In September 1861 he raised and was appointed Colonel of the 37th Illinois Infantry (aka Fremont Rifles), and commanded the 2nd Brigade/3rd Division at Pea Ridge, after which the President wrote Secretary of War Stanton:
April 22, 1862.
He was in fact commissioned Brigadier General, in June 1862, and by September was in command of the garrison and surrounding district at Martinsburg, VA.
I personally know Julius White, and that he is worthy. Having successfully commanded a Brigade at Pea Ridge, I think he should be made a Brigadier General.
On the Campaign
On the approach of General Jackson's Confederate troops, he evacuated Martinsburg and took his troops to Harpers Ferry. Although the senior officer, he deferred to Colonel Miles in command of that post. After Miles was wounded, he was the officer who surrendered Harpers Ferry to General Jackson.
The rest of the War
He was paroled by the Confederates and arrested by Federal authorities but later exonerated. He commanded the 2nd Division of the 23rd Army Corps at Knoxville in the Fall of 1863 then was General Burnside's Army of the Potomac Chief of Staff until the Petersburg "Crater" disaster of 30 July 1864. He briefly commanded the First Division of the 9th Corps, but was ill and resigned his commission in November 1864. He was honored by brevet to Major General of Volunteers in March 1865.
After the War
He was a businessman, member of the board of commissioners of Cook County (c. 1871), and Minster to Argentina (1873-74). He was also active in the Military Order of the Loyal Legion.
References & notes
09/23/1816; Cazenovia, NY
05/12/1890 Evanston, IL; burial in Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum, Chicago, IL