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Federal (USV)

Lieutenant Colonel

Jonathan Austin

(1829 - 1892)
Home State: New York
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 78th New York Infantry


Before the Antietam Campaign:
At age 32, he enrolled 11 February 1862, and mustered as Captain, Company F, 78th New York Infantry on 18 March 1862. He had raised much of the Regiment. He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel to date from 18 April 1862. Colonel Ullman was captured in action (probably at Cedar Mountain in August 1862), leaving Lieutenant Colonel Austin in actual command.

In the Antietam Campaign:
He relieved Colonel Goodrich in command of the brigade on 17 September after Goodrich was killed in action. Captain Stagg took over the regiment.

The remainder of the War:
He resigned his commission (why?) in January 1863.

After the War:
He went to Hawaii in 1877 - following his brothers, one of whom was Judge Samuel L. Austin, who had arrived on a whaler in 1849 and stayed; a sugar plantation owner since 1863 (Austins were also American missionaries in Hawaii in the 1840's or earlier). Jonathan had a law office in Honolulu and owned and managed his own sugar plantation called Paukaa. He was Hawaiian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of War from 1887-1890, Minister of Interior in 1888, and Commissioner of Patents from 1884 until his his death. In 1891 he was a founding partner and Treasurer of the Hawaiian Electric Company. He was a central figure in the movement hoping to secure Hawaii for the United States, which was largely successful within a few months of his death in 1892.

References, Sources, and other notes:
Service dates from Phisterer1, with bio details from his obituary in the (Honolulu) Friend in January 1893. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His name is sometimes seen in Hawaiian references as Jona Austin.

Birth Date: 11/07/1829    Place of Birth: Saratoga, NY    
Death Date: 12/07/1892    Death Place: Waikiki, HI    Burial Place: O'ahu Cemetery, Honolulu, HI


1   Phisterer, Frederick, New York in the War of the Rebellion, 6 volumes, Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1909-12, Vol. 4, pg. 2834  [AotW citation 15424]

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