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R.C. Shannon

R.C. Shannon

Federal (USV)


Richard Cutts Shannon

(1839 - 1920)

Home State: Maine

Education: Waterville (later Colby) College (1862),
Columbia College Law, Class of 1885

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 1st Division, 6th Corps

Before Antietam

A 21 year old college student, he enlisted and mustered as Sergeant in Company G, 5th Maine Infantry on 24 June 1861. He was commissioned First Lieutenant on 3 October 1861 and was detailed as aide-de-camp to General Slocum on 15 March 1862.

On the Campaign

He was with the General on the Maryland Campaign and in action at Crampton's Gap on 14 September and at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was discharged from his regiment to accept a commission as Captain and Assistant Adjutant General, US Volunteers on 2 October 1862 and served Brigadier General Jackson (former Colonel 5th Maine) as Adjutant General. He was captured in action at Chancellorsville, VA in May 1863 and was held at Libby Prison in Richmond, VA. He was exchanged and returned to duty, date not given. In March 1865 he was honored by brevets to Major (for war service) and Lieutenant Colonel (for action at Chancellorsville) of Volunteers and mustered out of service on 10 February 1866.

After the War

He was appointed to the US Legation in Rio de Janeiro (1871-75) then ran the Botanical Garden Railroad in Brazil to 1883. He completed law school in 1885 and was admitted to the bar in New York City the next year. He was US Minister and Envoy to Nicaragua, Salvador, and Costa Rica (1891-1893).

He was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1894 and served two terms in Congress, to March 1899. He practiced law in New York City until retiring in 1903, then lived in Brockport in Monroe County, NY.

References & notes

His service from Heitman1 and the Adjutant General.2 His role on the Campaign from General Slocum's Report. Personal details from his Congressional Biography and family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph in the Colby College collection, online from the Maine Historical Society.

He married later in life, to Martha Ann Spaulding (1833-1901) in London in 1887, and they had a daughter Daisy.

More on the Web

His papers and wartime diaries are in the collection of Colby College. His diary of 30 August to 8 November 1862 is online among 3 volumes thanks to the Digital Maine Repository.


02/12/1839; New London, CT


10/05/1920; Brockport, NY; burial in Lake View Cemetery, Brockport, NY


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 876  [AotW citation 25457]

2   State of Maine, Adjutant General's Office, and John L. Hodsdon, AG, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Maine for the Year ending December 31, 1862, Augusta: Stevens and Sayward, Printers to the State, 1863  [AotW citation 25458]