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Federal (USV)


Nelson Plato

(1832 - 1905)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Staff

Unit: 2nd Division, 9th Corps

Before Antietam

Age 29, he enrolled on 3 August 1861 in New York City and mustered as First Lieutenant and Quartermaster of the 59th New York Infantry on 10 October 1861. He was discharged from his regiment and commissioned Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, US Volunteers on 30 June 1862 and was detailed to General Sturgis' staff.

On the Campaign

Of their service on the Maryland Campaign General Sturgis later wrote

Captain N. Plato, assistant quartermaster, and Captain F. E. Berier, commissary of subsistence, rendered good service also in their respective departments, and exhibited great energy and zeal.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Major and Quartermaster on 17 September 1864, honored by brevets to Major and Lieutenant Colonel for his war service, and mustered out on 31 August 1866.

After the War

His last year of service had been on occupation duty at Corpus Christi, TX and he remained there after the war. To at least 1870 he was a retail merchant in the hide and tallow business, then a lawyer, Customs Collector, and newspaper editor. He was twice Mayor of Corpus Christi (1868-70, 76-78) and briefly in the state legislature (1870). In about 1885 he was convicted of embezzlement while Collector and sentenced to two years, but was pardoned by President Cleveland. He then practiced law in Washington, DC until 1893, when he moved to Iowa City, IA. He had retired there by 1900.

References & notes

His service from Heitman1 and the New York Adjutant General.2 Maryland detail quoted from the General's after-action Report. Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1870-1900, the Iowa Census of 1895 and 1905, and a bio sketch in the Handbook of Texas online. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Charlotte Emma Dayton (1845-1920) in 1857 (or 1861) and they had 2 children. He married again, Florence Mygatt (1857-1918) in Washington, DC in December 1889.


09/09/1832; Montgomery County, NY


05/26/1905; Iowa City, IA; burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA


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. 794  [AotW citation 28781]

2   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, For the Year 1900, Ser. No. 26, pg. 573  [AotW citation 28782]