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A.W. Corliss

A.W. Corliss

Federal (USV)


Augustus Whittemore Corliss

(1837 - 1908)

Home State: Massachusetts

Branch of Service: Cavalry

Unit: 7th Squadron, Rhode Island Cavalry

Before Antietam

A resident of Waltham, MA, he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant, First New England (later Rhode Island) Cavalry in December 1861 and was Adjutant. He was commissioned Major of Rhode Island Cavalry on 24 June 1862 and transferred to command the 7th Squadron.

On the Campaign

He led his squadron in the escape from Harpers Ferry and was at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He mustered out on 2 October 1862 and was appointed Major of the 2nd Rhode Island Cavalry on 24 December 1862. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 19 January 1863, but resigned his commission on 11 July 1863.

He enlisted (!) on 14 March 1865 as a Private in Company H, 2nd Battalion, 15th United States Infantry and was First Sergeant by August. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and First Lieutenant to date from 21 July 1865.

After the War

He transferred to the 33rd US Infantry on 21 September 1866 and was regimental Quartermaster from 17 January 1867 to 3 May 1869. He transferred to the 8th US Infantry on 3 May 1869 and was promoted to Captain on 29 May 1873. He was appointed Major of the 17th US Infantry on 4 February 1897, transferred to the 7th US Infantry 3 weeks later, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 2nd US Infantry on 6 February 1899. He was made Colonel of the regiment on 2 February 1901 and retired on 25 March 1901. He was promoted, on the retired list, to Brigadier General in 1904.

References & notes

His service from the Heitman,1 Henry,2 and the Registers.3 Personal details from family genealogists and a bio sketch in the New England Historic Genealogical Society Register (1900). His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph kindly supplied by Christopher Nelson and published in Allan L. Tischler’s History of the Harpers Ferry Cavalry Expedition, September 14 & 15, 1862 (1993).

He published his History of the Seventh Squadron, Rhode Island Cavalry in 1879 [online from the Internet Archive].

He married Eliza Lurena Twitchell (1837-1888) in Waltahm, MA in January 1861 and they had a daughter Louisa (1861-1870). He married again, Mary Elizabeth Alvarez (1849-) in April 1867 in Mobile, AL, and they had a son Julius who died just after birth. He married, third, Eliza Crawford Cunningham (1855-1890) in 1878 and they had 2 long-lived children. Lastly, he married Frances Thompson (-1900).


03/25/1837; North Yarmouth, ME


09/04/1908; Denver, CO; burial in Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, CO


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. 328  [AotW citation 29197]

2   Henry, Guy Vernor, Military Record of Civilian Appointments in the United States Army, 2 Volumes, New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1873, Vol. 1, pg. 283  [AotW citation 29198]

3   US Army, Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914, Washington, DC: National Archives, 1956, Vol. 58, pg. 221  [AotW citation 29199]