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S.B. Holabird

S.B. Holabird

Federal (USA)


Samuel Beckley Holabird

(1826 - 1907)

Home State: Connecticut

Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1849;Class Rank: 31

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Army of the Potomac

Before Antietam

He was admitted to the US Military Academy (USMA) at West Point in July 1845, graduated on 1 July 1849, and was appointed brevet 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st United States Infantry and sent to Texas. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on 10 June 1850 and served as post Quartermaster Forts Terrett, Duncan, and McKavitt, TX, and was Regimental Quartermaster 1852-58. He was promoted to First Lieutenant on 31 May 1855 and was posted to the the USMA as Adjutant in September 1859.

At the start of the war, 14 May 1861, he was appointed Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, USA and served as such at Harrisburg, PA and Frederick, MD to 2 July 1862, when he was promoted to Major and Additional Aide-de-Camp and assigned to General Banks's Division. He was promoted again, just over a week later, to Colonel, and was on the 2nd Army Corps staff to the end of August.

On the Campaign

He served as an Aide de Camp on the Maryland Campaign and was at Antietam on 17 September 1862, but it is not known to whose staff he was attached.

The rest of the War

He was with the Army of the Potomac through November 1862, then was Chief Quartermaster of the Department of the Gulf and at New Orleans to the end of the war. On 13 March 1865 he was honored by brevets to Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, and Brigadier General, USA for his war service.

After the War

He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Quartermaster General on 29 July 1866 and was Chief Quartermaster of the Department of Dakota (1867-72), the Department of Texas (72-75), the Division of the Missouri (75-78), and the Departments of the Pacific and California (78-79). He was assigned to the Quartermaster-General in Washington DC 1879-1882 and promoted to Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster-General on 22 January 1881.

He was in charge of the Philadelphia Quartermaster's Depot for just over a year (82-83) then appointed Brigadier General and Quartermaster-General of the Army on 1 July 1883. He served in that post to his retirement from active duty, after 45 years in uniform, on 16 June 1890.

He lived briefly in Evanston, IL, then returned to Washington, DC where died at age 81 in 1907.

References & notes

His military history is from Cullum1 (his Cullum number is 1437) and his bio sketch from the US Army Quartermaster Corps. Personal details from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph at the Library of Congress. Thanks to Ed Catterson for the nudge to look into Holabird.

He married Mary Theodosia Grant (1830-1884) in July 1849 and they had three children.

Camp/Fort Holabird (1918-1973) in Baltimore, MD was named for him.


06/16/1826; Canaan, CT


02/03/1907; Washington, DC; burial in US Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery, Washington, DC


1   Cullum, George Washington, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the US Military Academy, 2nd Edition, 3 vols., New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1868-79, Vol. II, p. 393-394  [AotW citation 29868]