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J.S. Poland

J.S. Poland

Federal (USA)


John Scroggs Poland

(1836 - 1898)

Home State: Indiana

Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1861;Class Rank: 34

Command Billet: Commanding Battalion

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd and 10th United States Infantry


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

Following graduation from West Point he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant, 2nd United States Infantry on 6 May 1861, and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 6 June. He served as Regimental Quartermaster from 10 Aug 1861 to 27 June 1862.

On the Campaign

He was in command of a combined Battalion with Companies from his own 2nd and the 10th US Infantry. He and his men were in action above the Middle Bridge at Antietam on 17 September 1862 and across Boteler's Ford on the Potomac River near Shepherdstown, VA on the 20th.

The rest of the War

Sometime after September 1862 he was promoted to Captain, to date officially from 27 June 1862. He served with the Army of the Potomac until after the battle of Gettysburg, then in the defenses of Washington, DC. He was brevetted Major on 13 December 1862 for gallant and meritorious service in the battles of Antietam and Shepherdstown Ford, MD, and Fredericksburg, VA; and Lieutenant Colonel on 3 May 1863 for the battle of Chancellorsville, VA.

After the War

He continued in Regular US Army service, assigned to the United States Military Academy, where he remained for four years as assistant professor of geography, history, ethics, and drawing. During the ten years that followed he served principally on frontier duty, becoming, on 15 December 1880, Major of the 18th US Infantry.

From 1881 to 1886 he was chief of the department of law at the US Infantry and Cavalry School in Leavenworth, Kansas. On 1 March 1886 he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel of the 21st Infantry, then to Colonel of the 17th Infantry on 1 Aug 1891, and, finally, appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers on 4 May 1898 during the Spanish-American War.

During his career he published the Digest of the Military Laws of the United States from 1861 to 1868 (Boston, 1868) and The Conventions of Geneva of 1864 and 1868, and St. Petersburg International Commission (Leavenworth, 1886).

He died while still on active service at age 62.

References & notes

His service from Heitman1, Appleton's2, and Cullum3. His Cullum number is 1921. Personal details from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph in the P.S. du Pont Longwood Collection at the Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE. Henry Algernon Du Pont (1838-1926) was first in that USMA Class of May 1861.

He married Anne Brown Babcock (1841-1900) in October 1864 and they had two children.


10/4/1836; Princeton, IN


08/08/1898; Asheville, NC; burial in River Bend Cemetery, Westerly, RI


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, pg. 796  [AotW citation 363]

2   Fiske, John, and James Grant Wilson, editors, Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, 6 vols., New York City: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889  [AotW citation 364]

3   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. 4  [AotW citation 884]