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A. Duryee

A. Duryee

Federal (USV)

Brigadier General

Abram Duryée

(1815 - 1890)

Home State: New York

Command Billet: Brigade Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, I Corps


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

Before the war he made a fortune as an importer in New York City, and was active in the New York State Militia: he enlisted as a Private in the 142nd New York State Militia (NYSM) in 1833, was Sergeant in 1834 and was appointed Sergeant Major in 1836. He transferred to the Seventh NYSM as 2nd Lieutenant in 1840, was elected First Lieutenant in 1841 and Captain in 1844. He was elected Major and Lieutenant Colonel in 1845 and Colonel in 1849. He retired in July 1859. In 1860 he was a 45 year old lumber merchant in New York City.

In April 1861 he recruited and was appointed Colonel of the 5th New York ("Duryee's Zouaves") Regiment with which he saw action at Big Bethel. On 11 September 1861 he was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers, initially on instruction duty, then in command of the 1st Brigade/2nd Division/Third Army Corps by Second Bull Run in August 1862, where he was wounded.

On the Campaign

He commanded the 1st Brigade/2nd Division/First Corps at South Mountain on 14 September and at Antietam on the 17th, where he was again wounded, in the early morning fighting in the Miller Cornfield. For a time at Antietam led the Division when General Ricketts relieved General Hooker in command of the Corps.

The rest of the War

He was on furlough for 30 days after Antietam recovering. He resigned his commission in January 1863 because he had been replaced in Brigade command during his absence after Antietam. He turned down additional offers of New York commands later in the War. He was honored by brevet to Major General of Volunteers in March 1865.

After the War

He continued in the lumber business in New York to at least 1880, and was NY City Police commissioner (from 1873) and dockmaster (1884-87). He was incapacitated by a stroke in 1887.

References & notes

Basic information from Warner1 and Appleton's2. His pre-war military record from Emmons Clark's History of the Seventh Regiment of New York, 1806-1889 (1890). Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860 and 1880, and a bio sketch from Green-Wood. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His photograph from a glass plate original at the Library of Congress.

He married Caroline E. Allen (1820-) and they had one son and 4 daughters between 1839 and 1860.

Son Jacob E Duryee commanded the 2nd Maryland Infantry at Antietam.

More on the Web

See an excellent rendition of Harpers front page for Saturday, June 8, 1861, featuring a large illustration of Duryée and his Zouves from Paul at


04/29/1815; New York City, NY


09/27/1890; New York, NY; burial in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY


1   Warner, Ezra J., Generals in Blue, Lives of the Union Commanders, Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1964  [AotW citation 85]

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, Vol. 2, pp. 273-274  [AotW citation 86]