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The text that follows is reproduced from (the report of the) Twenty-Eighth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 10th, 1897.

p63 Alfred Pleasonton
No. 1212, Class of 1844.
Died, February 17, 1897, at Washington, D. C., aged 73.

Brevet Major General Alfred Pleasonton, Major U. S. A., retired, a distinguished cavalry leader during the war, died in Washington, D. C., early on the morning of February 17, after an illness of several years, during which time his death has been more than once reported. For a long time he has lived in absolute retirement, seeing none but a few intimate friends. The deceased officer was graduated from the West Point Academy in 1844; promoted to the Second Dragoons; served through the Mexican War, and was brevetted First Lieutenant for gallantry in the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. After the Mexican War he served on the frontier, being promoted First Lieutenant in 1849, and Captain in 1855. He was Acting Assistant Adjutant General to General Harney during the Sioux expedition, and was Adjutant General (1856‑60) during the Seminole war in Florida and the campaigns in Kansas, Oregon and Washington. When the War of the Rebellion broke out, he was in Utah, with his regiment, and went with it to Washington in 1861, and was promoted Major Second Cavalry, February 15, 1862. He served through the Peninsular campaign, and in July, 1862, was appointed Brigadier-General of Volunteers; commanded a cavalry division of the Army of the Potomac that followed Lee into Maryland, and was engaged at Boonesborough, South Mountain and Antietam, and in the subsequent pursuit; was engaged many times before Fredericksburg, and at Chancellorsville won great renown, as to him is due a great deal of the credit of having saved the Army of the Potomac from rout.a His midnight charge was one of the most stirring scenes of the war, and during it Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded. He was appointed Major General of Volunteers June 22, 1863; was transferred p64to Missouri in 1863, and drove the Confederate General Price out of that State. He held brevets from Lieutenant Colonel to Major General in the regular army for his gallantry and services in the field. General Pleasontonº resigned from the army January 1, 1868, and for several years was Collector of Internal Revenue, and subsequently was President of the Terre Haute and Cincinnati railroad. On October 19, 1888, he was placed on the retired list with the rank of Major, by special act of Congress on that date. General Pleasonton in many ways was as peculiar as his brother, the late General Augustus James Pleasonton, of "blue glass" fame, who died a few years ago. For years he had been a sufferer from fistula contracted in the army. He refused to see any physicians; lived obscurely and took all kinds of patent medicines, from which he thought he might receive some benefit. Such is the record in brief of a gallant officer who has deserved well of his country.

Army and Navy Journal.


Thayer's Note:

a See, however, the hostile biographical sketch at the Latin Library, which contains a fair amount of information not given here.


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Page updated: 14 Jul 10