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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1842

Vol. II

(Born Me.)

Seth Williams

(Ap'd Me.)


Born September 1821, Augusta, ME.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1838, to July 1, 1842, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., 2d Artillery, July 1, 1842.

Served: in garrison at Ft. Adams, R. I., 1842‑43, — Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., 1843‑44, — and Hancock Barracks, Me., 1844‑45; in Military

(Second Lieut., 3d Artillery, Aug. 31, 1844)

Occupation of Texas, 1845‑46; in the War with Mexico, 1846‑47, 1847‑48, being engaged in the Battle of Palo Alto, May 8, 1846, — Battle of Resaca-de‑la‑Palma, May 9, 1846, — Siege of Vera Cruz, Mar. 9‑29,

(First Lieut., 1st Artillery, Mar. 3, 1847, to Mar. 3, 1855)

 p131  1847, — Battle of Cerro Gordo, Apr. 17‑18, 1847, — and as Aide-de‑Camp

(Bvt. Captain, Apr. 18, 1847,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle of Cerro Gordo, Mex.)

to Major-General Patterson, 1846‑48; in garrison at Ft. McHenry, Md., 1848, — Schuylkill Arsenal, Pa., 1848‑49, — and Ft. Washington, Md., 1849‑50; at the Military Academy, as Adjutant, Sep. 28, 1850, to Sep. 1, 1853; and as Asst. Adjutant-General of the Eastern

(Bvt. Capt., Staff — Asst. Adjutant-Gen., Aug. 16, 1853)

Division at Troy, N. Y., Sep. 19 to Nov. 18, 1853, — in the Adjutant-General's Office at Washington, D. C., Nov. 18, 1853, to July 31, 1854, and from Nov. 1, 1854, to Dec. 1, 1860, — of the Department of the

(Bvt. Major, Staff — Asst. Adjutant-Gen., May 11, 1861)

West, Dec. 18, 1860, to May 30, 1861, — and of the Department of the Ohio, June 17 to July 25, 1861.

Major, Staff — Asst. Adjutant-Gen., Aug. 3, 1861.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66: as Adjutant-General, Aug. 20, 1861, to Nov. 14, 1862, and Inspector-General

(Brig.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, Sep. 23, 1861)

of the Adjutant-General's Department, Nov. 14, 1862, to Mar. 10,

(Lieut.‑Col., Staff — Asst. Adjutant-Gen., July 17, 1862)

1864, of the Army of the Potomac, being present at Headquarters throughout its various Military Operations, — at Washington, D. C., Aug. 20, 1861, to Mar. 10, 1862, — in the Virginia Peninsular Campaign, Mar. to Aug., 1862, — in the Maryland Campaign, Sep. to Nov., 1862, — in the Rappahannock Campaign, Dec., 1862, to June, 1863, — in the Pennsylvania Campaign, June‑July, 1863, — and in Operations in Central Virginia,

(Bvt. Colonel, July 3, 1863,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle of Gettysburg, Pa.)

including the Rapidan Campaign, July, 1863, to Mar., 1864; as Acting Inspector-General, on the Staff of the General-in‑Chief, Mar. 10,

(Bvt. Maj.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, Aug. 1, 1864,
for Highly Meritorious and Faithful Services in the Field,
on the Several Campaigns from Gettysburg, Pa., to Petersburg, Va.)

1864, to Feb. 9, 1866, being present with Headquarters during the entire

(Bvt. Brig.‑General, U. S. Army, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Campaign terminating with the Surrender of the Insurgent Army under General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Robert E. Lee)

(Bvt. Maj.‑General, U. S. Army, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Field during the Rebellion)

Richmond Campaign, — and as Adjutant-General of the Military Division of the Atlantic, headquarters, Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 9 to Mar. 1, 1866.

Died, Mar. 23, 1866, at Boston, Mas.: Aged 44.

Biographical Sketch.

Bvt. Major-General Seth Williams was born, Sep. 1821, at Augusta, Me., and was graduated from the Military Academy and promoted to the Artillery, July 1, 1842. After three years of garrison duty, he accompanied Gen. Taylor in the Occupation of Texas, and was engaged in the Battles of Palo Alto and Resaca-de‑la‑Palma. Transferred to General Scott's line of operations, he was at the Siege of Vera Cruz and Battle of Cerro Gordo, where for his "gallant and meritorious  p132 conduct" he was brevetted Captain. Till the end of the Mexican War, he continued Aide-de‑Camp to Maj.‑General Patterson, and after the termination of hostilities was two years performing garrison duty, when he became the efficient and favorite Adjutant of the Military Academy. Upon his promotion to the staff as Assistant Adjutant-General, he occupied, with great acceptance and usefulness, positions in the Adjutant-General's office at Washington, and at headquarters of the Department of the West and of the Ohio.

During the War of the Rebellion, Williams was the distinguished Adjutant-General of the Army of the Potomac throughout the operations of its various campaigns, receiving for his "gallant, meritorious and faithful services" the brevets of Colonel, Brig.‑General, and Major-General, U. S. Army, and Major-General U. S. Volunteers.

For a short period succeeding the Rebellion, Williams was the Adjutant-General of the Division of the Atlantic till he died, Mar. 23, 1866, at Boston, Mas., after a brief but brilliant career.

General Williams was simple in manner, courteous in intercourse, constant in friendship, honest in his convictions, and tolerant of adverse opinion. His personal magnetism, inextinguishable cheerfulness, genial nature, and almost feminine gentleness endeared him to all who came within the sunshine of his presence. He never forgot the little amenities of life; his politeness was proverbial, his patience was inexhaustible, and it was high highest gratification to devote himself to the pleasures of others. Hence it was that his unselfishness, modest, sincere sympathy, and steadfast affection made him the loved companion of young and old of both sexes. Yet, with all this light-hearted nature and avoidance of the asperities of life, he was a manly man, a firm patriot, and a brave soldier, who never neglected his fealty to a friend nor a duty to his country.

Major-General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Meade, in his official order announcing his death, says:

"The public services of the deceased, in connection with the Army of the Potomac, from its organization to within a few months of its muster out at the close of the War, are too well known to require recital. There was hardly an engagement in which he did not take part; there is not a portion of its records or written history that does not bear witness to his ability and fidelity; and to its officers and soldiers he was especially endeared by a never-failing patience and kindliness of heart that made no labor irksome that could promote their interests and welfare. The General Commanding feels that this official notice is due, not only to the public career, but to the private virtues, of this distinguished soldier, and that in him the country has lost a faithful servant, and the Army a valuable associate and friend."

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