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American Joseph Cabell BRECKINRIDGE

Union Army officer from Kentucky during the American Civil War

Published by :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on January 14, 1842 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Died: on August 18, 1920 in Washington, D.C., USA


Joseph C. Breckinridge, Sr., was a member of the prominent Breckinridge family, in Baltimore, Maryland. His father, Robert Jefferson Breckinridge, a minister, was one of the most distinguished divines and one of the most prolific writers of the century; a leader of the Kentucky emancipation party in 1849; and a strong Union man in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War.

Joining the Army in August 1861, Joseph C. Breckinridge was appointed an aide-de-camp to George H. Thomas, and served with him at Mill Springs and Shiloh. While serving at Corinth, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the 2nd US Artillery. He served in the Atlanta Campaign, and was captured following the death of James B. McPherson. After being exchanged, he served out the remainder of the war as a mustering officer, and received brevet promotions to captain (July 1864) and major (March 1865). He received promotions to the full ranks of captain and major in 1874 and 1881 respectively.

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