Portrait of Charles Ewing

On June 22, Charles Ewing was promoted to lieutenant colonel of volunteers, and assigned to the staff of his brother-in-law, Major General William T. Sherman, as assistant inspector general of the 15th Army Corps. [Wikimedia Commons]

Charles Ewing - Facts

March 6, 1835 - June 20, 1883

Key facts about who served the Union army as a general officer in the Eastern and Western theaters during the American Civil War.

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Full Name:

  • Charles Ewing

Birth Date:

  • March 6, 1835

Birth Location:

  • Lancaster, Ohio

Parents:

  • Thomas Ewing and Maria (Boyle) Ewing

Education:

  • Gonzaga College
  • University of Virginia

Occupation:

  • Lawyer
  • Military officer

Career Summary:

  • Lieutenant Colonel (USA)
  • Brigadier General (USVA)

Spouse:

  • Virginia Larwell Miller (1870)

Place of Death:

  • Washington, D.C.

Date of Death:

  • June 20, 1883

Place of Burial:

  • Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

Significance:

  • Charles Ewing was the sixth child and fifth son of Thomas Ewing and Maria (Boyle) Ewing.
  • Charles Ewing’s father, Thomas Ewing, Sr., was a prominent lawyer, and a U.S. senator who also served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and U.S. Secretary of the Interior.
  • Two of Charles Ewing’s brothers (Thomas Ewing Jr. and Hugh Boyle Ewing) and his foster brother (William Tecumseh Sherman) eventually became general officers in the Union army during the American Civil War.
  • Charles Ewing received his early education at St Joseph’s, a Dominican College in Perry County, Ohio.
  • When his family moved to Washington, D.C. Charles Ewing attended Gonzaga College.
  • Charles Ewing studied law at the University of Virginia before being was admitted to the bar.
  • In 1860, Charles Ewing moved to Missouri and established a law partnership in St. Louis with John Hunter, a boyhood friend from Lancaster.
  • After the Civil War began, Charles Ewing joined the regular army and was commissioned as a captain with the 13th U.S. Infantry on May 14, 1861.
  • During the first year of the Civil War Charles Ewing served at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, and Alton, Illinois on recruitment duty and guarding Confederate prisoners.
  • In October 1862, Charles Ewing’s regiment joined the Army of the Tennessee in preparation for the Union assault on the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • During the Vicksburg Campaign, Charles Ewing took part in the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou (December 26–29, 1862), the Battle of Arkansas Post (January 9–11, 1863), the Battle of Champion Hill (May 16, 1863), two unsuccessful attempts to storm Vicksburg (July 19 and July 22), and the Siege of Vicksburg (May 25–July 4, 1863).
  • On June 22, Charles Ewing was promoted to lieutenant colonel of volunteers, and assigned to the staff of his brother-in-law, Major General William T. Sherman, as assistant inspector general of the 15th Army Corps.
  • On July 4, 1863, Charles Ewing was brevetted to the rank of major in the regular army for gallant service at Vicksburg.
  • After the fall of Vicksburg, Charles Ewing took part in the federal re-occupation of Jackson, Mississippi in July 1863.
  • Charles Ewing accompanied the Army of the Tennessee went it was sent east in October 1863 to relieve Confederate General Braxton Bragg’s siege of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • During the Chattanooga Campaign, Charles Ewing took part in the Union victory at the Battle of Missionary Ridge (November 25, 1863).
  • Charles Ewing accompanied General William T. Sherman’s army throughout the Atlanta Campaign, the Savannah Campaign, and the Carolinas Campaign.
  • On September 1, 1864, Charles Ewing was brevetted to lieutenant colonel in the regular army.
  • On March 8, 1865, Charles Ewing was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers.
  • On March 13, 1865, Charles Ewing was brevetted to colonel in the regular army.
  • When the war ended, Charles Ewing remained in the army, but resigned his commission as brigadier general of volunteers on December 1, 1865.
  • Charles Ewing was transferred, as a captain, to the 22nd U.S. Infantry on September 21, 1866.
  • On July 31, 1867, Charles Ewing resigned from the army.
  • After leaving the army, Charles Ewing pursued a career as a patent lawyer in Washington, D.C.
  • On December 20, 1870, at the nation’s capital, Charles Ewing married Virginia Larwell Miller, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. His wife was the daughter of Ohio Congressman John K. Miller. Their marriage produced nine children, seven of whom survived to adulthood.
  • On January 2, 1874, James Roosevelt Bayley, the Archbishop of Baltimore, appointed Charles Ewing as the Catholic Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
  • In 1879, the Bureau of Catholic Indian Affairs was officially created, with Charles Ewing serving as the first commissioner.
  • As commissioner of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Affairs, Charles Ewing promoted Catholic Indian missionary interests in the United States until his death.
  • In appreciation for Charles Ewing’s service as commissioner of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Affairs, Pope Pius IX made Ewing a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great on 1 June 1877.
  • In June 1883, Charles Ewing contracted pneumonia. Although he rallied and appeared to improve, Ewing eventually succumbed on June 20 at his home in Washington.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Charles Ewing - Facts
  • Coverage March 6, 1835 - June 20, 1883
  • Author
  • Keywords Charles Ewing
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date November 29, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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