Portrait of George Stoneman

During the Atlanta Campaign, Confederate soldiers captured George Stoneman on July 31, 1864, at Clinton, Georgia as he led an unsuccessful raid to free federal soldiers from the infamous Andersonville prison. Stoneman was the highest-ranking Union officer captured during the Civil War. [Wikimedia Commons]

George Stoneman - Facts

August 8, 1822 - September 5, 1894

Key facts about Major General George Stoneman, a prominent Union cavalry officer who commanded the cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac and the cavalry corps of the Army of the Ohio.

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Full Name:

  • George Stoneman

Birth Date:

  • August 8, 1822

Birth Location:

  • Chautauqua County, near Busti (later incorporated as the village of Lakewood), New York

Parents:

  • George and Catherine Rebecca (Cheney) Stoneman

Education:

  • United States Military Academy in 1846

Occupation:

  • Military officer

Career Summary:

  • Colonel (USA)
  • Major General (USVA)
  • Governor of California

Spouse:

  • Mary Oliver Hardisty (1861)

Place of Death:

  • Buffalo, New York

Date of Death:

  • September 5, 1894

Place of Burial:

  • Bentley Cemetery, Lakewood, New York

Significance:

  • George Stoneman graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1846, ranked 33rd out of his class of 59 cadets.
  • George Stoneman roomed with future Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.at the United States Military Academy.
  • Following his graduation from West Point, George Stoneman was brevetted as a second lieutenant with the 1st Dragoons, on July 1, 1846.
  • George Stoneman served with the Mormon Battalion during the Mexican-American War (1846–1848), although he did not see any combat action against Mexican soldiers.
  • George Stoneman was promoted to the full rank of second lieutenant on July 12, 1847, as he continued to serve in the far west.
  • From 1850 to 1853, George Stoneman participated in the Yuma War as he helped with mapping the Sierra Nevada mountain range for railroad construction.
  • George Stoneman was promoted to first lieutenant on July 25, 1854.
  • George Stoneman was promoted to captain and reassigned to the 2nd U.S. Cavalry in Texas on March 3, 1855.
  • George Stoneman was promoted to major and assigned to the 1st Cavalry on May 9, 1861.
  • George Stoneman was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on August 13, 1861, and appointed as Chief of Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac.
  • George Stoneman married Mary Oliver Hardisty of Baltimore on November 22, 1861. Their marriage produced four children.
  • George Stoneman served as Chief of Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac throughout the Peninsula Campaign (March 17–August 14, 1862).
  • Following the death of Major General Philip Kearny, General George McClellan placed George Stoneman in command of the 1st division of the Army of the Potomac’s 3rd infantry corps on September 10, 1862.
  • George Stoneman was promoted to command the Army of the Potomac’s 3rd infantry on November 15, 1862.
  • George Stoneman was promoted to major general of volunteers on November 29, 1862.
  • George Stoneman commanded the 3rd corps during the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11–15, 1862), but the unit was not heavily engaged.
  • George Stoneman was brevetted to the rank of colonel in the regular army effective December 13, 1862, for “Gallant and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Fredericksburg.”
  • On February 5, 1863, Major General Joseph Hooker selected George Stoneman to command the newly-created cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac.
  • George Stoneman led a major cavalry raid into Virginia, known as Stoneman’s raid of 1863, between April 13 and May 7, 1863.
  • Major General Joseph Hooker placed much of the blame for the Union defeat at the Battle of Chancellorsville on George Stoneman.
  • On June 7, 1863, Hooker replaced George Stoneman with Brigadier General Alfred Pleasonton as commander of the cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac.
  • On July 28, 1863, George Stoneman was assigned to a desk job in Washington, DC as Chief of the Cavalry Bureau.
  • George Stoneman was appointed as commander of the cavalry corps of the 23rd Army Corps on January 29, 1864.
  • George Stoneman was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the regular army on March 30, 1864, and assigned to command the cavalry corps of the Army of the Ohio.
  • During the Atlanta Campaign, Confederate soldiers captured George Stoneman on July 31, 1864, at Clinton, Georgia as he led an unsuccessful raid to free federal soldiers from the infamous Andersonville prison.
  • George Stoneman was the highest-ranking Union officer captured during the Civil War.
  • George Stoneman was exchanged after three months of captivity, on October 27, 1864, for Confederate Brigadier General Daniel C. Govan.
  • In December 1864, George Stoneman led a raid into Southwestern Virginia, during which his troopers captured and destroyed the vital Rebel saltworks at Saltville, Virginia.
  • George Stoneman was brevetted to major general in the regular army on March 13, 1865, “for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Field during the Rebellion.”
  • During March and April 1865, George Stoneman led a controversial raid into western North Carolina and Virginia, known as Stoneman’s Raid of 1865.
  • After the Civil War, George Stoneman held several administrative posts in the South during reconstruction.
  • Congress investigated (and exonerated) George Stoneman for his tardiness in deploying Federal troops during the Memphis racial riots during May 1866 while he was serving as commander of the Department of Tennessee.
  • George Stoneman was promoted to the full rank of colonel in the regular army on July 28, 1866.
  • Although he became a member of the Democratic Party and opposed Radical Reconstruction policies, Stonemen commanded the First Military District from June 2, 1868, to March 31, 1869.
  • In 1869, Stoneman was transferred to the West where he commanded the District of Arizona, (August 16, 1869–May 2, 1870) and the Department of Arizona, (May 3, 1870–June 4, 1871).
  • On August 16, 1871, the Board to Retire Disabled Officers granted Stoneman a disability retirement, at his brevetted rank of major general.
  • George Stoneman served one four-year term as Governor of California from January 10, 1883, to January 10, 1887.
  • George Stoneman suffered a stroke in April 1894, from which he never recovered. He died on the morning of September 5, 1894.
  • George Stoneman was buried at Bentley Cemetery in Lakewood, New York, following funeral services in Buffalo.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title George Stoneman - Facts
  • Coverage August 8, 1822 - September 5, 1894
  • Author
  • Keywords George Stoneman
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 31, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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