Portrait of Isaac Stevens

Union Brigadier General Isaac Stevens was killed by a gunshot wound to the head during the Battle of Chantilly on September 1, 1862. [Wikimedia Commons]

Isaac Ingalls Stevens - Facts

March 25, 1818 - September 1, 1862

Key facts about Isaac Ingalls Stevens, a prominent Union general in the American Civil War who was killed during the Battle of Chantilly on September 1, 1862.

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Full Name:

  • Isaac Ingalls Stevens

Birth Date:

  • March 25, 1818

Birth Location:

  • North Andover, Massachusetts

Parents:

  • Isaac and Hannah (Cummings) Stevens

Education:

  • United States Military Academy (1839)

Occupation:

  • Military officer

Career Summary:

  • Captain (USA)
  • Washington Territory Governor
  • Brigadier General (USVA)
  • Major General (USVA – posthumous)

Spouse:

  • Margaret Lyman Hazard (1841)

Nickname(s):

  • Little Napoleon

Place of Death:

  • Chantilly, Virginia

Date of Death:

  • September 1, 1862

Place of Burial:

  • Island Cemetery, Newport, Rhode Island

Significance:

  • Isaac Stevens was the first son and third of seven children of Isaac and Hannah (Cummings) Stevens.
  • A slightly built and sickly child, Isaac Stevens was very close to his mother who died on November 3, 1827, as the result of a carriage accident.
  • As a teenager, Isaac Stevens studied at Phillips Academy in Andover, where he excelled at mathematics.
  • Isaac Stevens graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1839, ranked first in his class of thirty-one cadets.
  • Following his graduation from West Point, Isaac Stevens was commissioned as a second lieutenant on July 1, 1839, and assigned to the Corps of Engineers.
  • Isaac Stevens was promoted to first lieutenant on July 1, 1840.
  • Isaac Stevens married Margaret Lyman Hazard on September 8, 1841. The marriage produced five offspring, including Hazard Stevens, Civil War Union brevet brigadier general, and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.
  • Isaac Stevens was brevetted to captain Aug. 20, 1847, for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco.
  • Isaac Stevens was brevetted to major on September 13, 1847, for gallant and meritorious conduct in the Battle of Chapultepec.
  • Isaac Stevens received a serious gunshot wound to the foot during the Battle of Chapultepec.
  • On September 14, 1849, Isaac Stevens was assigned as an assistant in charge of the Coast Survey Office in Washington, D.C., which was responsible for mapping the nation’s newly-acquired territories.
  • On March 16, 1853, President Franklin Pierce appointed Isaac Stevens as governor of the newly-created Washington Territory.
  • Isaac Stevens’s position as governor of the Washington Territory also included the title of Commissioner for Indian Affairs for the Washington Territory.
  • Isaac Stevens drafted a survey for determining the best route for a northern railway connecting the Mississippi River to Puget Sound.
  • Isaac Stevens’s tenure as territorial governor was contentious, especially regarding the disposition of American Indians and the land that white settlers coveted.
  • In 1857, voters of the Washington Territory elected Isaac Stevens as their delegate to Congress.
  • Isaac Stevens played a prominent role in the split of the Democratic Party prior to the 1860 presidential election.
  • After the First Battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861), Isaac Stevens was commissioned as a colonel in the volunteer army and placed in command of the 79th New York, known as the “Highlanders.”
  • On September 28, 1861, Isaac Stevens was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers
  • In November 1861 Isaac Stevens participated in the capture of Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, during the Port Royal Expedition (November 3–7, 1861).
  • On June 16, 1862, Isaac Stevens’s brigade suffered heavy casualties during the Union defeat at the Battle of Secessionville, the only Union attempt to capture Charleston, South Carolina, by land during the American Civil War.
  • In July 1862, Isaac Stevens was sent to Virginia to command the 1st Division of the 9th Corps of the Army of the Potomac.
  • Isaac Stevens’s brigade was in the thick of the action during the Union disaster at the Second Battle of Bull Run (August 28, 1862–August 30, 1862).
  • Isaac Stevens was killed by a gunshot wound to the head during the Battle of Chantilly on September 1, 1862.
  • In March 1863, Isaac Stevens was posthumously promoted to major general, to date from July 18, 1862.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Isaac Ingalls Stevens - Facts
  • Coverage March 25, 1818 - September 1, 1862
  • Author
  • Keywords Isaac Ingalls Stevens
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 28, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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