Sickles, Daniel Edgar

Sickles, Daniel Edgar, 1819–1914, American politician, Union general in the Civil War, b. New York City. A lawyer, he became active in Democratic politics, serving in the New York legislature. He was a member of Congress from 1857 to 1861. In 1859 he was acquitted on grounds of temporary mental aberration of the murder of Philip Barton Key (Francis Scott Key's son), whom Sickles shot because of Key's affair with his wife. In the Civil War, Sickles fought in the Peninsular campaign (1862), at Chancellorsville (1863), and in the Gettysburg campaign (1863), where he lost a leg. His severity as military commander in the Carolinas (1865–67) led President Andrew Johnson to transfer him to another command. He retired from the army in 1869 as a major general. He was later minister to Spain (1869–73), held various political offices in New York, and served again (1893–95) in Congress.

See biography by T. Keneally (2002).

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