Sumner, Edwin Vose

Sumner, Edwin Vose, 1797–1863, American soldier, Union general in the Civil War, b. Boston. He fought in the Black Hawk War and in the Mexican War. Made colonel of the 1st Cavalry in 1855, he was commander of Fort Leavenworth during the disturbances (1856) in Kansas between proslavery and antislavery groups. In 1857 he campaigned against the Cheyenne in Kansas, and from 1858 to 1861 was commander of the Dept. of the West. At the beginning of the Civil War he was promoted to brigadier general in the regular army. Sumner ably led the 2d Corps of George B. McClellan's army in the Peninsular campaign, particularly at Fair Oaks, and later in the Antietam campaign. In the battle of Fredericksburg his “grand division” bore the brunt of the futile assault on Marye's Heights. Made commander of the Dept. of the Missouri early in 1863, Sumner died on his way there.

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