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Keyes, Erasmus Darwin (1810-1895).

American general. Principal war: Civil War (1861-1865). Principal battles: Bull Run I (Manassas, Virginia) (1861); Peninsula campaign; Seven Pines.

Born in Brimfield, Massachusetts (May 29, 1810), he graduated from West Point and was commissioned in the artillery (1832); he was stationed at Charleston, South Carolina, during the nullification controversy (1832-1833); aide-de-camp to Gen. Winfield Scott (1837-1841); promoted captain (November 1841); served on garrison duty in the south (1842-1844); an instructor at West Point (1844-1848); served in the Pacific Northwest for many years (1851-1860), taking part in expeditions against Indians (1855, 1858); promoted major (October 1858); appointed military secretary to General Scott with the rank of lieutenant colonel (January 1860); colonel of the 11th Infantry (May 1861); soon after was appointed brigadier general of volunteers; commanded a brigade at First Bull Run (July 21); commander of IV Corps during Gen. George B. McClellan's Peninsula campaign (March 22-July 2, 1862); promoted major general of volunteers (May) and for his actions at Seven Pines (near Richmond) (May 31); brevetted brigadier general of regulars; remained on the York Peninsula with IV Corps after the rest of the army withdrew (July); conducted raids against Confederate positions notably at White House (near West Point, Virginia) (January 7, 1863) and West Point (May 7); quarreled with Gen. John A. Dix, commander of the Department of Maryland, and relinquished his field command to serve on a retirement board (July); resigned his commission (May 1864); settled in San Francisco, where he entered business, serving as president of the Maxwell Gold Mining Company (1867-1869), and vice president of the California Vine-Culture Society (1868-1872), as well as several other positions; died in Nice, France, while traveling in Europe (October 14, 1895). <BL>

Sources:
Keyes, Erasmus Darwin, Fifty Years Observation of Men and Events,
     Civil and Military. New York, 1884.
Warner, Ezra, Generals in Blue. Baton Rouge, 1978.
Dictionary of American Biography, 3d ed. New York, 1980.
Webster's American Military Biographies. Springfield, Mass.,
     1978.

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Author:Holien, Kim
Publication:The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1992
Words:323
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