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Horatio Phillips Van Cleve
Horatio P. Van Cleve
Born (1809-11-23)November 23, 1809
Died August 24, 1891(1891-08-24) (aged 81)
Place of birth Princeton, New Jersey
Place of death Minneapolis, Minnesota
Place of burial Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Service/branch Union Army
Rank Brevet Major General
Commands held 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry

Horatio Phillips Van Cleve (November 23, 1809 – August 24, 1891) was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Van Cleve was born in Princeton, New Jersey. He studied for two years at Princeton University, and then entered the United States Military Academy. He graduated in 1831 and served at frontier posts in the Michigan Territory. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry on December 31, 1831. He resigned from the Army on September 11, 1836, and settled in Michigan. He taught in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1840–41, and then engaged in farming near Ann Arbor, Michigan. Van Cleve was an engineer in the service of the state of Michigan in 1855, and then United States Surveyor of Public Lands in Minnesota. In 1856, he engaged in stock-raising.

Civil War[edit | edit source]

After the start of the Civil War, he was commissioned as colonel of the 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment on July 22, 1861. He met wife Charlotte Ouisconsin Clark Van Cleve, at Fort Winnebago, while both her father and Horatio were stationed there. She would write the book Three Score Years and Ten, Life-Long Memories of Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and Other Parts of the West, about the early days of Fort Snelling and her travels through the pioneer midwest. She was the first white woman born in the Wisconsin Territory, in the settlement of Prairie du Chien[1]

Van Cleve served under Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas at Mill Springs, and was later promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on March 21, 1862, in recognition for his services at that battle. He commanded a brigade at the Siege of Corinth and a division at Perryville. He was disabled by a wound at Stones River, but returned to his division upon recovery. He fought at Chickamauga, and was in command of the post and forces at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, after the battle. He was in command of the defenses of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad until he was mustered out in 1865. In the omnibus promotions in 1866 following the war, he was brevetted major general, dating from March 13, 1865.

Postbellum life[edit | edit source]

He was adjutant general of Minnesota in 1866–70 and 1876–82.

Van Cleve's house in Minneapolis

Van Cleve died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is buried there in Lakewood Cemetery. His home in that city was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. He had his favorite horse buried in the front yard of that house before he died.

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  • Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964. ISBN 0-8071-0822-7.

External links[edit | edit source]

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