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Robert Shaw Oliver
Assistant Secretary of War

In office
Preceded by William Cary Sanger
Succeeded by Henry Skillman Breckinridge
Personal details
Born (1847-09-13)September 13, 1847
Died March 15, 1935(1935-03-15) (aged 87)
Resting place Albany Rural Cemetery
Menands, New York

Robert Shaw Oliver (1847-1935) was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Graduating from a military academy in Ossing, NY, he served as a second lieutenant in the 5th Massachusetts Colored Cavalry at 17 years old. After the Civil War, he remained in the Army assigned to the 25th Army Corps in Texas and the 8th US Cavalry in California, Oregon and Arizona fighting in many Indian campaigns until 1879. From 1881-1903, he was employed by Rathbone, Sard & Co., stove manufacturers in Albany. He served as brigadier general of the 3rd brigade of the New York State Militia. In 1903, he was appointed Assistant Secretary of War by President Theodore Roosevelt and continued under President Taft, serving for 10 years.[1]

Signature of Robert Shaw Oliver

A Speech given by General Oliver at Antietam Battlefield in 1904[edit | edit source]

General Oliver spoke at the dedication of several monuments to Civil War Union Units from Pennsylvania at the Antietam Battlefield in 1904. The content of his speech can be found in the reference.[2]

Family[edit | edit source]

Robert Shaw Oliver married Marion Rathbone in 1870. They had four children: John Rathbone, Marion Lucy, Elizabeth Shaw, and Cora Lyman Oliver. John was a Harvard graduate, priest, scholar, and physician.[3] When Robert died in 1935 in Charleston, South Carolina, he was cremated and buried with his wife, Marion Rathbone Oliver in the Albany Rural Cemetery according to the Cemetery's Burial Cards.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13263724
  2. PENNSYLVANIA AT ANTIETAM: REPORT OF THE ANTIETAM BATTLEFIELD MEMORIAL COMMISSION OF PENNSYLVANIA CEREMONIES Dedication of the Monuments ERECTED BY THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA MARK THE POSITION OF THIRTEEN OF THE PENNSYLVANIA COMMANDS ENGAGED IN THE BATTLE. published by the Antietam Battlefield Memorial Commission, 1906. https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=UybFgNcowCEC&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA24
  3. http://collections.countway.harvard.edu/onview/collections/show/107

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