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Howard, O. O.

Howard, O. O. (1830–1909), Union army general and educator.A native of Maine and a graduate of West Point in 1854, Howard entered the U.S. Volunteers during the Civil War as a colonel in June 1861. Promoted brigadier general after the First Battle of Bull Run, he lost an arm at Seven Pines, but recovered quickly and attained division command at the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg. After promotion to major general, he took over XI Corps in April 1863, overseeing a disastrous defeat at Chancellorsville the following month. As ranking officer on the afternoon of 1 July 1863 at the Battle of Gettysburg, he briefly commanded all Federal forces on the field.

Transferring to the western theater, Howard commanded the reorganized IV Corps during the Atlanta campaign of 1864, where he again suffered defeat at Pickett's Mill. Given the Army of Tennessee, Howard commanded without particular distinction during William Tecumseh Sherman's march to the sea and the Carolinas campaign. An extremely pious and moralistic officer, he led the Freedmen's Bureau during Reconstruction. On the Indian frontier, he accepted the surrender of Chief Joseph's Nez Percé band in 1877. A lifelong advocate of minority rights, Howard was instrumental in founding Howard University and Lincoln Memorial University before his death in 1909.
[See also Civil War: Military and Diplomatic Course; Union Army.]


John A. Carpenter , Sword and Olive Branch: Oliver Otis Howard, 1964.
William S. McFeely , Yankee Stepfather: General O. O. Howard and the Freedmen, 1968.

William Glenn Robertson

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