Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

 

Brigadier General John Gibbon

 

SP-1


Introduction

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content

Inventory

Addenda

Introduction

The collection includes a single scrapbook containing newspaper clippings highlighting the military career of Brigadier General John Gibbon (1827-1896).

Biographical Sketch

Brigadier General John Gibbon was born in Philadelphia, but moved at an early age with his family to North Carolina. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1847, ranking twentieth in a class of thirty-eight. For the next years, Gibbon saw service in the War with Mexico, the Seminole War, and as West Point's artillery instructor. At the outbreak of the Civil War, three of Gibbon's brothers joined the Confederacy, but Gibbon remained loyal to the Union. He served first as McDowell's Chief of Artillery and then commanded the only all-Western brigade serving with the armies in Virginia, leading them at Gainesville and 2nd Bull Run. Initially dubbed the "Black Hat Brigade" because of its distinctive slouch hats, the unit became known as the famed "Iron Brigade" for its courageous stand against Stonewall Jackson's command at Second Bull Run. Gibbon led the brigade at South Mountain and Antietam. Although wounded at Fredericksburg, Gibbon returned in time to fight at Chancellorsville. He was again wounded at Gettysburg on the final day. He later saw action at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. Gibbon's Artillerist's Manual (1860) was a key tool in training volunteer batteries during the conflict. Following the Civil War, Gibbon remained on active duty on the frontier. He led the relief column to Little Big Horn in 1876, rescuing survivors and burying Custer's massacred troops. Retiring as a brigadier general in 1891, Gibbon remained active in veterans' affairs, serving as the Commander-in-Chief of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. He also wrote Personal Recollections of the Civil War (1928).

Scope and Content

The collection consists of a single scrapbook of newspaper clippings compiled by General Gibbon between the years of 1881 and 1886. The articles, largely from publications in the western states, focus on Gibbon's military activities, the Fitz-John Porter case, and veterans' affairs involving the "Iron Brigade,' MOLLUS and Civil War reminiscences. Gibbon's handwritten notations provide names of newspapers and dates of publication as well as a few personal comments on the subject matter.

Inventory

Ac. 702

Newspaper clippings, 1881-1886

Addenda

Ac. 5543

"Military Morals," Handwritten, twenty-three page treatise on the moral character of professional U. S. Army officers, ca. 1880

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