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Alfred H. Terry, U.S.A.
Major-General Alfred H. Terry, U.S.A.
Major-General Alfred H. Terry was born in Hartford, Connecticut,
November 10, 1827. He was educated in the schools of New Haven, and at the
Yale Law School. He began the practice of his profession in 1849, and was
clerk of the Superior and Supreme Courts of Connecticut from 1854 to 1860.
He was in command of the Second Regiment of Connecticut militia when the
Civil War began. In response to
President Lincoln's call
for three months' troops, he was appointed colonel of the Second Conn.
Vol., and with that regiment was present at the first battle of Bull Run.
At the expiration of the term of service he returned to Connecticut,
organized the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, of which he was appointed
colonel, and on September 17 he was present at the capture of Port Royal,
South Carolina, and also at the siege of Fort Pulaski, of which he was
placed in charge after its capitulation. On April 25, 1862, he was
promoted brigadier-general of volunteers, and he served at the battle of
Pocotaligo, and in the operations against Charleston. He commanded the
demonstration up Stono River during the descent on Morris Island and at
the action on James Island, and he was assigned by General Q. A. Gillmore
to command the troops on Morris Island, which post he held during the
siege of Forts Wagner and Sumter.
After the reduction of Fort Wagner he was assigned to the command of the
Northern District of the Department of the South, including the islands
from which operations against Charleston had been carried on. General
Terry commanded the First Division of the Tenth Army Corps, Army of the
James, during the Virginia campaign of 1864, and at times the corps
itself. He was brevetted major-general of volunteers on August 20, 1864,
became permanent commander of the Tenth Corps in October, and held that
place until the corps was merged in the Twenty-fourth the following
December, when he was assigned to head the First Division of the new
corps. He commanded at the action of Chester Station, and was engaged at
the battle of Drury's Bluff, the various combats in front of the Bermuda
Hundred lines, the battle of Fussell's Mills, the action of Deep Bottom,
the siege of Petersburg, the actions at Newmarket Heights on the Newmarket
Road, the Darbytown Road, and the Williamsburg Road. On January 2, 1865,
after the failure of the first attempt to take Fort Fisher, which
commanded the sea approaches to Wilmington, North Carolina, General Terry
was ordered to renew the attack with a force numbering a little over eight
||On the 13th he debarked his
troops about five miles above the fort, and finding himself
confronted by General Robert F. Hoke's Confederate division,
proceeded to throw a line of strong entrenchments across the
peninsula between the sea and Cape Fear River,. facing towards
Wilmington, and about two miles north of the fort. After the landing
of the troops, the co-operating fleet under Admiral David D. Porter,
numbering forty-four vessels, and mounting upward of five hundred
guns, opened fire upon the work, and from 430 to 6 P.M., four shots
a second, or twenty thousand in all, were fired. This was the
heaviest bombardment of the war. On the 14th the line of
entrenchments was completed, and General Charles J. Paine's division
of infantry was placed upon it. While this was in progress, General
Terry made a reconnaissance of the fort, and in view of the
difficulty of landing supplies for his troops and the materials for
a siege upon an open, unprotected beach in midwinter, he determined
to carry the work by assault the next day, and the plan of attack
was arranged the next day with Admiral Porter.
At 11 A.M. on the 15th, the entire fleet opened fire, silencing nearly
every gun in the fort. Admiral Porter landed two thousand sailors and
marines; gained the parapet by hand-to-hand fighting of the most obstinate
character, and by five o'clock nine of the traverses of the fort which had
been constructed were carried, and General Terry ordered up
reinforcements, consisting of a brigade and the sailors and marines,
taking their places there; by nine o'clock two more traverses were
carried, and one hour later the occupation of the work was complete, and
the Confederate force surrendered. For this General Terry was promoted to
be brigadier-general in the regular army and major-general of volunteers,
and received the thanks of Congress. He was brevetted major-general in the
regular army on March 13, 1865, for his services at the capture of
Wilmington. He was promoted to the rank of major-general March 3, 1866,
serving in charge of the Division of the Missouri until his retirement in
Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who
served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419
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