Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ALVORD, Benjamin, soldier, born in Rutland, Vermont, 18 August 1813; died in Washington, District of Columbia, 16 October 1884. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1833, served in the Seminole war (1835-'7), was instructor in mathematics at West Point until 1839, and was on frontier, garrison, and engineer duty until 1846, when he participated in the military occupation of Texas, and subsequently in the war with Mexico. He received the successive brevets of captain and major for gallantry in several of the more important engagements, and was chief of staff to Major Lally's column on the march from Vera Cruz to Mexico in 1847. He was made paymaster 22 June 1854, and served as such until 1862, when he became a Brigadier-General of volunteers, which grade he resigned 8 August 1865. He was brevetted brigadier in the regular army in April 1865. From 1872 till his retirement from active service in 1881 he was chief of the pay department with the rank of Brigadier-General. He is the author of treatises on mathematics and many essays.
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