Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BACKUS, Electus, soldier, died 7 June 1813. He was appointed major of light dragoons 7 October 1808, and Lieutenant-Colonel 15 February 1804. He was in command of the American forces at Sackett's Harbor in 1813, when, hearing of a projected attack by the British, he summoned General Brown, who gathered as many militia as possible and took chief command. The attack was made on 29 May and, although the militia behaved badly, the British were finally defeated. Colonel Backus fell mortally wounded while fighting bravely at the head of his men.*His son Electus (b. in New York in 1804 ; died in Detroit, Mich., 7 June 1862) was graduated at West Point in 1824. He was aide to General Hugh Brady from 1828 to 1837, and became captain 17 October 1837. In 1838-'40 he served in the Seminole war, and afterward in the Mexican war, being brevetted major on 23 September 1846, "for gallant and meritorious conduct at Monterey." In 1847 he was in command of the fortress of San Juan d'Ulloa. He became major in the 3d infantry on 10 June 1850, served in the Navajo expedition in 1858, was made Lieutenant-Colonel 19 January 1859, and colonel 6th infantry 20 February 1862. Just before his death, in the early part of the civil war, he was mustering and disbursing officer at Detroit.
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