Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PARKER, Ely Samuel, soldier, born in the Indian reservation, Tonawanda, New York, in 1828. He is a full-blooded Seneca Indian, and chief of the Six Nations. After receiving a careful education in schools in New York state, he adopted the profession of civil engineering, and settled temporarily in Galena, Illinois, where he was the personal friend of Ulysses S. Grant, and subsequently, during the civil war, he became a member of the general's staff. He was appointed assistant adjutant-general with the rank of captain in May, 1863, and was afterward secretary to General Grant until the close of the war. In that capacity he was present at Lee's surrender, and made the first engrossed copy of the terms of capitulation. He was appointed 1st lieutenant of United States cavalry in 1866, resigning in 1869. He was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers on 9 April, 1865, and captain, major, lieutenant-colonel, colonel, and brigadier-general, United States army, 2 March. 1867. He became commissioner of Indian affairs in 1869, but retired in 1871 to devote himself to his profession.
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