Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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KIRBY, Ephraim, jurist, born in Litchfield, Connecticut, 23 February, 1757; died in Fort Stoddard, Mississippi, 2 October, 1804. He spent his boyhood on his father's farm, but joined the Revolutionary army before the battle of Bunker Hill, and served through the war, participating in nineteen actions and receiving thirteen wounds. At Germantown he was left for dead on the field. At the close of the war he earned by manual labor the means of obtaining a classical education, was for a short time a student at Yale, and in 1787 received from that college the honorary degree of M.A. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and published "Reports of the Decisions of the Superior Court and Court of Errors" (Litchfield, 1789), which was the first volume of reports issued in the state, and probably the first in the United States. He was several times an unsuccessful candidate for governor, was in the legislature in 1791-1804, and in 1801 was appointed by President Jefferson supervisor of United States revenue for Connecticut. On the acquisition of Louisiana he was made a judge of the newly organized territory of Orleans, but died on his way to enter on the duties of the office. He acquired a large property by his profession, but lost, it through the dishonesty of an agent that he had employed to purchase land in Virginia.--His son, Reynold Marvin, soldier, born in Litchfield. Conn., 10 March, 1790; died in Fort Sullivan, Maine, 7 October, 1842, entered the army, 9 July, 1813, and received the brevets of 1st lieutenant and captain for gallantry in the siege of Fort Erie. He became captain of artillery in 1824, and brevet-major in the same year.--Another son, Edmund, soldier, born in Litchfield 8 April, 1794; died in Brownville, New York, 20 August, 1849, entered the army, 6 July, 1812, served through the war with England, and in 1819 was aide to General Jacob Brown, whose daughter he married, he became captain in May, 1824, and paymaster, 5 August, 1824, relinquishing his rank in the regular line, and afterward served on the staff of General Zachary Taylor at Monterey, and on that of General Winfield Scott in the valley of Mexico, receiving the brevet of lieutenant-colonel for gallantry at Contreras and Churubusco, and that of colonel for Molino del Reverend--Edmund's son, Edmund, soldier, born in Brownville, New York, in 1840; died in Washington, D. C., 28 May, 1863, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1861, and assigned to the 1st artillery. He was made 1st lieutenant on 14 May, 1861, and, succeeding to the command of his battery on the capture of Captain James B. Ricketts at Bull Run, he retained it till his death. He was engaged with this battery through the peninsula and Maryland campaigns, on the march to Falmouth, Virginia, and at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, in which last engagement he was mortally wounded. For his gallantry in this battle he was given on his death-bed the commission of brigadier-general of volunteers, to date from 23 May, 1863.
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