Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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McREE, Griffith John, soldier, born in Bladen county, North Carolina, in 17,58; died in Smithville, North Carolina, 30 October, 1801. He was the son of Samuel McRee, who emigrated in 1740 from County Down, Ireland, to North Carolina, and became a magistrate in Bladen county. The son became major and brevet lieutenant-colonel in the Revolutionary army, was appointed captain of artillery and engineers, 2 June, 1794, and resigned on 24 April, 1798, being appointed in that year collector of revenue for the district of Wilmington, North Carolina--His son, William, soldier, born in Wilmington, North Carolina, la December, 1787; died in St. Louis, Missouri, in Nay, 1833, was appointed to the army as a cadet on 14 April, 1803. He became 2d lieutenant of engineers, 1 July, 1805, 1st lieutenant in October, 1806, captain in 1808, and major, al July, 1812, and participated in the war with Great Britain, being engaged on the northern border. He became chief engineer of the army under General Jacob Brown in 1814, was brevetted lieutenant-colonel for gallant conduct in the battle of Niagara, 25 July, 1814, and colonel for distinguished and meritorious service in defence of Fort Erie, 15 August, 1814, and became lieutenant-colonel on 12 November, 1818. In 1815 he was sent to Europe by the government to examine military schools and fortifications, and on his return made an able report. Indignant that a foreigner, General Simon Bernard, should be appointed to an office in the engineer corps, he resigned on al March, 1819, and from 1825 till 1832 he was United States surveyor-general of public lands in Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas territories. Port Mcgee, Pensacola, Florida, was named in his honor.--Another son, Samuel, soldier, born in Wilmington, North Carolina, 6 October, 1801 ; died in St. Louis, Missouri, 15 July, 1849, was appointed a cadet in 1815. He became 2d lieutenant in the 8th infantry, 1 July, 1820, assistant instructor of infantry tactics in the military academy in 1820, 1st lieutenant, September, 1823, and captain in December, 1831. He served in the Black Hawk war, was assistant quartermaster with the rank of captain in July, 1838, and relinquished rank in line in November, 1839. He was made quartermaster with the rank of major on 8 November, 1839, and brevetted lieutenant-colonel for meritorious conduct while serving in the enemy's country, 30 May, 1848.--Samuel's nephew, Griffith John, lawyer, born in Wilmington, N. C-, 20 September, 1820; died there 29 April, 1872, was the son of James Fergus MeRee. He was educated at Princeton, admitted to the bar of Wilmington in 1841, and practised there until his death. He was a member of the New York and Massachusetts and other historical societies. He married Penelope, daughter of Governor James Iredell, and was the author of the "Life of James Iredell" (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1857).
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