Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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KELTON, John Cuningham, soldier, born in Delaware county, Pennsylvania, 24 June, 1828. His great-grandfather, James, came from Ireland to Chester county, Pennsylvania, about 1735. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1851, and was employed on the frontier till 1857, and at the academy, as instructor in infantry tactics and the use of small arms, till 24 April, 1861. He served during the civil war in 1861-'5 as assistant adjutant-general, with the exception of two months in 1861, when, as colonel of the 9th Missouri regiment, he commanded a brigade in that state. He resigned his .volunteer commission, 12 March, 1862, but was in the field during the advance upon Corinth and the siege of that place in April and May, and was on General Henry W. Halleck's staff from July of that year till I July, 1865. He was brevetted lieutenant-colonel, colonel, and brigadier-general, United States army, on 13 March, 1865, "for most valuable and arduous services both in the field and at headquarters." General Kelton was in charge of the appointment bureau in the adjutant-general's office at Washington in 1865-'70, and was afterward adjutant-general of the Division of the Pacific. On 15 June, 1880, he attained the staff rank of colonel, and since 1885 he has been on duty in the adjutant-general, s office at Washington. Since 1880 he has patented a modification of the locking mechanism of the Springfield rifle, reducing the number of motions required to load and fire it to four; a front sight cover and protector; a detachable magazine; a safety-stop for revolvers, preventing accidental discharge in a cavalry coral)at; a pistol-pack, whereby any jointed revolver can be loaded in two seconds; an automatic check-rein that enables the cavalryman to have both hands free: and a rear sight for rifles. Many of these have been adopted by the ordnance department. General Kelton has published " Manual of the Bayonet" (New York, 1861); and has printed privately "Fencing with Foils" (San Francisco, 1882)" " Pigeons as Couriers" (1882)" "Information }or Riflemen" (1884); and "Select Songs for Special Occasions" (1884). He has edited " System of Horse Training" by John Grace (1884).
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