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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GREBLE, John Trout, soldier, born in Philadelphia, 19 January 1834; killed in the battle of Big Bethel, Virginia, 10 June, 1861. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1854, assigned to the 2d artillery, and stationed at Newport, Rhode Island. In September of that year he was made 2d lieutenant and sent to Tampa, Florida, where he served in the Indian troubles for two years. He was compelled, in consequence of a severe fever, to return home on sick leave but in the beginning of 1856 resumed his duties, acting part of the time as quartermaster and commissary till December, 1856, when he was appointed acting assistant professor of geography, history, and ethics in the military academy, where he remained till 24 September, 1860. He was promoted 1st lieutenant on 3 March, 1857, detailed for active duty at Fort Monroe in March, 1861, and rendered efficient service in preventing its seizure. On 26 May, 1861, he was sent to Newport News as master of ordnance, superintended the fortifications of that point, and trained the volunteers to artillery practice. When the disastrous expedition to Big Bethel was planned, he was unexpectedly detailed to accompany it with two guns, though in his own judgment it was ill advised and would probably prove fatal to him. When the National troops were repelled, by his admirable management of the guns he protected them from pursuit and destruction. Just at the close of the action, when he had given the orders to withdraw his guns from the field, he was struck by a rifle-ball on the right temple and instantly killed. For his bravery in the two days' action he was brevetted captain, major, and lieutenant colonel, on the day of his death.
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