Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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WHISTLER, John, soldier, born in Ulster, Ireland, about 1756; died in St. Louis, Missouri, 3 September, 1829. He ran away from home when a boy, enlisted in the British army, and served under General Burgoyne during the war of the Revolution. Upon his return to England he was honorably discharged, and soon afterward, forming an attachment for a daughter of Sir Edward Bishop, a friend of his father, he eloped with her, and, coming to this country, settled at Hagerstown, Maryland He shortly afterward entered the United States army, served in the ranks, and was severely wounded in the disastrous campaign against the Indians in 1791. He was promoted captain, 1 July, 1797, and in the sum-met of 1803 was sent with his company of the 1st infantry from Detroit to the head-waters of Lake Michigan, where, before the close of the year, he completed Fort Dearborn on the site of the city of Chicago. Having attained the brevet rank of major, he was appointed in 1815 military store-keeper at Newport, Kentucky, and afterward at Jefferson barracks, near St. Louis, where he remained till his death.--His son, William, soldier, born in Maryland in 1780; died in Cincinnati, Ohio, 4 December, 1863, was appointed a lieutenant of infantry, 8 June, 1801, and took part in the battle of Maguaga, Michigan, 9 August, 1812. He was promoted captain in December, 1812, major of the 2d infantry, 28 April, 1826, lieutenant-colonel of the 7th infantry, 21 July, 1834, and colonel of the 4th infantry, 15 July, 1845. He retired from the service on 9 October, 1861. At his death he was the oldest army officer in the United States, with the exception of General Winfield Scott.--William's son, Joseph Nelson Garland, soldier, born in Green Bay, 19 October, 1822, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1846, and entered the army as 2d lieutenant of the 8th infantry, but six months later was transferred to the 3d infantry. He served in the war with Mexico, being engaged in the siege of Vera Cruz, the principal battles of the campaign that followed, and the capture of the city of Mexico. He was promoted 1st lieutenant in June, 1852, in 1861 was captured in Texas by the Confederates and paroled as a prisoner of war, and promoted captain in May, 1861. He was then on duty at the United States military academy as assistant instructor of infantry tactics till March, 1863. His services in the volunteer army date from May, 1863, when he was made colonel of the 2d New York artillery. He served in the Richmond campaign, participating in the battles of Spottsylvania, North Anna, Tolopotomy, Cold Harbor, and the assaults on Petersburg, where he was wounded during the siege. From July, 1864, till September, 1865, he commanded a brigade in the defences of Washington. In December, 1865, he was mustered out as brevet brigadier-general of volunteers. In September, 1866, he was transferred to the 31st infantry, and in March, 1869, to the 22d infantry. In February, 1874, he was promoted lieutenant-colonel of the 5th infantry, and in May, 1883. He became colonel of the 15th infantry. At the time of his retirement, 19 October, 1886, he was in command at Fort Buford, Dakota--William's brother, George Washington, engineer, born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 19 May, 1800; died in St. Petersburg, Russia, 7 April, 1849, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1819, appointed a 2d lieutenant in the corps of artillery, and was after ward, till 1821, employed on topographical duty and part of the time at Fort Columbus. From 2 November, 1821, till 30 April, 1822, he was assistant professor at the United States military academy, and he was employed in 1822-'6 in connection with the commission that was engaged in tracing the international boundary between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods. He was made 1st lieutenant in August, 1829, and was on topographical duty almost continually till 31 December, 1833, when he resigned from the army. With Jonathan Knight, William Gibbs McNeill, and Ross Winans, he examined the railroads of England on behalf of the directors of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, and afterward engaged in the construction of that road, the Boston and Albany, and other railroads. In 1834 Lieutenant Whistler became engineer to the proprietors of locks and canals at Lowell, and from 1834 till 1837 he gave much of his time to the reproduction, for the Boston and Albany railroad, of a locomotive that was imported front the works of George and Robert Stephenson, at Newcastle, Eng land. In 1837 he removed to Stonington, Connecticut, to take charge of the Stonington railroad, and from 1840 till 1842 he was chief engineer of the Boston and Albany railroad, with his headquarters at Springfield, Massachusetts In 1842 he went to Russia to act as engineer for the contemplated railroad to unite St. Petersburg and Moscow. Not only was the road to be built, but the iron for the track, the locomotives, cars, and everything appertaining to the road were to be manufactured under his supervision. In addition to the construction of railroads, he was also employed to build extensive dock-yards at St. Petersburg, and to improve the Russian harbors and rivers. In 1847, in recognition of his services, the Emperor Nicholas conferred upon Lieutenant Whistler the decoration of the Order of St. Anne He is buried at Stonington, Connecticut, but a monument was erected to his memory in Greenwood cemetery by American engineers--George Washington's son, George William, engineer, born in New London, Connecticut, in 1822; died in Brighton, England, 24 December, 1869, began the practice of his profession as a civil engineer under his father in 1840. He was connected with various railroads in this country, and was superintendent of the Erie, and New York and New Haven railroads. In the winter of 1856 he went to Russia to take charge of the St. Petersburg and Moscow railroad under the Winans contract, and he continued there, with the exception of a short interval, till the spring of 1869, when he resigned in consequence of impaired health. He was specially noted for his knowledge of railway machinery and for executive ability in the management of railways.--Another son, James Abbott McNeill, artist, born in Lowell. Mass., in 1834, was educated at the United States military academy, studied for two years under Charles Gabriel Gleyre in Paris, and in 1863 settled in London. He holds peculiar theories on art, which have been the subject of much criticism. In many of his later works especially he has made interesting experiments in color, and he frequently succeeds in producing extraordinary results with few and is at times, however, a sacrifice of form to color impressions in his "arrangements" and "nocturnes." His more important paintings are " White Girl" (1862); "Coast of Brittany," "Last of Old Westminster," and "Westminster Bridge" (1863); " Princesse des Pays de la.Porcelaine" (1865) ; "At the Piano" (1867); " Portrait of my Mother" (an "Arrangement in Gray and Black"), and portrait of Thomas Carlyle (1872) ; " Gold Girl." "Nocturne in Blue and Gold," and "Nocturne in Blue and Green" (1878); " Harmony in Gray and Green" (1881) ; "Nocturne in Blue and Silver," "Blue Girl," and "Entrance to Southampton Water" (1882) ; "Great Fire Wheel " (1883); "Harmony in Brown and Black" (1884); and "Arrangement in Black" (Lady Archibald Campbell) and "Arrangement in Gray and Green" (Miss Alexander), both exhibited at Munich in 1888. His skill in etching has gained for him a position among etchers that is even higher than that which he holds as a painter. Among his works in this branch of art are a series of plates on London, Venice, and Brussels. He has published "Ten O'Clock" (Boston, 1888). See an article by William C. Brownell, in "Scribner's Monthly" for August, 1879, and Frederick Wedmore's "'Four Masters of Etching" (London, 1883).
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