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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POTTER, Joseph Haydn, soldier, born in Concord, New Hampshire, 12 October, 1822. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1843, standing next below General Grant in class rank. In 1843-'5 he was engaged in garrison duty, and he then participated in the military occupation of Texas and the war with Mexico. He was engaged in the defence of Fort Brown, and was wounded in the battle of Monterey. Subsequently he was employed on recruiting service, was promoted 1st lieutenant in the 7th infantry on 30 October, 1847, and served on garrison duty until 1856, becoming captain on 9 January of that year. He accompanied the Utah expedition in 1858-'60, and at the beginning of the civil war was on duty in Texas, where he was captured by the Confederates at St. Augustine Springs on 27 July, 1861, but was exchanged on 2 August, 1862. The command of the 12th New Hampshire volunteers was given him, and he took part in the Maryland and Rappahannock campaigns with the Army of the Potomac, receiving his promotion of major in the regular army on 4 July, 1863. He took part in the battle of Fredericksburg, and at Chancellorsville was wounded and captured. His services in these two battles gained for him the brevets of lieutenant-colonel and colonel respectively. He was exchanged in October, 1863, and was assistant provost-marshal-general of Ohio until September, 1864, when he was assigned a brigade in the 18th corps of the Army of the James, with command of the Bermuda Hundred front during the attack on Fort Harrison. He afterward was assigned to command of brigade in the 24th corps and continued at the front as chief of staff of the 24th corps from January, 1865, until the surrender of General Lee, receiving the brevet of brigadier-general in the United States army on 13 March, 1865, and promotion to brigadier-general of volunteers on 1 May, 1865. He was mustered out of the volunteer service on 15 January, 1866, and appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 30th infantry, 28 July same year. After holding various posts in the west he received his promotion as colonel on 11 December, 1873, and then continued with his regiment, with the exception of four years, from 1 July, 1877, to 1 July, 1881, when he was governor of the soldiers' home, Washington, D. C., until 1 April, 1886, when he was made brigadier-general in the regular army. He then had command of the Department of Missouri until his retirement on 12 October, 1886.
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