Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ROBERTS, Joseph, soldier, born in Middletown, Delaware, 30 December, 1814. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1835, assigned to the 4th artillery, and served in the Florida war of 1836-'7 as captain in a regiment of mounted Creek volunteers. From 1837 till 1849 he was assistant professor of natural and experimental philosophy at the United States military academy, and he was made 1st lieutenant on 7 July, 1848, and captain on 20 August, 1848. In 1850-'8 he was engaged in hostilities against the Seminoles in Florida and on frontier duty in Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska, and in 1859 he was assigned to the artillery-school for practice at Fort Monroe, Virginia, where he was a member of the board to arrange the programme of instruction in 1859-'61. He was appointed major on 3 September, 1861, became chief of artillery of the 7th army corps on 19 September, 1862, and commanded Fort Monroe in 1863-'5 and Fort McHenry, Maryland, in 1865-'6, receiving the appointments of colonel of the 3d Pennsylvania heavy artillery, 19 March, 1863, and lieutenant-colonel, 4th artillery, 11 August, 1863. He was brevetted colonel and brigadier-general, United States army, to date from 13 March, 1865, and brigadier-general of volunteers on 9 April, 1865, for meritorious and distinguished services during the war. On 9 November, 1865, he was mustered out of the volunteer service. From 1 May, 1867, till 1 April, 1868, he was acting inspector-general of the Department of Washington, when he was made superintendent of theoretical instruction in the artillery-school at Fort Monroe, Virginia, serving until 13 February, 1877. He was promoted colonel in the 4th artillery on 10 January, 1877, and was placed on the retired list on 2 July, 1877. General Roberts is the author of a " Hand-Book of Artillery" (New York, 1860).
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