Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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McKINSTRY, Justus, soldier, born in New York about 1821. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1838 and assigned to the 2d infantry. He became 1st lieutenant, 18 April, 1841, and assistant quartermaster with the rank of captain on 3 March, 1847, and led a company of volunteers at Contreras and Churubusco, where he was brevetted major for gallantry on 20 August, 1847. He participated in the battle of Chapultepec, and on 12 January, 1848, became captain, which post he vacated and served on quartermaster duty with the commissioners that were running the boundary-lines between the United States and Mexico in 1849-'50, and in California in 1850-'5. He became quartermaster with the rank of major on 3 August, 1861, and was stationed at St. Louis and attached to the staff of General John C. Fremont. He combined the duties of provost-marshal with those of quartermaster of the Department of the West, on 2 September, 1861, was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, and commanded a division on General Fremont's march to Springfield. He was accused of dishonesty in his transactions as quartermaster, and was arrested on 11 November, 1861, by General Hunter, the successor of General Fremont, and ordered to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was closely confined in the arsenal. The rigor of his imprisonment was mitigated on 28 February, 1862, and in May he was released on parole, but required to remain in St. Louis. In October, 1862, he was tried by court-martial, and on 28 January, 1863, dismissed from the army for neglect and violation of duty. In 1864-'7 he was a stock-broker in New York, and in the latter year became a land-agent in Rolla, Missouri.
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