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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BRAYNAN, Mason, soldier, born in Buffalo, New York, 23 May, 1813. He was brought up as a farmer, but became a printer, edited the Buffalo "Bulletin" in 1834-'5, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1836. In 1837 he removed to the west, was City attorney in Monroe, Michigan, in 1838, and became editor of the Louisville "Advertiser," in 1841. In 1842 he opened a law-office in Springfield, Illinois. The year following he was appointed a special commissioner to adjust Mormon troubles, and in 1845-'6 acted as special attorney to prosecute offences growing out of the Mormon difficulties, and to negotiate a peace between the followers of Joseph Smith and their enemies in Nauvoo. In 1844-'5 he revised and published the statutes of Illinois under the appointment of the governor and the authority of the legislature. He afterward became interested in railroad enterprises. He was attorney of the Illinois Central railroad in 1851-'5, and then president and crganizer of railroads in Missouri and Arkansas till the beginning of the war. In 1861 he joined the volunteer army as major of the 29th Illinois regiment, of which he became colonel in May, 1862, having been promoted for meritorious conduct at Pittsburgh, Tennessee. He acted for some time as chief of staff and assistant adjutant-general to General McClernand, and was engaged at tile battles of Behnont, Fort Donelson, and Shiloh. On 24 September, 1862, he was promoted brigadier-general of volunteers for bravery in action, and at the close of the war received the brevet of major general. He commanded the United States forces at Bolivar, Tennessee, from November, 1862, to June, 1863, and repelled Van Dorn's attack on that place. He afterward reorganized about sixty Ohio realments at Camp Dennison, Ohio, was president of a court of inquiry to investigate Gen. Sturgis's conduct, commanded at Natchez, Mississippi, from July, 1864, to the spring of 1865, and then presided over a commission in New Orleans to examine and report upon southern claims against the government. After the war he was engaged for several years in reviving railroad enterprises in the south, edited the " Illinois State Journal " in 1872-'3, removed to Wisconsin in the latter year, was appointed governor of the territory of Idaho in 1876, served a term of four years, and then returned to Wisconsin and practiced law in Ripon.
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