Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PRIME, Rufus, merchant, born in New York city in 1805; died in Huntington, L. I., 15 October, 1885. He was a son of Nathaniel Prime, a descendant of Mark Prime, who emigrated from England about 1640, and joined the colony that founded the town of Rowiey, Massachusetts Nathaniel was the head of the firm of Prime, Ward, and King, in its day the chief banking-house in New York city. Rufus received a classical education, and on its completion engaged in business. On his father's death in 1843 he devoted himself entirely to the care of his large estate. Mr. Prime was familiar with several languages, and was fond of literary pursuits.--His son, Frederick E., soldier, born in Florence, Italy, 24 September, 1829, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1850, and employed on fortifications in New York, California, Alabama, and Mississippi. In 1861 he was taken prisoner at Pensacola, Florida, while he was on his way to Fort Pickens. Having been commissioned captain of engineers, he served during the Manassas campaign, and the following six months he was successively chief engineer of the departments of Kentucky, the Cumberland, and the Ohio. After being wounded and taken prisoner while on a reconnoissance, he occupied the same post during General Grant's Mississippi campaign in 1862-'3. He was brevetted major for gallantry at the battle of Corinth, and took part in the siege of Vicksburg. He was also promoted major, 1 June, 1863, brevetted lieutenant-colonel the following month for meritorious services before Vicksburg, and colonel and brigadier-general, 13 March. 1865, for gallant conduct throughout the war. The commission of brevet brigadier-general was declined. On 5 September, 1871, Major Prime was retired through disability from wounds that he received "in line of duty."
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