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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SAXTON, Rufus, soldier, born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, 19 October, 1824. He attended Deerfield academy, worked on a farm until his twentieth yes, r, and afterward entering the United States military academy, was graduated in 1849. He entered the 3d artillery, became 1st lieutenant in 1855, and in 1851-'4 led a surveying party across the Rocky, mountains. In 1855-'9 he was employed in the coast survey, and made improvements in the instruments for deep-sea sounding's, one of which, a self-registering thermometer bears his name. In l859 he became an instructor at the United States military academy, and at the opening of the civil war he was at St. Loads acting as quartermaster with the rank of captain, and was engaged in breaking up Camp Jackson. (See LYON, NATHANIEL.) He joined General George B. McClellan in western Virginia, afterward accompanied Gem Thomas W. Sherman to Port Royal as quartermaster, and on 15 April, 1862, was made brigadier-general of volunteers. For a short time after the retreat of General Nathaniel P. Banks from the Shenandoah. General Saxton commanded at Harper's Ferry, and successfully resisted an attack on his position by Confederate troops under General Ewell. He was military-governor of the Department of the South in 1862-'5, and was appointed quartermaster with the rank of major in July, 1866. He was brevetted brigadier-general, United States army, 13 March, 1865, for faithful and meritorious services during the war, and promoted lieutenant-colonel and deputy quartermaster-general, 6 June, 1872, and colonel and assistant quartermaster-general, 10 March, 1882. From 1883 till 1888 he was in charge of the Jeffersonville department at Louisville, Kentucky
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