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CURTIS, Samuel Ryan, soldier, born in New York State, 3 February 1807; died in Council Bluffs, Iowa, 26 December 1866. He removed when a child to Ohio, and was graduated at the U. S. military academy in 1831, but resigned from the army in 1832, and became a civil engineer, superintending the Muskingum River improvements in 1837-'9. He then studied law, and practiced in Ohio from 1841 till 1846. He had become a captain of militia in 1833, was lieutenant colonel in 1837-'42, colonel in 1843-'45, and in 1846 was made adjutant general of Ohio for the special purpose of organizing the state's quota of volunteers for the Mexican war. He served in that war as colonel of the 2d Ohio regiment, and was commandant of Camargo, a large military depot, holding it on 18 February 1847, against General Urrea, and then pursuing the enemy by forced marches through the mountains to Ramos, Mexico, thus opening General Taylor's communications. After the discharge of his regiment he served on General Wool's staff, and as governor of Saltillo, Mexico, in 1847-'8. He then engaged in engineering in the west, and in 1855 settled as a lawyer in Keokuk, Iowa. While a resident of this place he was elected to congress as a republican, and served two terms and part of a third, from 1857 till 1861, being a member of the committees on military affairs and the Pacific railroad. He was also a delegate from Iowa to the peace congress of February 1861. He resigned from congress in 1861 to become colonel of the 2d Iowa regiment, and on 17 May was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers, being on the first list sent to the senate for confirmation. He took charge of the large camp of instruction near St. Louis in August and September 1861, commanded the southwestern district of Missouri from 26 December 1861, till February 1862, and the army of the southwest till August 1862. On 6-8 March at Pea Ridge, Ark., he gained a decisive victory over a Confederate force, commanded by Generals Price and McCulloch. He was promote(] to major general of volunteers on 21 March 1862, and from 14 July till 29 August occupied Helena, Ark., having marched over one thousand miles through wildernesses and swamps. While on leave of absence, from 29 August till 24 September 1862, he was president of the Pacific railroad convention in Chicago. He was at the head of the Department of the Missouri from September 1862, till May 1863, and of that of Kansas from 1 January 1864, till 7 February 1865, commanding at Fort Leavenworth during the Price raid of October 1864, and aiding in the defeat and pursuit of General Price's army. He commanded the Department of the Northwest from 16 February till 26 July 1865, was U. S. commissioner to negotiate treaties with various Indian tribes from August till November 1865, and to examine the Union Pacific railroad till April 1866.
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