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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DEVIN, Thomas C., born in New York City in 1822 ; died there, 4 April 1878. He received a common school education, followed the trade of a painter, and became lieutenant colonel of the 1st New York militia regiment. Just after the battle of Bull Run, Mr. Devin accosted Thurlow Weed, at that time a stranger to him, and said that he wished authority to raise a cavalry company for immediate service. Mr. Weed telegraphed to Governor Morgan for a captain's commission for Mr. Devin, obtained it, and in two days the company had been recruited and was on its way to Washington. At the end of the three months for which he had enlisted he entered the service again as colonel of the 6th New York cavalry. His command was attached to the cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac, and participated in all the battles fought by that corps from Antietam to Lee's surrender. At Five Forks he commanded his brigade, and carried the Confederate earthworks. He was brevetted brigadier general of volunteers, 15 August 1864, for bravery at Front Royal, where his command captured two stands of colors, and where he was wounded; and major general, 13 March 1865, for his services during the war. He entered the regular army as lieutenant colonel of the 8th cavalry, 28 July 1866, commanding the district of Montana. On 2 March 1867, he was brevetted colonel, U. S. army, for gallantry at Fisher's Hill, and brigadier general for services at Sailor's Creek. He then commanded the district of Arizona, and on 25 June 1877, became colonel of the 3d cavalry. General Grant, in a conversation with Thurlow Weed, called General Devin, next to General Sheridan, the best cavalry officer in the National army.
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