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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ROSSER, Thomas Lafayette, soldier, born in Campbell county, Virginia. 15 October, 1836. He entered the United States military academy in 1856, but when Virginia seceded from the Union, although in the graduating class and about to receive a commission in the United States army, he resigned and entered the Confederate army as 1st lieutenant of artillery. His services soon gained him promotion, and he was made captain in October, 1861, and lieutenant-colonel of artillery in June, 1862. During the same month he was given command of a regiment of cavalry and attached to the Army of Northern Virginia. He attained the rank of brigadier-general on 10 October, 1863, and was given command of the Virginia cavalry in the Shenandoah valley. In this capacity he served under General Jubal A. Early when the latter was ordered to command the Confederate forces in the valley of the Shenandoah, and was present at the battle of Cedar Creek. General Rosser was conspicuous for his services in this campaign, and was constantly opposed by General George A. Custer, who had been his classmate at the military academy. In November, 1864, he was made a major-general of cavalry. After the war he turned his attention to engineering, and had charge of the Dakota, Yellowstone, and Missouri divisions of the Northern Pacific railway from 1870 till 1879. He held the office of chief engineer of the Canadian Pacific railroad in 1881-'2, and is now (1888) president and general manager of the New South raining and improvement company, and consulting engineer of the Charleston, Cincinnati, and Chicago railroad company.
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