Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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RANSOM, Truman Bishop, soldier, born in Woodstock, Vermont, in 1802; died near the city of Mexico, 13 September, 1847. He was early left an orphan, entered Captain Alden Partridge's military academy soon after its opening, taught in several of the schools that Captain Partridge established subsequently, and on the incorporation of Norwich university in 1835 became vice-president and professor of natural philosophy and engineering. He was also instructor in mathematics in the United States navy, did much to reorganize the Vermont militia, in which he was major-general in 1837-'44, and in 1844 succeeded Captain Partridge as president of the university. He was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for congress in 1840, and for lieutenant-governor in 1846. General Ransom volunteered for the Mexican war, was appointed major of the 9th United States infantry on 16 February, 1847, and colonel on 16 March. He fell at the head of his regiment while storming the works at Chapultepee.--His son, Thomas Edward Greenfield, soldier, born in Norwich, Vermont, 29 November, 1834; died near Rome, 29 October, 1864, was educated at Norwich university, learned civil engineering, and in 1851 removed to Illinois, where he engaged in business. He was elected major and then lieutenant-colonel of the 11th Illinois, and was wounded while leading a charge at Charlestown, Missouri, 20 August, 1861. He participated in the capture of Fort Henry, and led his regiment in the assault upon Fort Donelson, where he was again severely wounded, yet would not leave the field till the battle was ended. He was promoted colonel for his bravery, and skill. At Shiloh he was in the hottest part of the battle, and, though wounded in the head early in the action, remained with his command through the day. He served as chief of staff to General John A. McClerhand and inspector-general of the Army of the Tennessee, and subsequently on the staff of General Grant, and in January, 1863, was made a brigadier-general, his commission dating from 29 November, 1862. He distinguished himself at Vicksburg, and was at the head of a division in the Red River campaign, taking command of the corps when General McClernand fell ill. In the battle of Sabine Cross-Roads he received a wound in the knee, from which he never recovered, tie commanded a division, and later the 17th corps, in the operations about Atlanta, and, though attacked with sickness, directed the movements of his troops in the pursuit of General John B. Hood's army until he sank under the disease. General Ransom was buried in Rose Hill cemetery, Chicago. He was brevetted major-general on 1 September, 1864. Both Grant and Sherman pronounced Ransom to be among the ablest volunteer generals in their commands. A Grand army post in St. Louis was named in his honor, and a tribute to his memory was delivered at Chicago on Decoration-day, 1886, by General William T. Sherman. See "Sketches of Illinois Officers," by James Grant Wilson (Chicago, 1862).
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