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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MERRITT, Wesley, soldier, born in New York city, 16 June, 1836. He was graduated at the United States military academy, 1 July, 1860, assigned to the dragoons, and promoted 1st lieutenant, 13 May, 1861, and captain, 5 April, 1862. He took part in Gem George Stoneman's raid toward Richmond in April and May, 1863, and was in command of the reserve cavalry brigade in the Pennsylvania campaign of the same year, being commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers in, June. For gallant and meritorious services during the battle of Gettysburg he was brevetted major. Still in command of his brigade, he took part in the various engagements in central Virginia in 1863-'4, and was brevetted lieutenant-colonel and colonel in the regular army, and major-general of volunteers, for gallantry at the battles of Yellow Tavern, Hawes's Shop, and Winchester respectively. On 13 March, 1865, he was brevetted brigadier-general and major-general in the regular army for bravery at the battle of Five Forks, and his services during the final Virginia campaign, and on 1 April was commissioned major-general of volunteers. After the war he was employed chiefly on frontier duty until 1882, when he was placed in charge of the United States military academy at West Point. In June, 1887, he was ordered to Fort Leavenworth. He became lieutenant-colonel of the 9th cavalry in 1866, colonel of the 5th cavalry in 1876, and in 1887 became brigadier-general.
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