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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GURNEY, William, soldier, born in Flushing, New York, 21 August, 1821; died in New York city, 3 February, 1879. At the beginning of the civil war he was engaged in business in New York city. In April, 1861, he entered the National service with the 7th regiment, of which he was a member, for the three months' term. At its conclusion he accepted a commission as captain in the 65th New York, known as the "Fighting Chasseurs," and served in that capacity through the early campaigns of the war. In 1862 he was appointed assistant inspect-or-general and examining officer on Governor Morgan's staff. In July of that year he received authority to raise a regiment, and in thirty days he had recruited the 127th New York, at the head of which he returned to the field, joining the 23d army corps. In the following October he was assigned to the command of the 2d brigade of General Abercrombie's division. In 1864 he was ordered with his brigade to join General Gilmore's command on the South Carolina coast, and in December, having been severely wounded in the arm in an engagement at Devoe's Neck, was sent north for treatment. Before he had been completely restored to health he was assigned to the command of the Charleston post, and while there was promoted brigadier-general of volunteers for gallantry in action. After he was mustered out of the service in July, 1865, he returned to Charleston and established himself in business. In October, 1870, he became treasurer of Charleston county, and held the office until 1876. He was a presidential elector in 1873, and in 1874 was appointed a centennial commissioner by President Grant, and elected a vice president of the commission.
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