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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HOFFMAN, William, soldier, born in New York city, 2 December, 1807; died in Rock Island, Illinois, 12 August, 1884. His father, of the same name, was a lieutenant-colonel in the United States army. The son was graduated at the United States military academy in 1829, entered the army as a lieutenant of infantry, served in Kansas and in the Black Hawk war in 1832, and was promoted 1st lieutenant on 16 November, 1836, and captain on 1 February, 1838. In the war with Mexico he was engaged in the march through Chihuahua, the siege of Vera Cruz, and the battle of Cerro Gordo, was brevetted for services at Contreras and Churubusco, and again for bravery in the battle of Molino del Rey, and was present at the storming of Chapultepec and at the capture of the city of Mexico. He was promoted major on 15 April, 1851, served in the Sioux expedition of 1855, and in 1858 in the Utah expedition and the march to California. He became a lieutenant-colonel on 17 October, 1860, and was engaged in frontier duty at San Antonio, Texas, when he was made a prisoner of war by the Confederates, and not exchanged till 27 August, 1862. He was made a colonel on 25 April, 1862, served during the war as commissary-general of prisoners at Washington, and was brevetted brigadier-general and major-general. At the close of the war he took command of his regiment in Kansas, and in 1870 was retired at his own request.
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