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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GRAHAM, William Montrose, soldier, born in Prince William County, Virginia, in 1798; died in Mexico, 8 September, 1847. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1817, and entered the army as lieutenant of artillery. He was promoted through the various grades to be lieutenant colonel of the 11th infantry in April, 1847. He served on recruiting duty, constructing military roads in Mississippi and in Florida, and in garrison until 1835. He took part in the campaigns against the Seminole Indians in 1835-'8 and in 1841-'2, being twice severely wounded. In the Mexican war he was engaged in the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Pahna, Monterey, Contreras, Churubusco, and Molino del Rey, where he was killed while leading an assault on the enemy's works.--His brother, James Duncan, topographical engineer, born in Prince William County, Virginia, 4 April, 1799" died in Boston, Massachusetts, 28 December 1865, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1817, and became lieutenant of artillery. He was promoted several steps in this arm of the service, and employed on topographical duty, but it was not until 1829 that his specialty was recognized. He was then brevetted captain and afterward major, that he might enter the corps of topographical engineers, receiving the full commission of major in 1838. In 1839-'40 he was astronomer of the surveying party that, in behalf of the United States, established the boundary-line between the latter and the then new republic of Texas. In 1840 he was appointed commissioner for the survey and exploration of the northeast boundary of the United States, and was employed along the Maine and New York frontiers until 1843. In the same year he was ordered to duty as astronomer on the part of the United States for the joint demarcation of the boundary between the United States and the British provinces, under the treaty of Washington. He was thus employed during the Mexican war. On its conclusion he was brevetted lieutenant colonel, the commission reading, "for valuable and highly distinguished services, particularly on the boundary line between the United States and the provinces of Canada and New Brunswick." In 1850 Colonel Graham was engaged by the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, to examine certain disputed questions regarding the intersection of the boundary line of those states. He made a thorough survey of the line originally made by Mason and Dixon, and published a voluminous report thereon. He was employed in the final settlement of the questions resulting from the War with Mexico, and during 1851 was United States astronomer in the survey of the boundary line between this country and Mexico. For the next ten years he was in charge of various harbor improvements on the northern and northwestern lakes, in which he discovered the existence of a lunar tide (1858-'9). At the time of his death he was superintending engineer of the sea-walls in Boston harbor, and of the repairs of harbor works on the Atlantic coast from Maine to the capes of the Chesapeake. He was promoted to be colonel of the engineer corps, 1 June, 1863. He was a member of several scientific societies.--Another brother, Lawrence Pike, soldier, born in Amelia County, Virginia, 8 January 1815, was appointed 2d lieutenant of the 2d dragoons in 1837, and subsequently promoted 1st lieutenant and captain. In 1842 he served in the campaign against the Seminoles, and was present at the battle of Loehahatchee. In the Mexican war he was brevetted major for gallantry in the engagements at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, and promoted major, 14 June, 1858. In October, 1861, he was made lieutenant colonel of the 5th cavalry, colonel 4th cavalry, 9 May, 1864, and brevet brigadier-general for meritorious services during the civil war, 13 March, 1865. Previously, in August, 1861, he was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers, and in 1862 raised and commanded a brigade of cavalry in the Army of the Potomac. He afterward acted as president of a general court-martial at St. Louis, and of a board for the examination of invalid officers at Annapolis. He was mustered out of the volunteer service, 24 August, 1865, and placed on the retired list, 15 December 1870.
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