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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MONTGOMERY, William Reading, soldier, born in Monmouth county, New Jersey, 10 July, 1801 ; died in Bristol, Pennsylvania, 31 May, 1871. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1825 and became 2d lieutenant in the 3d infantry, with which regiment he served until 1838 on garrison and frontier duty, also performing the duties of disbursing officer during the removal of the Choctaw Indians from Mississippi to their reservation. After at-raining a captaincy on 7 July, 1838, he served on the Canadian border during the disturbances of 1838-'46, in the Florida war of 1840-'2, and in the occupation of Texas in 1845. He took part in the war with Mexico. He was wounded at Resaca de la Palma and brevetted major, and at Nolino del Rey he was again wounded, although not until after he had succeeded to the command of his regiment, which he led at Chapultepee and the capture of Mexico. His services again gained for him the further brevet of lieutenant-colonel, and he was promoted major in December, 1852. Meanwhile he served in garrisons, on the frontier, and on recruiting duty, until 1855, when he was removed from the army. He was stationed at Fort Riley, in Kansas, during the trouble in that territory, and there pursued a course of strict impartiality, although his personal feelings were in favor of the free-state men; but his actions failed to meet with the approval of his superiors, and he was dismissed from the service. At the beginning of the civil war he organized the 1st New Jersey volunteers, joined the Army of the Potomac, and aided in covering its retreat from Bull Run. He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers on 17 May, 1861, and appointed military governor of Alexandria, Virginia Subsequently he held a similar office in Annapolis, Maryland, and then in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, until 1863, after which he served on a military commission in Memphis, Tennessee Failing health caused his resignation on 4 April, 1864, and, after a brief interval of mercantile occupation in Philadelphia, he retired to his home in Bristol.
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