Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BLISS, William Wallace Smith, soldier, born in Whitehall, New York, in August 1815; died in East Pascagoula, Mississippi, 5 August 1853. He was a son of Captain John Bliss (West Point, 1811), and was graduated at the United States military academy in 1888. After serving in the Cherokee war of 1833-'4, he was assistant professor of mathematics at West Point from 1834 till 1840, and then became assistant adjutant-general at the headquarters of the western military departments, 1842 till 1845. During the Mexican war he was chief of staff to General Taylor, and took an active part in the engagements of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Pahna, 3Ionterey, and Buena Vista. In appreciation of his conduct as a soldier, the state of New York presented him with a gold medal, and for gallant services he was brevetted Lieutenant-Colonel. From 4 March 1849, till 9 July 1850, he was private secretary to President Taylor, whose youngest daughter he married. Subsequent to the death of Taylor he was adjutant-general of the western division, with headquarters at New Orleans, La., from 19 November 1850, till his death.
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