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William Wing Loring

LORING, William Wing, soldier, born in Wilmington, North Carolina, 4 December, 1818 ; died in New York city, 30 December, 1886. When he was about thirteen years old he enlisted in a company of volunteers to fight the Seminole Indians in Florida, participated in several battles, and was promoted to a 2d lieutenancy, 16 June, 1837. He was sent to school at Alexandria, Virginia, and subsequently at Georgetown, D. C., was graduated in the law in 1842, and, returning to Florida, was elected to the legislature. Early in 1846 he was made senior captain of a new regiment of mounted riflemen, and on 16 February, 1847, was placed in command, with the rank of major. In the assault on the Mexican intrenched camp at Contreras, Loring's regiment was temporarily detached for special service, which resulted in its being first in the main works of the Mexicans, and leading in the pursuit of the enemy as far as San Angel. But at this moment counter orders were received. Loring and his regiment were the first to enter the Mexican batteries at Chapultepec on the side next the capital, and, though without orders, he led the fighting on the causeway from that point to the Helen Gate, where he received a wound that necessitated the amputation of his left arm. For "gallant and meritorious conduct" at Contreras and Churubusco he received the brevet of lieutenant-colonel, and for Chapultepec and Garita de Belen that of colonel. He was promoted lieutenant-colonel, 5 March, 1848. The citizens of Appalachicola, Florida, presented him with a sword on which were engraved the words that General Scott had addressed to the Rifles on the field of Chapultepec: "Brave Rifles, you have gone through fire and blood, and come out steel." In April, 1849, he successfully marched across the continent to Oregon as escort to a party of gold-seekers, and on 3 October he was assigned to the command of the llth military department. Some time afterward he was ordered to Texas, where he remained till August, 1856, and was promoted to the rank of colonel on 30 December. Till 8 April, 1858, he was engaged against hostile Indians in New Mexico, and he afterward took part in the Utah expedition of 1858. In 1859 he received leave of absence to visit Europe, Egypt, and the Holy Land, and on his return he commanded the Department of New Mexico until 13 May, 1861, when he resigned and was appointed brigadier-general in the Confederate army. He served in the Army of Northern Virginia, on 15 February, 1862, was promoted to major-general, and led a division till the end of the civil war, frequently commanding a corps. In the spring of 1863, when General Grant was operating for the investment of Vicksburg, Loring was sent to Fort Pemberton, where he mounted two heavy siege-guns that silenced the fire of the United States gun-boat " Chillicothe." His exclamation, "Give her a blizzard, boys !" on this occasion, was the origin of the name of "Old Blizzard," by which he was afterward known. General Boring accepted service in the army of the khedive of Egypt in December, 1869, as a liwa pacha, or general of brigade. Shortly after his arrival in Cairo he was assigned to the command of Alexandria and its defences extending along the coast to the Rosetta mouth of the Nile. On 10 December, 1875, he was ordered to accompany, as chief of staff and military adviser, the general-in-chief of the Egyptian army, Ratib Pacha, who was ordered to the command of an expedition to Abyssinia. Ratib refused to follow the counsel of General Loring and his staff of American officers, and the Egyptian army was almost annihilated by the Abyssinians at the battle of Kaya-Khor. General Loring, shortly after his return to Egypt, was decorated by the khedive with the imperial order of the Osmariah and promoted to ferik, or general of division. In 1879, with the American officers, he was mustered out of the Egyptian service and returned to the United States. General Loring published "A Confederate Soldier in Egypt" (New York, 1883).

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