Major & Brevet Brigadier General, United States Army
28 October 1834
Wife: Annie Rhoda Houston (22 Jun 1835-21 Nov
On detached service as chief of military staff of the President, at the International Exhibition of 1876 at Philadelphia from March to November 1876, thus being absent at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
Born in Pennsylvania, he entered the United States Military Academy in May 1851 and graduated in July 1855, ranking 20th in his class of 34 graduates and as the 1696th graduate of the Academy. He was appointed Brevet Second Lieutenant, 1st U.S. Dragoons, July 1, 1855.
He served in garrison at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, and on frontier duty at Forts Leavenworth and Riley in 1855. He was appointed a Second Lieutenant, 2nd U.S. Dragoons, December 13, 1855. He was stationed at Carlisle barracks in 1856 and took part in quelling the Kansas disturbances in 1856-58. He was in the Utah expedition in 1858 and on sick leave in 1859, and then in the Kiowa and Comanche campaigns in 1860.
He was promoted to First Lieutenant April 24, 1861, and then promoted to Colonel and Chief of Cavalry Staff, of Major General Fremont in August 1861. He organized and was appointed Colonel of the regiment of Merrill's Horse, Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, August 23, 1861. He was engaged in numerous battles in Missouri and Arkansas, and Tennessee and Georgia until 1865. He received promotions through the ranks until March 13, 1865, when he was breveted Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers, for his gallant and meritorious services during the war. Mustered out of volunteer service December 14, 1865.
Stationed at Fort Leavenworth and other frontier posts from 1866, in staff positions mainly. Commanding troops in northwest South Carolina from March 1871 to June 1873, engaged in suppression of Ku Klux Klan activity. He received the thanks of the War Department and of Brigadier General Alfred Terry for his great work and ability in breaking up Klan conspiracy.
He was on sick leave until August 1874, and on frontier duty at Fort Rice, Dakota Territory, from August to September 1874. Commanding two battalions of the 7th U.S. Cavalry enroute to and in New Orleans to October 1874. At Shreveport, Louisiana, commanding the District of the Red River to February 1876, when he became chief of military staff to the President at the Centennial Exhibition.
On frontier duty at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, to May 1877, when he commanded a battalion of the 7th U.S. Cavalry departing for the Nez Perce campaign. Engaged in the Canyon Creek fight on September 14, 1877. At Fort Lincoln to November 1878. Commanding a battalion at Standing Rock, Dakota Territory, to May 1880, and then commanding troops guarding construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad in December 1880.
He was a member of the Whittaker court martial in New York City to May 1881, and then returned to guarding construction of the Northern Pacific until December 1882.
He was breveted Brigadier General, U.S. Army, February 27, 1890, for his gallant service at Canyon Creek. He died on February 27, 1896, at age 62, and was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.
MERRILL, ANNIE H W/O LEWIS
MERRILL, SARAH LEWIS D/O LEWIS
MERRILL, JOHN H
Photos Courtesy of Richard
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