A Civil War Biography

Eliamkim Parker Scammon

Scammon was born on 27 December 1816 in Whitefield, Maine. He graduated from West Point 9th in the class of 1837. His first assignment which lasted from 28 August 1837until 10 September 1838 was as an assistant professor of mathematics at the academy. Among his pupils were Ulysses S. Grant and William S. Rosecrans. Scammon saw active service during the Seminole War then served as an aide-de-camp to Winfield Scott during the war with Mexico, his bravery at Vera Cruz earning him a promotion. After returning from Mexico Scammon was assigned to the topographical corps and was occupied surveying the Upper Lakes until 1854. He was dismissed from the army in 1856 for disobedience to orders and bad conduct. After leaving the army he taught mathematics in Cincinnati, Ohio first at Mount Saint Mary's College then at the Polytechnic College of the Catholic Institute.

When the war came Scammon helped organize the 23rd Ohio Volunteer regiment which was mustered into service on 11 June 1861 at Camp Chase with his former pupil Rosecrans as colonel and Scammon as lieutenant colonel. Also in the 23rd was a major, Rutherford B. Hayes and a private, William McKinley, both of whom would later occupy the White House. Stanley Matthews, a future Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court also was listed on the roles of the 23rd. After Rosecrans was promoted to brigadier general Scammon was given command of the 23rd then promoted to colonel on 27 June 1861. The regiment operated in western Virginia until August 1862 when it was sent to reinforce John Pope's Army of Virginia attached to which the 23rd took part in some of the fringe actions at 2nd Bull Run. He commanded the 1st Brgrade Kanawha Division IX Corps at South Mountain and Antietam, taking over division command at the latter. The Kanawha Division was returned to western Virginia in the Department of Ohio the month after Antietam with Scammon commanding the 1st Brigade.

He was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on 15 October 1862. He was given command of the 3rd Division VIII Corps in the Middle Department on 27 March 1863. On 28 June 1863 he was given command of a division in the Department of West Virginia. On 3 February 1864 he was commander of the 3rd Division Department of West Virginia when James H. Nounnan and 40 of his men from the 16th Virginia Cavalry raiding along the Kanawha River captured Scammon, three other officers, and 25 enlisted men when the raiders seized the transport B.C. LEVI. Scammon was not exchanged until 3 August 1864. He was sent to the Carolina coast and was in command of the 1st Separate Brigade when he was again captured on 26 October 1864 during the siege of Charleston. Following his release after only a few days Scammon was given command of the 3rd Separate Brigade. After two weeks he was sent to Florida where he spent the rest of his service commanding the 4th Separate Brigade.

He mustered out of the service on 24 August 1865. In 1866, Scammon was appointed US Consul at Prince Edward Island and held the position until 1871. From 1875 until he retired in 1882 he was a professor of mathematics at Seton Hall in South Orange, New Jersey. He died in New York on 7 December 1894.

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