A Civil War Biography
John Adams Dix
Dix was born 24 July 1798 in Boceawn, New Hampshire. He served under
his father during the War of 1812 becoming an ensign at age 14. He
resigned from the service in 1828 and entered business in
Cooperstown, New York.
He served as state adjutant general, state school superintendent and
a member of the Albany Regency. In 1845 he entered the US Senate
serving until 1850. After leaving the Senate he practiced law in New
York and was president of two railroads. In 1859 President James
Buchanan appointed Dix postmaster of New York City.
In 1861 he became Secretary of the Treasury. Dix was commissioned a
major general of volunteers on 16 May 1861 thus he outranked al
other volunteer officers. He commanded the departments of Annapolis
then Pennsylvania in 1861, the Middle Department in 1862 and the
Department of Virginia in 1862 and 1863, the Department of the East
until the end of the war. He was responsible for suppressing the New
York draft riots.
After resigning in 1865 he was appointed minister to France. He was
elected governor of New York in 1872. Failing to be reelected Dix
retired. He died 21 April 1879 in New York City.
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