A Civil War Biography

Joseph Bennett Plummer

Plummer was born 15 November 1816 in Barre, Massachusetts. After attending the local high school he taught school while actively seeking an appointment to West Point. He even appears to have taken a few years off his age so as no to endanger his chances. After receiving the support of many prominent citizens, including Massachusetts Governor William L. Marcy, Plummer received his appointment. He graduated 22nd in the class of 1841 and was assigned to garrison and frontier duty in the infantry.

He was on sick leave fro the first year of the war with Mexico. From 1848 until 1861 he was assigned to quartermaster duty on the Texas frontier. He was promoted to captain in the 1st US Infantry in 1852.

When the war started Plummer, still a captain, commanded a battalion at Wilson's Creek where he was wounded. On 25 September 1861 he was commissioned colonel in the 11th Missouri Volunteer Infantry. and was assigned to command Camp Girardeau, Missouri. On 11 March 1862 Plummer was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers to date from 22 October of the previous year. He commanded the 5th Division in John Pope's Army of the Mississippi at New Madrid and during the operations against Island No 10. He commanded a brigade in David S. Stanley's 2nd Division of the Army of the Mississippi during the siege of Corinth, Mississippi. Plummer died 9 August 1862 near Corinth.

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