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
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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