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"General John A. Dix" (Union).

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Identifier: P0084-1330

Title: "General John A. Dix" (Union).

Description: Bust portrait of a bearded man in a suit with head turned slightly to the left, surrounded by a printed frame. "GENERAL JOHN A. DIX." (printed below image). "General Dix, born in Boscawen, N. H., July 24th, 1789; died in New York city, April 21st, 1879. His early education was received at Salisbury, Phillips Exeter Academy, and the College of Montreal. In December, 1812, he was appointed cadet, and going to Baltimore, aided his father, Major Timothy Dix, of the Fourteenth United States Infantry, and also studied at St. Mary's College. He was made ensign in 1813, and accompanied his regiment, taking part in the operations on the Canadian frontier. Subsequently he served in the Twenty-first Infantry at Fort Constitution, N. H., where he became second lieutenant in March, 1814; was adjunct to Colonel Jon De B. Walback, and in August was transferred to the Third Artillery. In 1819 he was appointed aid-de-camp to General Jacob Brown, then in command of the Northern Military Department, and stationed at Brownsville, where he studied law, and later, under the guidance of William West, was admitted to the bar in Washington. He was, in 1826, sent as special messenger to the Court of Denmark. On his return he was stationed at Fort Monroe, but continued ill-health led him to resign his commission in the army, July 29th, 1828, after having attained the rank of captain; he then settled in Cooperstown, N. Y., and began the practice of law. Between 1830 and 1856, Captain Dix served as Adjutant General of the State, Secretary of State, Member of the Assembly, and Assistant Treasurer of New York. In May, 1860, he was appointed Postmaster of New York, after the defalcations in that office. On January 10th, 1861, he was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President Buchanan, and he held that office until the close of the administration. His appointment immediately relieved the government from a financial deadlock; gave it the funds that it needed, but had failed to obtain, and produced a general confidence in its stability. When he took the office there were two revenue cutters at New Orleans, and he ordered them to New York. The captain of one of them, after consulting with the Collector at New Orleans, refused to obey. Secretary Dix thereupon telegraphed: 'Tell Lieutenant Caldwell to arrest Captain Breshwood, assume command of the cutter, tell Lieutenant Caldwell to consider him as a mutineer, and treat him accordingly. If anyone attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot.' At the beginning of the Civil War he took an active part in the formation of the Union Defense Committee, and was its first president. On President Lincoln's first call for troops, he immediately organized and sent to the field seventeen regiments, and was appointed one of the four major generals to command the New York State forces. In June he was commissioned major general of volunteers, and ordered to Washington by General Scott, to take command of the Arlington and Alexandria Department. By a successful political intrigue this disposition was changed, and he was sent in July to Baltimore to take command of the Department of Maryland, which was considered a post of small comparative importance. But on the defeat of the Federal forces at Bull Run, things changed; Maryland became for the first time the centre and key of the national position, and it was through General Dix's energetic and judicious measures that the State and the city were prevented from going over to the Confederate cause. In May, 1862, General Dix was sent from Baltimore to Fort Monroe, and in the summer of 1863, after the trouble connected with the draft riots, he was transferred to New York as commander of the Department of the East, which place he held until the close of the war." (printed below image).


Place: United States

Dates: ca. 1880

Type(s): Wood Engraving


Subjects: wood engraving
black and white
General John A. Dix
John Dix
Civil War, 1861-1865
Armed Forces
Secretary of the Treasury


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