GENERAL EDWARD S. SALOMON
GENERAL EDWARD S. SALOMON was born in the city of Schleswig, Germany, December 25, 1836. Entering school at an early age he became proficient in his studies and repeatedly received rewards of merit thereof. Too young to participate in the active scenes of 1848, his mind became fully imbued with the principles of republican government, and immediately upon the completion of his scholastic education, in 1854, came to the United States. Locating in Chicago, he engaged in mercantile pursuits till 1857, when he began the study of law. Two years later he was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the State and soon gained a large clientele. In 1860 he was elected City Alderman, and when in the following year the war of the Rebellion broke out, he abandoned his lucrative practice and prepared to enter the military service, his civic colleagues would not accept his proffered resignation. Joining the Twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry as Second Lieutenant, he auspiciously began his military education under the leadership of the colonel of the regiment, Frederick Hecker, who had distinguished himself as one of the patriot officers of the German revolution of 1848. The command was sent to Missouri, and garrisoned various points, but participated in the battle of Frederickson. It later became a part of General Grant’s original brigade, but was afterwards transferred to General Buell’s army, and participated in the battle of Mumfordsville, Kentucky.
By reason of unremitting attention to duty, proficiency in tactics, intense patriotism and gallantry in action, Lieutenant Salomon received successive promotions until early in 1862, he was commissioned and mustered in as Major of his regiment.
Soon afterwards, owing to a disagreement having arisen among the officers of the command, Colonel Hecker, Major Salomon and twenty other officers resigned and at once proceeded to organize another regiment, which, owing to the popularity of the Colonel and the Major was accomplished in a very short time. The newly organized regiment was officially designated as the Eighty-second Illinois Infantry, and became familiarly known as the "New Hecker Regiment," while the Twenty-fourth, in contradistinction to this, received the appellation of the "Old Hecker Regiment."
Major Salomon was promoted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy with Hecker as Colonel, and the command proceeded to join the army of the Potomac, where it was assigned to the First Brigade, Third Division, Eleventh Corps. Colonel Hecker having been promoted to the command of a brigade, the regiment was afterwards commanded by Colonel Salomon, and performed so well its part in the battle of Gettysburg that General Carl Schurz, commanding the division, in his official report said "Lieutenant-Colonel Salomon, of the Eighty-second Illinois, displayed the highest order of coolness and determination, under trying circumstances."
In the autumn of 1863, the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps jointly, under the command of General Joseph Hooker, were transferred from the Army of the Potomac to re-inforce General Grant at Chattanooga, where the two corps became consolidated and known as the "Twentieth." Actively engaged in the battle of Missionary Ridge and the ensuing Atlanta campaign, Colonel Salomon continued to receive the warmest and well merited commendations of his commanding officers as shown by the numerous letters which they wrote concerning the matter and which are still preserved.
After participating in the grand review of the triumphal armies at Washington at the close of the war, and being honorable mustered out, General Salomon returned to Chicago, where he was soon afterwards elected to the highly responsible and lucrative position of County Clerk. In 1866 the order of the Grand Army of the Republic was founded in an interior town in that State, and General Salomon, being thoroughly imbued with its principles, entered heartily into the work of its organization, and served in 1867 as Commander of Ransom Post, No. 4, in that city. After having held the office of County Clerk for four years, he received the appointment of Governor of Washington Territory from President Grant, who was personally aware of his worth, eminent ability and superior qualifications for that high office.
Just previous to his departure for the performance of his new official duties, a large number of the most distinguished citizens of Chicago, headed by General Philip H. Sheridan, united in presenting him with a splendid massive silver table service, beautifully chaced and appropriately inscribed, accompanied by a handsomely engraved testimonial of respect and personal record.
In the following year (1875), General Salomon settled in San Francisco, and at once entered upon the practice of law, in which he has since been highly successful, having a large and constantly increasing clientage, and stands high among our State’s most noted and able attorneys. At the Department Encampment of the G. A. R. held at Los Angeles, February 21, 1887, General E. S. Salomon was elected Department Commander. His administration as such is considered one of the best California ever had.
He has ever been prominent in the organizations of veterans in this city, having particularly manifested the greatest interest in the Grand Army of the Republic, and has most efficiently served it in many capacities. In 1882 he was unanimously elected Commander of J. A. Garfield Post, No. 34, and by his zealous efforts added largely to its membership. In 1883 he served with his usual ability as Inspector of the Department of California, G. A. R., and while accepting no official position in the order during the year following, he did all in his power toward advancing its interest and those of his comrades.
During the year 1888, so memorable in both the local and national annals of the Grand Army, General Salomon yielded to the earnest and unanimously expressed desire of his Post to serve again as its Commander, and under its able administration raised it to the third in numbers in the Department–being a gain of 154 members during the year. As a member of the General and Executive Committees of Arrangements and Chairman of the Committee on Parade and Review, he performed invaluable services, and served as Chief of Staff and Adjutant-General to the Grand Marshal of the great parade during the National Encampment. His knowledge and unremitting personal exertions in connection with those of Marshal Holmes, rendered that demonstration so grand and imposing. He had four trains of eleven sleepers each.
Comrade Salomon is of pleasing presence, an eloquent orator, and possessed of a most generous and sympathetic disposition, and carries with him, into his daily life, the grand principles of true "Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty." The same year, 1888, he was elected a member of the Legislature.
Transcribed by Elaine Sturdevant
Source: "The Bay of San Francisco," Vol. 1, pages 588-590, Lewis Publishing Co, 1892.
© 2004 Elaine Sturdevant.
California Biography Project
San Francisco County
Golden Nugget Library