91st PA--obituary, Edgar Gregory


[source: Philadelphia Inquirer 8 November 1871 page 2]


General Edgar M. Gregory, United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, died at his late residence, No. 1723 Master street, yesterday morning, at four o'clock. The general for the past six weeks has been lying very ill of inflammation of the kidneys, and this finally resulted in death.

Up to the time of his death he continued to discharge his duties to the satisfaction of all. The task of taking the census of such a city as Philadelphia fell upon him last year, and much fault was found with its alleged incompleteness, the re-enumeration of the inhabitants showing that the complaints made were not without foundation. But to the general inefficiency of our census system the fault was mainly to be charged. Still more difficult was the position in which he was placed at the Congressional election of 1870, when he was required by recent legislation to appoint a number of deputies to assist in maintaining order and the rights of voters at the polls. Marshal Gregory, it will be remembered, eventually called a force of marines to his assistance on election day, a bitter controversy with Mayor Fox resulting from his course.

Deceased was born at Sand Lake, Rensselaer county, New York, January 1, 1804. At the age of 18, he went to Deposit, Delaware county, New York, where he was engaged in business for his brother many years, and afterwards for himself, as a lumber merchant. While at this place he associated himself with the Presbyterian Church, and at the age of 30 he became an elder, which position he held, at the time of his death, in the Oxford Presbyterian Church of this city, of which Rev. Frank Robbins is pastor. In church matters he was always an earnest and active worker, and took part as a delegate in the General Assembly held in this city in 1870, at which the Old and New School branches of the Presbyterian Church were brought together. During his long residence in Cincinnati he was prominent in every good work, as he was in this city in later times, and for sixteen years was president of the Young Men's Bible Society.

In 1840 he closed his business in Deposit, and removed to Cincinnati, where he engaged in business as a lumber merchant, and also as a banker, remaining there until his final removal to this city, which took place early in 1860.

Mr. Gregory had always been a determined and outspoken anti-slavery man. He was likewise somewhat familiar with military affairs, having acted as colonel of a militia regiment during his residence in Deposit, N.Y. The outbreak of the Rebellion therefore found him not only in full sympathy with the cause of the Union, but also an intelligent adviser of the people in the great national crisis. For a few months his exertions were devoted to the encouragement of enlistement; but in July, 1861, at which time he held the post of captain in the Home Guards, he was authorized to recruit a regiment for his own command in the field. By the close of the year its ranks were full, and its discipline and general outfit highly proficient.

On January 21, 1862, Colonel Gregory left Philadelphia at the head of his regiment, which was known as the Ninety-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, and created such a fine impression on arriving at Washington, that it was detained there to act as provost guard of the capital, the fourth Regular Infantry being relieved by it from this responsible duty. Soon after, Colonel Gregory was ordered to Alexandria as military governor, a position requiring great delicacy as well as unswerving patriotism and great firmness of character.

Colonel Gregory continued in command of Alexandria for some months, when he was ordered to active duty in the field. He was an active participant in the battle of Fredericksburg, December 1862, where his gallantry secured from his regiment the present of a fine horse and a costly sword, while President Linoln rewarded him with the commission of brigadier-general.

At Fredericksburg, General Gregory witnessed his first engagement, and at Chancellorsville his twenty-second. He fought through the Wilderness campaign, and, in fact, participated as brigade commander in all the engagements involving the Fifth Corps, except the battle of Gettysburg, at which time he was at home, under medical treatment for wounds received in battle. Just before the close of the war he was breveted major-general for his gallantry at Five Forks.

After the termination of the struggle he was sent to Texas as Assistant Commissioner of the Freeden's Bureau for that State, a position in which he did good service and gained the respect of the white population, as well as the devotion of the freedmen. From Texas he was ordered to Maryland and Delaware as Assistant Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau, his services in connection with the Rebellion terminating with this duty.

Having returned to this city, General Gregory was, in May 1869, appointed United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on the death of General John Ely.

The principal deputy in the office of the marshal was his son-in-law, Captain Wright. By the provisions of the law he will act as marshal until the vacancy is filled by the President.

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revised 3 Dec 06
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