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91st PA--Edgar Gregory (brief version)

Colonel Gregory

Family Colonel Gregory was born in 1804, in New York. He and his wife Ellen Young had three children, including two sons who served with him in the 91st. He was a banker and lumber merchant.

Abolitionist? In Cincinnati, he supposedly "incidentally" helped runaway slaves escape to Canada. Also, McFeely describes him as a "radical Abolitionist". Unfortunately, two of the three sources he cites are irrelevant. The third reports Gregory as addressing the National Colored Monument Association on 4 July 1865, along with many other people, including abolitionists.

War He was seriously wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville, and spent four months in Philadelphia recuperating. Although he was nominally commanding the 91st throughout the war, he spent much of it away from the regiment. He was promoted to Brevet Brigadier General because of his actions at the battle of Peeble's Farm, and to Brevet Major General for his actions at the battle of Poplar Spring.
Edgar Gregory in uniform

Freedman's Bureau Howard appointed him the first Assistant Commissioner of the Freedman's Bureau in charge of Texas, because 'Gregory was well reputed for the stand he always took in the army in favor of clear-cut uprightness of conduct. He was so fearless of opposition or danger that I sent him to Texas, which seemed at the time of his appointment to be the post of greatest peril'. Unfortunately, his policies were too radical for plantation owners, whose complaints led President Johnson to order his removal. After a few months, he was placed in charge of Maryland, and later was again removed at Johnson's orders.

End of his life Grant appointed him US Marshal for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He served as Marshal from 1869 until he died in 1871.

Further reading more information, with references
I highly recommend reading his letter to Benjamin Harris, from 20 January 1866.

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revised 21 Dec 02
contact Harry Ide at [email protected] with comments or questions