(09-30-1824 - 01-24-1887)
Born at Greenfield, MA, he graduated 7th in his class from West
Point with a brevet to 2nd Lieutenant, Ordnance, July 1, 1845. He served initially at the
Military Academy as Assistant Professor of Geography, History and Ethics, August 28,
1845-January 13, 1846; as Assistant Ordnance Officer, at Watervliet Arsenal, NY, 1846; and
at Ft. Monroe Arsenal, VA, 1846, as assistant to Captain Benjamin Huger, whom he soon
followed to Vera Cruz.
He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, Ordnance,
March 3, 1847 and engaged in the Mexican War at the Siege of Vera Cruz, March 9-29, 1847;
Skirmish at Amazoque, May 14, 1847; Battle of Contreras, August 19-20, 1847 and Battle of
Molino del Rey, September 8, 1847. He was breveted to 1st Lieutenant, September 8, 1847,
for gallant and meritorious conduct in the Battle of Molino del Rey. While in Mexico he
made the ascent on Popocatepetl and planted, at the risk of his own life, the American
flag on the summit of the volcano.
Stone was next engaged in the Battle of
Chapultepec, September 13, 1847, for which he was breveted to Captain, September 13, 1847,
for gallant and meritorious conduct. He was also engaged in the Assault and Capture of the
City of Mexico, September 13-14, 1847.
Following the War, he served as Assistant
Ordnance Officer at Watervliet Arsenal, NY, 1848; on leave of absence in Europe and the
East, 1848- 1850 to study the movements and appliances of great armies; as Assistant
Ordnance Officer at Watervliet Arsenal, NY, 1850; in command of Ft. Monroe Arsenal, VA,
1850-1851; and in charge of the construction of Benicia Arsenal, CA, 1851-1856, being
Chief of Ordnance for the Pacific Division, 1851-1855. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant,
Ordnance, February 26, 1853 but resigned 3 years later, on November 17, 1856, finding the
After leaving the Army, Stone was a banker in San
Francisco from 1856 to1857 when the bank failed due to the absconding of its treasurer. He
served as Chief of the Scientific Commission in the Service of the Mexican Government, for
the Survey and Exploration of the Public Lands in the State of Sonora, Mexico, 1857-1860,
and of Lower California, 1858-1860. He served as Acting Consul, Guaymas, Mexico,
At the outbreak of the Civil War neared, Stone
was commissioned as Colonel, Staff, Inspector-General of D. C. Volunteers, January 1,
1861, responsible for Organizing and Disciplining District of Columbia Volunteers serving
the Defense of Washington, D. C, January 1-April; 16, 1861; in command of District of
Columbia Volunteers, April 16-July 23, 1861, being engaged in guarding Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad, and outposts of Washington, D. C., April, 1861. He was made Colonel, 14th
Infantry, May 14, 1861 and Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, May 17, 1861, standing 8th
in seniority of all those appointed.
Stone was engaged in the capture of Alexandria,
VA, May 24, 1861; on the Rockville Expedition, June 10, 1861; Skirmishes at Conrad's and
Edwards' Ferry, MD, June, 1861; Skirmish at Harper's Ferry, July 7, 1861; and in
Major-General Robert Patterson's Operations in the Shenandoah Valley, commanding Brigade,
July 8-23, 1861. He was in command of a division of three brigades, a "Special Corps
of Observation", on the Upper Potomac, August 10, 1861-February 9, 1862. Through the
rashness of a subordinate, Colonel (and Senator) Edward D, Baker, who was killed in the
action, Stone was unjustly made responsible for Union's blunders at the Battle of Ball's
The Radicals in Congress, who already believed
Stone "unsound" on the issue of slavery, demanded his removal. At midnight,
February 8, 1862, Stone was arrested and subsequently confined for 189 days at Ft.
Lafayette and Ft. Hamilton, NY, without charges ever being preferred against him. The
responsibility for his arrest and imprisonment rested on Secretary Edwin Stanton,
Major-General George B. McClellan and the Committee on the Conduct of the War.
Reviewed at length in Twenty Years in Congress,
". . In the end, not gracefully but tardily,
and as it seemed grudgingly, the Government was compelled to confess its own wrong and to
do partial justice to the injured man by restoring him to honorable service under the flag
of the Nation. No reparation was made to him for the protracted defamation of his
character, no order was published acknowledging that he was found guiltless, no
communication was ever made to him by national authority giving even a hint of the ground
on which for half a year he was pilloried before the nation as a malefactor. The wound
which General Stone received was deep. From some motive, the source of which will probably
remain a mystery, his persecution continued in may petty and offensive ways, until he was
finally driven, toward the close of the war, when he saw that he could be no longer useful
to his country, to tender his resignation.
It is not conceivable that the flagrant wrong
suffered by General Stone was ever designed by any one of the imminent persons who share
the responsibility for its infliction. They were influenced by and largely partook of the
popular mania which demanded a victim to atone for a catastrophe. . . .Mr. Stanton had
faults. He was subject to unaccountable and violent prejudice, and under its sway he was
capable of harsh injustice. Many officers of merit and of spotless fame fell under his
displeasure and were deeply wronged by him. General Stone was perhaps the most conspicuous
example of the extremity of outrage to which the Secretary's temper could carry him. Even
when intellectually convinced of an error, he was reluctant to acknowledge it."
Indeed, after Stone's release on August 16, 1862,
Stanton refused to allow his assignment until mid-1863, despite frequent requests by high
officers in the field for Stone's services. He was left waiting orders at Washington, D.
C., August 16, 1862-May, 1863; and only then assigned duty, in the remotest theatre of
operation. He was in the Department of the Gulf, May, 1863-April 16, 1864, being engaged
in the Siege of Port Hudson, May 27-June 8, 1863, and was one of the Commissioners for
receiving its surrender.
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Stone next served as Chief of Staff to
Major-General N. P. Banks, July 25, 1863-April 16, 1864, being engaged in Skirmishes on
Bayou Teche, October, 1863; Battle of Sabine Cross Roads, April 8,1864; and Battle of
Pleasant Hill, April 9, 1864, where he distinguished himself. Despite this, Secretary of
War Stanton caused Stone to be mustered out of volunteer service (as Brigadier-General)
and, as Colonel of the U. S. Army, was sent to Cairo, IL unemployed again, waiting orders
April 18- August 13, 1864. He was given command of Brigade of V Corps (Army of the
Potomac), before Petersburg, August 21-September 13, 1864 but, broken in heart and health,
and with the knowledge that he would continue to be victimized by Stanton, Stone resigned
on September 13, 1864.
Stone was employed as Engineer and Superintendent
of the Dover Mining Company, Goochland County, VA, 1865-1869. He was commissioned
Brigadier-General (Chief of Staff) in the Egyptian Army, March 30, 1870; and Ferik-Pasha
(grade next to Field Marshal), September 20, 1873-January 15, 1883. He served as
Inspector- General, ex officio, of the Egyptian Military Schools (many of which he
organized or reorganized), 1870-1883. He served as General Aide-de- Camp to Khedive,
Ismael First, 1871-1883.
For "his valuable services in command,
organization, and administration," he was decorated Commander of the Order of
Osmanieh, October 10, 1870 and Grand Officer of the Order of the Medjidieh, January 24,
1875. He served as a member of numerous boards and commissions in Egypt, served as Vice
President of Commission to organize the Egyptian section for the International Exhibition
in Vienna, 1873, at Philadelphia, 1876, and Paris, 1878. He was decorated "Commander
of the Order of the Crown of Italy", on September 21, 1881 for assistance rendered to
Italian explorers to Central Africa, and for his services to geographical science.
Stone served as Chief Engineer of the Florida
Ship Canal and Transit Company, and directed a preliminary survey across the northern part
of the peninsula, 1883-1884. He was Engineer-in-Chief to the Committee for the
construction of the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty, on Bedloe's island, New York
Harbor, 1886-1887. He died on January 24, 1887 at New York City and was buried at West
Stone's classmate, General Fitz John Porter,
Aztec Club President, 1892-1893, wrote:
". . .He was pure and irreproachable in
conduct; indomitable in adversity; modest when success crowned his efforts; undepressed
and energetic in adversity; so courteous to his associates and dignified in bearing as
always to command respect, and to furnish a model for imitation.
. . .[H]e was disgraced by an unmerited
punishment. Facts then existing, but now explained, with others since brought to light,
have proved that he was no traitor, and that though disgraced he could not be dishonored.
. . .His surviving associates know his history, appreciate the wrong done him, and
sympathize with those he has left behind."