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Andrew Barclay Spurling
Brigadier General Andrew Barclay Spurling
Born (1833-03-20)March 20, 1833
Died August 13, 1906(1906-08-13) (aged 73)
Place of birth Cranberry Isles, Maine
Place of death Chicago, Illinois
Place of burial Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Union Army
Years of service 1861–1866
Rank Brigadier General
Unit 2nd Maine Volunteer Cavalry Regiment

American Civil War

  • Actions at Evergreen, Alabama
Awards Medal of Honor
Other work Merchant ship captain, sheriff, cowboy, gold prospector, businessman, real estate investor

Andrew Barclay Spurling (March 20, 1833–August 13, 1906) was an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Prior to the war he served on merchant ships, spent time in the California gold fields, worked as a cowboy for a time, and then obtain the captaincy of a merchant vessel. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted as a trooper in the 2nd Maine Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, eventually rising to the rank of brigadier general.

In 1895, as a Lieutenant Colonel, he was involved in fierce fighting at Evergreen, Alabama. In a solo engagement, he exchanged fire with five Confederate soldiers, wounding two and single-handedly capturing the group. In 1897 he was awarded the Medal of Honor by the United States Congress for heroism in this action.

After the war, he again returned to merchant shipping, but gave it up after surviving a shipwreck. Spurling settled in Maine, where he was elected sheriff of Hancock County. Subsequently, he held positions the US Interior, Justice, and Postal Departments. These led him to Chicago. He speculated in real estate there, and was one of three investors who founded the Chicago Rawhide Manufacturing Company; he was elected as its first president.

He moved to Elgin, Illinois, where he invested in real estate, and was appointed chief of police. His zealous enforcement of the law, without favoritism, annoyed liquor interests, and the City Council refused to renew his appointment.

He went on to construct a large home and other buildings, started preparations for the construction of Elgin's first skyscraper, and formed a syndicate to create an industrial center. In 1892, construction began on the city's first steel framed building, but construction was delayed due to a strike at the Carnegie steel plant. All of these projects had Spurling heavily in debt at the time of the Panic of 1893 financial crisis, which had the effect of ending the real estate boom, worsening his financial difficulties.

Spurling's holdings and properties were foreclosed by creditors. He lost his fortune, including his shares in Chicago Rawhide. He lost election bid in 1894 for sheriff of Kane County, and moved back to Chicago. He lived there, eyesight failing, with only a $50 a month government pension for income.

He died in Chicago, Illinois, on August 13, 1906, and is buried at the Rosehill Cemetery.[1]

Medal of Honor citation


Rank and Organization: Lieutenant Colonel, 2d Maine Cavalry. Place and Date: Near Evergreen, Alabama, 23 March 1865. Entered Service At: Maine Born: 20 March 1833, at Cranberry Isles, Maine Date Of Issue: 10 September 1897.


Advanced alone in the darkness beyond the picket line, came upon 3 of the enemy, fired upon them (his fire being returned), wounded 2, and captured the whole party..

See also


  1. "Andrew Barclay Spurling". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  2. Medal of Honor citation at Retrieved 2013-03-28

External links

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