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Joseph Warren Revere
Joseph Warren Revere, Brigadier General in the Union Army
Born (1812-05-17)May 17, 1812
Died April 20, 1880(1880-04-20) (aged 67)
Place of birth Boston, Massachusetts
Place of death Hoboken, New Jersey
Place of burial Holy Rood Catholic Cemetery (Morristown, New Jersey)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
United States Navy
Union Army
Mexican Army
Years of service 1828 - 1850 (US Navy)
1850 - 1852 (Mexican Army)
1861 - 1863 (US Army)
Rank Lieutenant (US Navy)
Colonel (Mexico)
Brigadier General (US Army)
Commands held 7th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry
Battles/wars Second Seminole War
Mexican-American War
American Civil War
Awards Order of Isabella the Catholic

Joseph Warren Revere (May 17, 1812 – April 20, 1880) was a career United States Army officer. He is known for being a Union brigadier general during the Civil War, his embarrassment at the Battle of Chancellorsville and for his notable family.

Early life and career

General Joseph Warren, Joseph Warren Revere's namesake

Joseph Warren Revere was born in 1812 and was a grandson of Paul Revere. He was named after General Joseph Warren, the famous doctor and general in the American Revolution who was a close friend of his grandfather. In 1828 at age sixteen Revere joined the United States Navy. His tours of duty took him to Europe, the Pacific, and the Baltic States. traveled the globe and eventually reached the rank of lieutenant.[1] Revere served in the Second Seminole War but saw little action.[2] He fought in the Mexican-American War and was commended for his bravery in battle. He was the one who pulled down the Bear Flag and raised the American Flag over Sonoma for the first time.[3] He then resigned from the navy in 1850 after almost twenty years of service, and settled down first in California and later in Morristown, New Jersey. Revere then joined the Mexican Army with the rank of colonel and was honored by the Spanish and Mexican Governments. For his rescuing of 13 Spanish citizens Queen Isabella II knighted Revere in the Order of Isabella the Catholic in 1851.[4] In 1852 Revere retired and moved to Morristown, New Jersey. The home that he built there, The Willows at Fosterfields,contains several examples of Revere's paintings and is now part of the Morris County Park System. The years 1857 and 58 found Revere touring Europe with his friend, Phil Kearny. He also went to India. He was awarded a British medal for Service in the Indian Mutiny Campaign of 1857-58. He was also present at the Battle of Sulferino during the Italian Campaigns of 1858-59.[5]

Civil War service

When the Civil War started in 1861 Revere tried to join the Union Navy but was informed that there were no officer slots available for him. Having been appointed as head of the New Jersey Militia during the governorship of Rodman Price, he decided to enlist in the Union Army.[6] Revere was appointed colonel of the 7th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry. He fought in the Peninsula Campaign, and led the 3rd Corps during the Seven Days Battle.[1] Revere then fought at the Second Battle of Bull Run where he was commended for his bravery.[6] In October 1862 Joseph Revere was appointed a brigadier general.[1] At the Battle of Fredericksburg he led a brigade but saw little action. He was later named to command the Excelsior Brigade. Revere's most personally challenging moment of his Civil War career came after the Battle of Chancellorsville when 'blame' was being assigned for the Union Army's loss.[Notes 1] After charging the Confederate line, Maj. Gen. Hiram Berry was mortally wounded and the command was left to Revere. In the chaos of a battle with no clear front line, Revere's decision to regroup his men, commanding them to reform at a point set by compass led to controversy.[6] This three-mile march, described by Revere as a "regrouping effort" and not a retreat, led to his being court-martialed. Abraham Lincoln overturned the court's ruling and reinstated Revere but accepted Revere's resignation at the same time. As a lifelong member of the Democratic Party, that was probably the best deal Revere could expect from a Republican administration. In response to this situation, Revere was voted the honor of the rank of Brevet Major General by the United States Congress in 1866.[5]

Postbellum career and death

After his resignation Revere began traveling the globe and writing books but his health had been affected by his Civil War service.He had suffered from a severe case of rheumatic fever during the Peninsular Campaign and had been severely wounded at the Second Battle of Mannasas.[5] He wrote two books, the autobiographical Keel and Saddle: A Retrospect of 40 years of Military and Naval Service and A Tour of Duty in California, including a description of the Gold Region.[3] After having bad health for some time Joseph Revere died on April 21, 1880 in Hoboken, New Jersey at the age of 67.[3]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lurie, Maxine N.; Marc Mappen (2004). Encyclopedia of New Jersey. p. 691. 
  2. Welsh, Jack D. (2005). Medical Histories of Union Generals. p. 275. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Goss, Elbridge Henry; Paul Revere (1891). The Life of Colonel Paul Revere. pp. 630–32. 
  4. Los Angeles County Museum Museum Patrons' Association's Quarterly p. 7 (1961).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 DeRose,Mary 1996, Joseph Warren Revere:His Civil War Years in The Farm and Mill Gazette of The Morris County Park Commission. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "test" defined multiple times with different content
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Kelly, C. Brian; Ingrid Smyer-Kelly's (2000). Best Little Ironies, Oddities, and Mysteries of the Civil War. pp. 172–74. 


  1. because of the court-martial and subsequent resignation.

External links

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