Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Paul Revere's Grandson - Union Army General

Lately, I have been doing a bit of research on Joseph Warren Revere (1813-1880) who was a brigadier general in the Union Army during the Civil War. A grandson of Revolutionary War patriot Paul Revere, General Revere led a colorful life with service in the antebellum U.S. Navy as well as the Mexican Army. Amazingly enough, he was also knighted by the Queen of Spain (Isabella II) for his part in rescuing some distressed Spanish citizens.

However, his Civil War career was less stellar - particularly during the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863. Here is some background information on General Revere via the website:

Civil War Union Brigadier General. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he was the grandson of Revolutionary War Patriot Paul Revere. In 1828 at age sixteen, he joined the US Navy, fought in the Mexican American War and achieved the rank of Lieutenant. He resigned from the Navy in 1850, joined the Mexican Army at the rank of Colonel and was honored by the Spanish Government for rescuing of 13 citizens by being Knighted by Queen Isabella II in 1851. At the start of the Civil War, he was commissioned Colonel of the 7th New Jersey Infantry, fought in the Peninsula Campaign and led the 3rd Corps during the Seven Days Battle. For his actions at the Second Bull Run, he was promoted Brigadier General in October, 1862. During the Battle of the Chancellorsville in May 1863, after Major General Hiram Berry was mortally wounded, the command was left to Revere. Revere quickly ordered his men to go rearward to regroup in a three-mile march back off the line, which resulted in he being reviewed for a court martial. President Abraham Lincoln gave him the option of resignation and he took the offer. After his resignation he traveled the world and wrote books.

I look forward to learning more about this court martial process. From what I have read thus far, General Revere (a lifelong Democrat) got the best "deal" possible from a Republican administration concerning the request for his resignation. At any rate, General Revere represents an interesting example of how a family known for its illustrious service in the American Revolution carried on that service through the Civil War.


  1. Also, General Revere apparently wrote his memoirs at some point - I have seen an electronic version online. However, as I recall, it was mostly about his earlier career and did not cover his Civil War experiences to any great degree. I'll have to go double-check.....

  2. I know that a grandson of Paul Revere, also named Paul, was killed at Gettysburg. I also know that a grandson was captured early in the war, at Ball's Bluff. Do you know if it's the same grandson? I'm researching that particular Paul Revere for a book, and I'd appreciate any sources you could direct me to. Thanks!

  3. Juli - if you haven't looked at it yet, I would suggest you consult a book called "Harvard's Civil War" by Richard Miller. It has a good deal of information about Col. Paul Revere. I would enjoy hearing more about your book project!

  4. Sean, thanks for the tip. Sorry it took me so long to respond back. I will definitely check out the book.

    I'd love to tell you more about the book. Fair warning. It's urban fantasy, so he won't be much recognizable as the historical figure. Do you have an email address where I could reach you? With your background, you'd probably be an excellent source. Even though I'm fictionalizing him, I do want his background to be at least mostly authentic.


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