Specializing in Authentic Civil War Artifacts
  • Major General Silas Casey

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    Major General Silas Casey - Inventory Number: AUT 007 

    Original Wartime CDV of Major General Silas Casey – Waist-up view CDV with very good contrast.  Accompanied by a bold ink signature with rank.

    Silas Casey (July 12, 1807 – January 22, 1882) was a career United States Army officer who rose to the rank of Major General during the American Civil War.

    Casey was born in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1826 (39th out of 41).

    He fought in the Second Seminole War under William J. Worth from 1837 to 1842. During the Mexican-American War he fought at the Battle of Contreras and Battle of Churubusco, and was appointed brevet major on August 20, 1847 for gallant conduct. He then fought in the Battle of Molino del Rey and was severely wounded during the Battle of Chapultepec on September 13, 1847. In 1880 Casey became a veteran member of the Aztec Club of 1847 - a military society originally composed of officers who had served in the occupation of Mexico City and later extended its membership to all United States officers who had served during the Mexican War and their descendants.

    After the Mexican-American War, he performed frontier duties and escorted topographical parties, including a trip to California around Cape Horn in 1849. He commanded at Camp Picket during the Pig War on San Juan Island from August 10 to October 18, 1859.

    Casey was promoted to brigadier general of Volunteers on August 31, 1861, shortly after arriving on the East Coast.  He was promoted to colonel in the Regular Army on October 9, 1861. He fought in the Peninsula Campaign, where his division suffered heavy losses at Battle of Seven Pines on May 31, 1862, facing Brig. Gen. George Pickett's brigade. He was promoted to major general of Volunteers in a general promotion of all McClellan's division commanders in August to rank from July 4, 1862.

    He wrote the three-volume System of Infantry Tactics, including Infantry Tactics volumes I and II, published by the army on August 11, 1862, and Infantry Tactics for Colored Troops, published on March 9, 1863. The manuals were used by both sides during the Civil War.

    In December 1862 he was appointed to the board that ultimately convicted Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter of disobedience and cowardice for his actions at the Second Battle of Bull Run.

    At the end of the war, Casey received a brevet (honorary promotion) to the rank of major general date March 15, 1865. He was mustered out of Volunteer service and reverted to his Regular Army rank of colonel on August 24, 1865.

    Casey retired from the Army on July 8, 1868 at the age of 61, having served over 40 years on active duty.

    In 1870 he became an hereditary member of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati in succession to his uncle Dr. Lincoln Goodale. In 1880 he joined the Aztec Club of 1847 and was succeeded by his son, Silas III, upon his death. General Casey was also a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States as were all three of his sons.

    General Casey died in Brooklyn, New York on January 22, 1882 and is buried at Casey Farm in Saunderstown, Rhode Island.

    Casey's sons included Silas Casey III, who served as Rear Admiral of the Pacific Squadron, Brigadier General Thomas Lincoln Casey (who oversaw the completion of the Washington Monument and served as Chief of Engineers in the US Army) and Lieutenant Edward Wanton Casey, an Army officer who was killed in action with the Sioux in 1891. 

    Born: 07/12/1807 in East Greenwich, RI

    Died: 01/22/1882 in Brooklyn, NY

    USMA: 1826, class rank: 39/41

    08/31/61 Brig-General

    05/31/62 Major-General

    03/13/65 Brig-General

    03/13/65 Major-Gen

    10/01/61 - 01/01/62 Casey's Provisional Brigade, Army of Potomac

    12/01/61 - 03/01/62 Casey's Division, Army of Potomac

    03/13/62 - 06/07/62 Division 3, 4th Corps, Army of Potomac

    06/06/62 - 06/24/62 Division 2, 4th Corps, Army of Potomac

    08/01/62 - 10/01/62 Casey's Provisional Brigade, Military District of Washington

    10/01/62 - 02/01/63 Casey's Division, Military District of Washington

    02/02/63 - 04/17/63 Casey's Division, 22 Corps, Department of Washington, D.C.

    02/02/63 - 03/24/65 Provisional Troops, 22 Corps, Department of Washington, D.C.

    Inventory Number: AUT 007