Pair of Sixth Plate Ambrotypes: General William Sprague IV - The War Governor of Rhode Island who served as the 27th Governor of Rhode Island from 1860 to 1863, participated in the First Battle of Bull Run during the American Civil War, and served as U.S. Senator from 1863 to 1875 and his uncle who was also a politician, industrialist, and served as the 14th Governor of Rhode Island and as a U.S. Representative, and a U.S. Senator William Sprague III.
General William Sprague IV - The War Governor of Rhode Island: As the Civil War approached, Sprague promised U.S. President Abraham Lincoln the support of Rhode Island. Upon Lincoln's call for volunteers in April 1861, a brigade of two infantry regiments was raised by Rhode Island. Sprague, believing that the war would last only 48 hours, accompanied the Rhode Island brigade, under the command of Colonel Ambrose Burnside in the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. During the battle, while Sprague acted as an aide to General Burnside, his horse was shot from under him. The Confederate victory made it clear to Sprague that the war would last longer than two days. Although he was offered a commission as a Brigadier General of Volunteers on August 9, 1861, he declined the appointment to focus on his duties as governor.
Governor of Rhode Island and United States Senator William Sprague III: He was elected as an at-large candidate from the Whig Party to the Twenty-fourth Congress and served from March 4, 1835, to March 3, 1837. He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1836. He was elected Governor of Rhode Island in 1838. He subsequently was elected as a Whig to the United States Senate from February 18, 1842, to January 17, 1844, when he resigned. He served as chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Enrolled Bills in the Twenty-seventh Congress. He was a U.S. presidential elector on the Whig ticket in 1848.
Inventory Number: HAR 096