Canby, Edward Richard Sprigg

Canby, Edward Richard Sprigg,

1817–73, Union general in the Civil War, b. Kentucky, grad. West Point, 1839. He fought in the Seminole War and in the Mexican War. In the Civil War, Canby commanded the Dept. of New Mexico, where he thoroughly repelled the Confederate invasion (1862). He was made a brigadier general of volunteers in Mar., 1862, and was on special duty in the War Dept. in Washington from Jan., 1863, to Mar., 1864, except for four months as the commander of New York City during the draft riotsdraft riots,
in the American Civil War, mob action to protest unfair Union conscription. The Union Conscription Act of Mar. 3, 1863, provided that all able-bodied males between the ages of 20 and 45 were liable to military service, but a drafted man who furnished an acceptable
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 of 1863. Canby was promoted to major general in May, 1864, and assigned to command the Military Division of West Mississippi. He captured Mobile in Apr., 1865, and in May received the surrender of the last Confederate armies. After the war Canby held various commands in the South until 1870, when he was sent to the Dept. of the Columbia on the Pacific coast. He was killed during a peace conference with the ModocModoc
, Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Sahaptin-Chinook branch of the Penutian linguistic stock (see Native American languages). They formerly lived in SW Oregon and N California, particularly around Modoc Lake (also known as Lower Klamath Lake) and Tule
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See biography by M. L. Heyman, Jr. (1959).

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Canby, Edward Richard Sprigg

(1817–73) soldier; born in Kentucky. A West Point graduate (1839), he fought in the Seminole War and the Mexican War. He commanded the Union's Department of New Mexico and defeated a Confederate attempt to take California. He went to Washington, D.C., as the Assistant Adjutant General, and then commanded troops in New York City. As commander of the Military Division of Western Mississippi, he captured Mobile, Ala.; as commander of the Department of the Gulf, he accepted the surrender of the last two Confederate field armies in May 1865. Modoc Indians murdered Canby, who had been sent to negotiate peace with the tribe, in northern California.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.