Wool, John Ellis
Wool, John Ellis(1784–1869) soldier; born in Newburgh, N.Y. He raised a company of volunteers in Troy, N.Y., in the War of 1812 and fought so well that he was commissioned a colonel in the regular army in 1816 and made inspector general. When the war with Mexico began in 1846, he organized another large group of volunteers in Ohio. He then led an epic 900-mile march of 1,400 troops from San Antonio, Texas, and effectively ensured the U.S. victory at Buena Vista. He continued to hold important commands in the peacetime army, and after the Civil War broke out, he (at age 77) kept Fort Monroe from falling to the Confederates (Aug. 1861); in 1862 he occupied Norfolk and Portsmouth, Va., when the Confederates evacuated them. He held other major staff commands until retiring in July 1863.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.