Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Charles Pomeroy Stone

Charles Stone and his daughter Hettie, photographed in the spring of 1863. 
Stone's USMA class ring can be seen on the little finger of his right hand. Unknown photographer, restored by Michel Vuijlsteke.

In 1861 Charles Pomeroy Stone (1824-1887) was named brigadier general of volunteers and given command of the right flank division of the Army of the Potomac. On October 21 came the disastrous Battle of Ball’s Bluff which resulted in his arrest (more because of political rivalries in Congress than because of the defeat at Ball’s Bluff). He spent six months in prison, but no charges were filed against him despite his frequent attempts to be granted a court-martial, and he was released the following August with no explanation from the War Department. He then served as General Nathaniel Banks’ Chief of Staff until April 1864 when Banks relieved him after a falling out. In August General Grant gave him a brigade in the V Corps, but typhoid and an impending nervous breakdown resulted in his decision to resign from the army.

Work progress on Bedloe's Island (illustration from The Daily Graphic)

After the war he accepted a job as Chief of Staff in Egypt and spent over 12 years building up an Egyptian army and overseeing a dozen major explorations and surveys of the Nile River area. With the British takeover of Egypt in 1882, Stone resigned his position and returned to the United States where he was hired as chief engineer for the pedestal construction of the Statue of Liberty. He served as Grand Marshal of the statue’s dedication parade on October 28, 1886. Three months later, he contracted pneumonia and died in New York City on January 24, 1887. Charles P. Stone was buried with full military honors at West Point.

next episode: ice


  1. What a beautifully detailed image and a fascinating story behind the man.

  2. Wonderful clarity for such an old photo.

  3. Very interesting and exceptional photograph as well.Thank you for including the link for the Ball's Battle!


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