SEATED VIEW OF GENERAL GEORGE CULLUM

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Item Code: 259-68

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The General is posed with his cape or overcoat draped over one shoulder and his sword cradled between his leg and arm. He wears a dark double-breasted frock coat with black felt collar and cuffs and brigadier general’s shoulder straps with matching dark trousers. At his waist is a presentation grade sword belt with rectangular eagle plate. His sword is either the Model 1850 Field & Staff officer’s sword of the Model 1850 Foot Officer’s sword.

Image has two small dark discolorations that were on the negative when the image was printed. Otherwise it is clear with excellent contrast. Bottom front corners of the mount are marked “BRADY” and “WASHINGTON.”

Reverse is blank except for “GEN. CULLUM” in light pencil.

George Washington Cullum was born in New York City on February 25, 1809, but was raised in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He graduated from West Point, ranking third in the Class of 1833. He joined the Corps of Engineers and supervised a number of construction projects on the East Coast. Cullum served as the engineer in charge of the construction of Fort Trumbull in New London, Connecticut. He was promoted to captain in 1838 and held this rank until the outbreak of the Civil War. He was an instructor of engineering at West Point from 1848 to 1855, and published the forerunner of his Biographical Register in 1850. Cullum took two years leave of absence for health reasons, and traveled throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the West Indies while recuperating.

From April 1861 Cullum was a lieutenant colonel and aide-de-camp to General Winfield Scott, before becoming chief engineer of the Department of the Missouri in November 1861. He was appointed brigadier general of volunteers on November 12, 1861 but President Lincoln had to submit the nomination four times before the U.S. Senate finally confirmed it on March 11, 1863. He later superintended engineering works on the Western rivers and was chief engineer at the Siege of Corinth. He was superintendent of the military academy from 1864 to 1866. On March 8, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Cullum to be appointed to the grade of brevet major general and the U.S. Senate confirmed the award on May 4, 1866.

After the war, Cullum remained in the Regular Army at a variety of engineering posts, supervising several projects to strengthen America's coastal defenses. He retired from active service January 13, 1874 with the rank of colonel and returned to New York City.

On his death in New York City in 1892, he left part of his fortune to be used for the erection of the Memorial Hall at West Point, for the continuance of his Biographical Register and for an award of the American Geographical Society. Cullum is interred at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.  [ad]

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