THREE-QUARTER STANDING VIEW OF 1861 FORT SUMTER DEFENDER - GENERAL JOHN G. FOSTER BY BRADY

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Item Code: 855-94

CDV shows Foster posed having his light-colored overcoat draped over his arm. He wears a dark kepi with the two stars of a major general above a “U.S.” within a wreath on the front of the cap, dark double-breasted frock coat with black felt collar and cuffs with matching trousers. Visible on his shoulders are his major-general’s shoulder straps.

Contrast and clarity are a bit below Brady’s usual high standards. Mount and paper have light surface dirt. Bottom front of the mount has “BRADY” in one corner and “NEW YORK” in the other with a period pencil ID of “GEN. FOSTER” between.

Reverse has a photographer’s imprint for BRADY’S… NEW YORK & WASHINGTON, D.C. Above this is “GEN FOSTER” in ballpoint pen.

John Gray Foster was born in Whitefield, N.  H., May 27, 1823.  He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1846 and assigned to the engineer corps. He served in the Mexican War under Gen. Scott at the battles of Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco and Molino del Rey, where he was severely wounded.  He was brevetted 1st lieutenant and captain for gallantry, and then, until the Civil War, was assistant engineer in Maryland, engaged on coast survey work in Washington, assistant professor of engineering at West Point, and engaged in the construction of Forts Sumter and Moultrie.

He successfully moved the garrison of Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter during the night of Dec. 26-27, 1860, and was subsequently one of the defenders of the latter fort during its bombardment, and received the brevet of major for his services.

He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers Oct. 23, 1861, and for services at Roanoke Island in Burnside's expedition to North Carolina received the brevet of lieutenant-colonel.  He was then in command of the Department of North Carolina, having been promoted major-general of volunteers, conducted several important and successful expeditions in 1862-63, had charge of the combined departments of Virginia and North Carolina from July to Nov., 1863 and after that commanded the Army and Department of the Ohio.  This command he was forced to give up in Dec., 1864, on account of severe injuries sustained by a fall from his horse, and, on recovery was given command of the Department of the South.

Foster received Gen. Sherman and his army at Savannah, Dec. 21, 1864, on the completion of the march to the sea, and commenced the operations for the reduction of Fort Sumter and the capture of Charleston, S. C., but was forced by the condition of his old wound to leave the carrying out of his plans to Gen. Q. A. Gillmore.

He received the brevet ranks of brigadier-general and major-general in the regular army for his services at Savannah and in the field during the war.  Gen. Foster commanded the Department of Florida in 1865-66, and afterward superintended the construction of river and harbor improvements at Boston and Portsmouth.

General Foster died in Nashua, N. H., Sept. 3, 1874 and is buried there in the Universalist Church Cemetery.     [ad] [ph:L]

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