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  • greg
    This site also has pictures of him and his grave. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/wwbelkna.htm Born at Newburg, New York, on September 22, 1829, he attended
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 21, 2004
      This site also has pictures of him and his grave.

      Born at Newburg, New York, on September 22, 1829, he attended the
      College of New Jersey and practiced law in Washington, D.C., then
      moving West.

      In 1857 he was elected to the Iowa Legislature as a Democrat, but four
      years later supported President Lincoln's war efforts.

      On December 7, 1861,he was commissioned Major of the 15th Iowa
      Volunteer Infantry, in which he served with distinction, being wounded
      the following April at Shiloh. As Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment,
      he also performed with merit at Corinth, winning promotion to Colonel
      in June 1863. During the Vicksburg campaign he led the 15th Iowa
      Infantry in several engagements and was promoted to Brigadier General,
      United States Volunteers the following summer. Given command of the
      3rd Brigade, 4th Division, XVII Corps, he was conspicious throughout
      the Atlanta Camapign, particularly in repulsing John B. Hood's second
      sortie on July 22, 1864. On that field, according to the Division
      Commander, he "displayed all of the qualifications of an accomplished
      soldier." Six days later, at Ezra Church, he provided timely support
      to an embattled XV Corps Division. In July 1865, following
      participation in Sherman's March to the Sea and the Carolinas
      Campaign, he led the XVII Corps as Brevet Major General.

      Returning to civilian life, he became Collector of Internal Revenue in
      Iowa and allied himself with the Republican Party, and in 1869 became
      Ulysses S. Grant's Secretary of War. In March 1876, he was accused of
      malfeasance in office for accepting over $24,000 in bribes from a post
      trader seeking immunity from removal.

      It is not clear whether he was aware of the arrangement or whether his
      wife had made the bargain and accepted the payoffs. Nevertheless, he
      was impeached by a unamious vote of the United States Senate, though
      at his formal trial the Senate fell short of the number of votes
      required to convict. By then he had resigned, which doubtless
      accounted for his acquittal.

      In later years, he resided in Philadelphia, then practiced law in
      Washington, D.C.. He died in Washington on October 13,1890 and was
      buried in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery. THE NEW YORK TIMES
      - OCTOBER 22, 1890


      WASHINGTON, October 13, 1890 - General W. W. Belknap, Secretary of War
      during President Grant's Administration, was found dead in his bed at
      about 10 o'clock this morning. It is believed that death occurred
      between 1 o'clock Saturday night and 9 o'clock Sunday morning.

      For some time it had been the General's habit to meet a few friends at
      the home of Dr. Hill, who lives less than a square away, for a social
      game of cards. Last Saturday night he was with them as usual and
      remained until nearly midnight, when he returned to his apartment in
      the Evans Building at 1490 New York Avenue, and presumably retired
      immediately. He was never again seen alive.

      About 8:30 o'clock this morning John W. Cameron, his business
      associate, arrived at the building and, taking the mail for himself
      and the General from the box on the first floor, proceeded to the
      second floor where their offices and the General's apartment are
      situated. He had separated the General's mail from his own, which he
      began reading, when the servant girl who keeps the rooms in order
      rapped at the door and inquired if General Belknap was out of the
      city, saying that she had several times since Sunday morning tried the
      doors but found them locked.

      Mr. Cameron, startled at what the girl had said immediately tried the
      doors himself but they were locked. The janitor was summoned and,
      bringing a stepladder, looked through the transom over the door
      leading from the public hall into the General's sitting room. He could
      see the General's hat on the table and his coat and waistcoat upon a
      chair standing nearby. The stepladder was then placed against the door
      leading into the bedroom. The bed was then seen, and the general lying
      partly uncovered on it. His left arm was bent rigidly toward the head
      was tightly clinched as though death had come while he was in a
      convulsion. The bedclothes were somewhat disarranged as if there had
      been a slight struggle for breath.

      A physician was summoned and after making a brief examination he
      expressed the opinion that death had resulted from a stroke of
      apoplexy. The Coroner soon afterward arrived and took the body in
      charge. The autopsy disclosed the fact that the immediate cause of
      death was inflammation of the inner lining of the heart.

      For some years General Belknap had been an almost constant sufferer
      from gout and in February last he had so severe an attack that he
      hardly left his room for three months or more. During that time he
      lost in flesh between thirty and forty pounds, and since then he had
      been in poor health. In consequence of his long illness his business
      had suffered and this had worried him at times. Mr. Cameron last saw
      the General at about 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon. He had been talking
      of his business affairs and seemed somewhat depressed, but before Mr.
      Cameron left him he had in a measure regained his usual cheerfulness.

      Mrs. Belknap, who was at Newport and other Eastern seaside resorts
      during the summer months, but who has been in New York City during the
      last few weeks was summoned by telegraph, as was also the General's
      son, Hugh, who lives in Chicago where he is employed in the offices of
      the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company.

      As soon as the death of General Belknap was known at the War
      Department, Acting Secretary Grant ordered the flag on the building to
      be put at half mast in honor of the ex-secretary, and gave directions
      that the building be draped in black for the customary period. He also
      communicated with the family of the dead man to offer whatever
      assistance they might desire from the department in the arrangements
      for the funeral. As soon as the funeral arrangements are completed an
      order will be issued closing the department on the day of the funeral.

      William Worth Belknap was born in Newburg, New York, September 22,
      1829. He was the son of General William Goldsmith Belknap, who served
      with distinction in the War of 1812 and in the Florida and Mexican
      Wars. William Worth Belknap was graduated from Princeton College in
      the Class of 1848. He studied law in Georgetown, D.C. but was
      subsequently removed to Keokuk, Iowa, where he permanently located and
      practiced his profession in partnership with Ralph B. Lowe, who was
      afterward Governor of Iowa and Judge of the Supreme Court. At this
      time General Belknap was a Democrat and as such he was elected to the
      State Legislature. He served one term, that of 1867-8.

      As the outbreak of the Civil War he entered the Army as a Major of the
      Fifteenth Iowa Infantry. He served with his regiment in the Army of
      the Tennessee, and participated in the battle of Shiloh, the siege and
      battle of Corinth, the siege of Vicksburg, the siege of Atlanta and
      the battles of Atlanta on July 21,22, and 23. After the capture of
      Atlanta, he marched with Sherman to the sea and finally to Washington.
      He had meantime risen through the grades and had been promoted to the
      rank of Brigadier General for special gallantry in the memorable
      battle of July 22 when he fought with his regiment from either side of
      the same line of breastworks. He was brevetted Major General March 13,
      1865 and was mustered out August 24, 1865.

      After the war he was appointed Internal Revenue Collector for the
      First District of Iowa, a position that he held from 1865 to October
      13, 1869, when he was called into General Grant's Cabinet as Secretary
      of War. He retained his office, through General Grant's second
      Administration, until March 7, 1876 when he resigned in connection
      with charges of official corruption. He was impeached and tried before
      the Senate of the United States, the specific charges against him
      being that he had promised to appoint Caleb P. Marsh of New York to
      maintain a trading establishment at Fort Sill, Indian Territory, a
      military post of the United States, on consideration of a certain sum
      of money to paid quarterly to Belknap or Belknap's wife.

      The evidence showed conclusively that Marsh appointed one John B.
      Evans as his substitute after Marsh and Evans had entered into a
      written agreement for Evans to pay Marsh an annual sum of money in
      proportion to the number of soldiers quartered at the post. This
      contract was carried out with the knowledge and consent of Belknap as
      Secretary of War, and it was further proved that Evans paid the moneys
      to Marsh as agreed and that Marsh turned over to Belknap the larger
      portion of such moneys. This arrangement continued from October 10,
      1870 to March 2, 1876 and the whole amount of money received from
      Marsh by Belknap in consequence of it was $24,450.

      Belknap was represented before the Senate in answer to the impeachment
      by Matthew Carpenter, Judge Jeremiah B. Black, and Montgomery Blair,
      who pleaded that inasmuch as Belknap had resigned the office of
      Secretary of War before the articles of impeachment were drawn the
      Senate had no jurisdiction in the matter. On this technical plea
      Belknap escaped, thirty-five Senators voting that he was guilty and
      twenty-five voting to acquit him, it required a two-thirds vote for
      absolute conviction.

      General Belknap spent the later years of his life in Washington. He
      was twice married, and his second wife, who was a Miss Tomlinson of
      Keokuk, surviving him. BELKNAP, WILLIAM W., GEN., is the son of Gen.
      William G. Belknap, of the United States Army, who distinguished
      himself in the war of 1812, in the Florida war, and at Resaca and
      Buena Vista in the war with Mexico, and died in the service in 1851,
      Texas. He was born at Newburg, New York, in 1829, and, after
      attending the high school and academy there, and pursuing his studies
      in Florida, where his father was stationed, he entered Princeton
      College in 1846, and graduated in 1848. After studying law in
      Georgetown, D.C., and being admitted to the bar in Washington City,
      he went, in July, 1851, to Keokuk and commenced the practice of the
      law, shortly afterward forming a partnership with Hon. R.P. Lowe
      (who was soon after elected ) District Judge, and later Governor and
      Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State), and brought his
      mother and two sisters there in 1852. He was a member of the
      Legislature from Lee County, in 1857, as a representative of the
      Democratic party; but, being a strong Douglas Democrat, and not
      uniting with the members of that party who favored what was known as
      the Lecompton Constitution of Kansas, which was an important and
      exciting question in the politics of the party, he joined the
      Republican party. He was appointed Major of the 15th Iowa Vols., by
      Gov. Kirkwood, in 1861, of which regiment Gen. Hugh T. Reid was
      Colonel, and participated in that capacity in the battle of Shiloh,
      where he was wounded and had his horse shot under him. He remained in
      the army until the close of the war, rising gradually through the
      grades of Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel; was appointed Brigadier
      General of Volunteers, by President Lincoln, in 1864, on the
      recommendation of his commanders, Gens., Blair and Sherman, and was
      brevetted Major General in 1865 for gallant and meritorious services
      during the war. Having, as Brigadier General of Volunteers commanded
      the 3d Brigade, 4th Division, 17th Army Corps (Blair's) of the army
      of the Tennessee (McPherson's ); he was in numerous battles; among
      them, Shiloh, Corinth, the several battles near Atlanta, and the
      battle of Bentonville, N.C. He was engaged in the siege of Corinth,
      Vicksburg and of Atlanta, and commanded his Brigade (composed of the
      11th,13th,15th, and 16th Iowa Regiments), under Sherman in his march
      from Altanta to the sea; thence to Goldsboro', Raleigh and
      Washington. He was repeatedly mentioned for coolness and courage, and
      in the battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864, he took prisoner Col.
      Lampley, 45th Alabama, by pulling him over the works, by his coat collar.

      At the close of the war, he was appointed Collector of Internal
      Revenue for the 1st District of Iowa. On the accession of General
      Grant to the Presidency, he was offered the choice of either one of
      three important public positions in another State, and one at
      Washington, which he declined, and remained Collector of the 1st
      District (comprising the counties of Lee, Des Moines, Louisa,
      Washington, Jefferson, Van Buren, Henry, and Davis), until October,
      1869, when he was appointed Secretary of War by President Grant, and
      his many friends point to the records of that office for the proof of
      his faithful labors for a term of over six years. Prior to this
      appointment, he was selected as the orator for the Army of the
      Tennessee at the re-union of all the Western armies, at Crosby's Opera
      House, Chicago, December, 1868, and delivered the address at the great
      Re-union of Iowa soldiers, at Des Moines, in September,, 1870.

      After his resignation of the office of Secretary of War, articles of
      impeachment were presented against him, and after a protracted and
      thorough trial, he was acquitted by the Senate.

      General Belknap married, in 1854, Miss LeRoy, of Keokuk the sister of
      Mrs. Hugh T. Reid, and their son, Hugh Reid Belknap, is now a student
      at Phillips academy, Andover, Mass. His present wife, Amanda, whom he
      married in 1873, formerly Miss Tomlinson, of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, is
      the daughter of the late Dr. John Tomlinson, an able and famous
      physician of that locality. They have one child, a daughter, Alice
      Belknap. Since leaving the War Department Gen. Belknap has been
      engaged in legal practice; his residence is Keokuk but his business
      before the Departments at Washington, a large part of which results
      from his employment as attorney by several Railroad Corporations,
      requires him to be absent from home during a portion of each year.

      BELKNAP, W W
      DATE OF DEATH: 10/12/1890
      DATE OF INTERMENT: Unknown

      DATE OF DEATH: 10/12/1890
      DATE OF INTERMENT: Unknown

      DATE OF DEATH: 06/26/1916
      DATE OF INTERMENT: 06/26/1916
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