Asa P. Blunt

Asa Peabody Blunt (October 19, 1826 October 4, 1889) was an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He remained on active duty after the war. In recognition of his service during the Civil War, he was appointed to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers. Blunt was notable as commander of the 2nd Vermont Brigade and the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Asa Peabody Blunt
As a Colonel in 1862
Born(1826-10-19)October 19, 1826
Danville, Vermont
DiedOctober 4, 1889(1889-10-04) (aged 62)
Manchester, New Hampshire
Place of burial
Pine Grove Cemetery,
Manchester, New Hampshire
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Union Army
Years of service1861–1888
Rank Colonel
Brevet Brigadier general
Unit3rd Vermont Infantry
6th Vermont Infantry
12th Vermont Infantry
2nd Vermont Brigade
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War
*Battle at Lee's Mills
*Battle of Savage's Station

Early life

Blunt was born in Danville, Vermont. In 1850, Asa and his wife Mary were living in Southampton, New York, where he was an overseer in a cotton mill. By 1860, they were living in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, where Blunt was a draftsman for the Fairbanks Scales company.

Civil War

Blunt was appointed adjutant of the 3rd Vermont Infantry on June 6, 1861, and was mustered into federal service on July 16. On September 25, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, 6th Vermont Infantry, and then Colonel of the 12th Vermont Infantry on September 19, 1862. On October 27, the 2nd Vermont Brigade was formed from the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th, Vermont Infantry regiments, and Blunt assumed temporary command of the brigade as the ranking colonel, filling this position until December 7, when Brigadier General Edwin H. Stoughton arrived and assumed command.

Stoughton was not popular with the officers and men of the brigade, so when he was captured by Confederate partisan John S. Mosby on March 9, 1863, few mourned his loss. Colonel Blunt assumed command of the brigade again, turning it over to the new brigade commander, Brigadier General George J. Stannard, on April 20.

By the end of June, most of the brigade was waiting to muster out, their nine months obligation ended. But Robert E. Lee's incursion into Pennsylvania delayed that for a few weeks, and the brigade finally got to see some action. Blunt's 12th and the 15th regiments, however, were left behind in Emmitsburg, Maryland, guarding the supply trains, and were not able to participate in the brigade's flanking movement that helped stop Pickett's Charge on July 3 at the Battle of Gettysburg. On July 4, Blunt's regiment was released to return to Vermont, and he mustered out with the regiment on July 14, 1863.

Just more than six months later, On February 24, 1864, Blunt was appointed Captain and Assistant Quartermaster of Volunteers, and was ordered to report to the Commanding General, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, for duty in the Quartermaster's Department, which duties he assumed on April 25. He became the Depot Quartermaster for the Army of the James on May 4, 1864, and served in this position until late 1865. In recognition of his meritorious service at the Battle at Lee's Mills and Savage's Station, President Andrew Johnson, on May 4, 1866, nominated Blunt for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the United States Senate confirmed the appointment on May 18, 1866.[1] He also received appointments to the brevet grades of major, lieutenant colonel and colonel of volunteers, Quartermaster's Department, to rank from June 9, 1865.[2] He received appointments to the same brevet grades in the Regular Army to rank from March 2, 1867.[2]

Postwar life

On July 14, he was transferred to Fort Monroe, remaining there until July 1866. In late August, he was transferred to the position of Chief of Quartermaster Department of the Potomac.

He received a regular army commission as Captain and Assistant Quartermaster on March 28, 1867, and the same day, brevets to major and lieutenant colonel. On April 5, 1867, he was ordered to duty in connection with the National Cemeteries in the valleys of the James and Appomattox rivers and south of Richmond. On April 9, 1867, he was mustered out of the volunteers.[2] On April 11 appointed Chief Quartermaster, First Military District, with headquarters in Richmond. He was later ordered to Washington, D.C., and placed in charge of Lincoln Depot and the various National Cemeteries in the Department of Washington. By March 1, 1869, he was Department Quartermaster in Charleston, South Carolina.

Between 1877 and 1888 Blunt was Commandant of the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Blunt was promoted to permanent major on September 29, 1889.[3][4] He died in Manchester, New Hampshire on October 4, 1889,[5] and was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Manchester.[6]

See also


  1. Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1. p. 741.
  2. Eicher 2001, p. 135.
  3. Schillare, Quentin (January 14, 2016). "Blunt went from quartermaster to lead USMP". Fort Leavenworth Lamp. Fort Leavenworth, KS. p. 2.
  4. U.S. Army Adjutant General (1890). General Orders and Circulars. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 47.
  5. "Obituary: Gen. Asa P. Blunt". New York. New York, NY. October 5, 1889. p. 4. Gen. Asa P. Blunt, who died yesterday morning at Manchester, N.H. ...
  6. Asa P. Blunt at Find a Grave

Additional sources

  • Benedict, G. G., Vermont in the Civil War. A History of the part taken by the Vermont Soldiers And Sailors in the War For The Union, 1861-5. Burlington, VT.: The Free Press Association, 1888, i:i 128, 209, 217, ii: 402-405, 417, 420-421, 423, 430-432, 434, 446, 782.
  • Chadwick, Albert G., Soldiers' Record of the Town of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-5, St. Johnsbury, VT: C. M. Stone & Co., 1883, pp. 25–26.
  • Boatner, Mark M., The Civil War Dictionary, New York: Vintage Books, 1959, 1991 edition, p. 71.
  • Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1.
  • Heitman, Francis B.. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1789-1903. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1903.
  • Peck, Theodore S., compiler, Revised Roster of Vermont Volunteers and lists of Vermonters Who Served in the Army and Navy of the United States During the War of the Rebellion, 1861-66. Montpelier, VT.: Press of the Watchman Publishing Co., 1892, pp. 70, 181, 485, 677, 735, 747.
  • United States Census for the following years and place: 1850, Southampton, Suffolk Cty, New York; 1860, St.Johnsbury, Caledonia Cty, Vermont (incorrectly transcribed as Blunk), 1870, Manchester, Hillsborough Cty, New Hampshire, 1880, Manchester, Hillsborough Cty, New Hampshire, 1890 Special Schedule of Veterans and Widows, Manchester, Hillsborough Cty, New Hampshire.

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