Bliss, Zenas R. (Zenas Randall), 1835-1900

Variant names

Hide Profile

8th U.S. Infantry, 1854-1861; prisoner of war, Texas, 1861-1862; colonel, 7th and 10th Rhode Island Infantry, 1862-1865; major, 30th U.S. Infantry, 1856-1869; lt. colonel, 25th U.S. Infantry, 1869-1877; commanded Dept. of Texas, 1895-1897; retired as major general, 1897.

From the description of Letter : Washington, D.C., to [Joshua M.] Addeman, [18]99 April 20. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 27327742

Born in Rhode Island, Zenas Randall Bliss (1935-1900) left his home state in 1850 for his appointment to West Point Military Academy. Bliss' military career began with his assignment to duty as a brevet second lieutenant in the First Infantry at the completion of his training in 1854. Sent to Texas, Bliss served at Fort Duncan until 1855, when he was promoted to second lieutenant and transferred to an Eighth Infantry position at Fort Davis. Bliss was promoted again to lieutenant in 1860 and then to captain in 1861 at Camp Hudson. As the federal forts surrendered in Texas after secession, Bliss attempted to march his garrison to the Gulf Coast but was intercepted by Confederate troops. In 1862, after a brief imprisonment, Bliss was appointed colonel of the Tenth Rhode Island Infantry. He was then breveted to major of the regular army for his service at the battle of Fredericksburg in Virginia later that same year, and to lieutenant colonel in 1864 for his service at the Battle of the Wilderness. After the Civil War, in 1867, Bliss was assigned major of the Thirty-Ninth Infantry. Appointed commander of the Department of Texas, Bliss served at Forts Bliss, Clark, Davis and Duncan between 1871 and 1879. He was appointed lieutenant colonel of the Nineteenth Infantry in 1879, and promoted to colonel of the Twenty-Fourth Infantry in 1886. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1895 and finally major general in 1897, retiring within the same year. Zenas R. Bliss died in Washington, D. C. in 1900.

From the description of Bliss, Zenas Randall, papers, 1854-1898. (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 70280217

Graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1854. Served with the 8th Infantry conducting recruits on frontier duty in Texas, 1854-1861. Surrended to the Texas Insurgents under General Van Dorn and remained a prisoner of war, 1861-1862. Served with the rank of Colonel with the 7th and 10th Rhode Island infantry regiments during the remainder of the Civil War. Mustered out of volunteer service in 1865. As a Major assigned to the 30th Infantry Regiment Bliss commanded forts Jackson and St. Philip, La., 1865-1869. Transferred to the 25th Infantry, 1869. Served with the 25th Infantry Regiment on frontier duty in Texas commanding various forts in Texas with the rank of Lt. Colonel, 1869-1877.

From the description of The Zenas R. Bliss papers, 1937. (US Army, Mil Hist Institute). WorldCat record id: 24892615

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Simmons, James Fowler, 1795-1864. James Fowler Simmons papers, 1771-1939 (bulk 1840-1860). Library of Congress
referencedIn James Fowler Simmons Papers, 1771-1939, (bulk 1840-1860) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Zenas Randall Bliss Papers 2001-161., 1854-1898 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
creatorOf Bliss, Zenas R. Reminiscences, 1845-1875. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Tobey, Thomas Fry, 1840-1920. Thomas Fry Tobey papers, 1808-1929. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Bliss, Zenas H. Zenas H. Bliss correspondence, 1863-1864. Vermont Historical Society
creatorOf Bliss, Zenas R. The Zenas R. Bliss papers, 1937. U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center
creatorOf Bliss, Zenas R. (Zenas Randall), 1835-1900. Bliss, Zenas Randall, papers, 1854-1898. University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Pearce, Samuel A. Letter, May 23, 1899. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
referencedIn Owen, William Miller, 1832-1893. William Miller Owen and Allison Owen papers, 1867-1914. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
creatorOf Bliss, Zenas R. (Zenas Randall), 1835-1900. Letter : Washington, D.C., to [Joshua M.] Addeman, [18]99 April 20. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Place Name Admin Code Country
New Mexico
San Antonio (Tex.)
Southern States
United States
Calais (Vt.)
United States
United States
United States
Frontier and pioneer life
Frontier and pioneer life
Medal of Honor
Military bases
Military bases
Military ceremonies, honors, and salutes
Prisoners of war


Birth 1835-04-17

Death 1900-01-02





Ark ID: w6h13t4p

SNAC ID: 2213075