Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866

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Samuel Ryan Curtis, engineer, legislator, and Union general. A graduate of West Point (class of 1831), he briefly served on the frontier, and then worked as an engineer and studied law. During the Mexican War, he commanded the 3rd Regiment of Ohio Infantry, and he served as military governor of Matamoras, Camargo, Monterrey, and Saltillo. After the war, Curtis resumed his engineering career, working in Iowa and Missouri. In 1853, he moved to Iowa and entered politics as a member of Republican party. He was elected to Congress in 1856, and was re-elected in 1858 and again in 1860, having defeated Chester Cicero Cole. With the outbreak of Civil War, he resigned his seat to join the Army. He commanded the Army of the Southwest, Dept. of the Missouri, Dept. of Kansas, and Dept. of the Northwest. After the war, he briefly served as an Indian commissioner and a member of the commission to examine the Union Pacific Railroad.

From the description of Papers of Samuel Ryan Curtis, 1826-1866. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 228718404

Commander, U.S. Army Dept. of Kansas; of Fort Leavenworth (Kan.).

From the description of Campaign book[s] [microform], [not before 1862]-1865. (Kansas State Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 49360811

Samuel Curtis was the son of Zarah and Phalley Curtis, had an older brother Henry B., and a younger brother, Hosmer. Samuel grew up in Ohio, living in Mt. Vernon, then moved to Newark, Ohio where he worked as a law clerk,then Mansfield where he worked as a store clerk. He became a cadet at West Point in 1827 and graduated in 1831. He married Belinda Buckingham that year, served at Ft. Gibson with the 7th Infantry, and resigned from the Army in 1832. He then became a civil engineer in Ohio, working on the National Road.

From the description of Samuel Ryan Curtis correspondence, 1823-1837 (bulk 1823-1831). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702137760

Curtis worked on the National Road in Ohio in the 1830s, raised and was Colonel of the 3rd Regiment Ohio Volunteers in the Mexican War, had a private practice in Keokuk from 1855-1861, was elected to Congress from Iowa in 1856, and later fought in the Civil War.

From the description of Letters, 1837-1858. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702137768

Samuel Ryan Curtis (1805-1866), was a Colonel of the 3d Regiment of the Ohio Volunteers. Before the Mexican War, Curtis was chief engineer for the Muskingum River project and, at the same time, maintained a law office in Wooster, Ohio.

From the description of Correspondence, 1844-1848. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702127311

Iowa congressman who resigned his seat in the House of Representatives in 1861 to take over command of the 2nd Iowa Regiment. Had graduated from West Point and served as Adjutant General of Ohio during the Mexican War. Also a civil engineer and interested in building the railroad to California. During the war he was accused of speculating in cotton while in Helena, Arkansas but after investigation was exonerated of all charges.

From the description of Papers, 1859-1863. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 52538360

Samuel Ryan Curtis, born in New York, moved to Ohio in 1809, graduated from West Point, served at Ft. Gibson with the 7th Infantry, and left in 1832. He worked in Ohio as engineer on the National Road, served in the Mexican War, returned to engineering as chief engineer for the Des Moines River and city engineer in St. Louis. He represented Iowa in Congress, 1856-61, entered the Union army, commanding the Depts. of Missouri, Kansas, and the Northwest.

Henry Zarah Curtis (d. 1863), a major in the United States Army, served during the Civil War as assistant adjutant general on his father's staff while Samuel R. Curtis commanded the Dept. of Missouri, and then transferred to General Blunt's staff in Kansas. He was killed by guerrillas under Quantrill.

Samuel Stephen Curtis, a colonel in the United States Army, served during the Civil War as aide-de-camp on his father's (Samuel R. Curtis) staff during the campaign in Arkansas and later was major of the 2d Colorado Regiment.

From the description of Samuel Ryan Curtis Papers, 1846-1866. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702127568

Samuel Ryan Curtis (1805-1866), Union general. A West Point graduate, he left the regular army to pursue a career in law and civil engineering. He served in the Mexican War, and then resumed his engineering career, working in Iowa and Missouri. In 1856 he sucessfully ran for Congress, as a Republican. He was re-elected in 1858 and again in 1860, having defeated Chester Cicero Cole. He soon resigned his seat to join the army. In 1862 he commanded the Army of the Southwest, and after victory at Pea Ridge and occupation of Helena, was put in charge of the Departments of Missouri. In May 1863 he was removed following a conflict with the governor of Missouri H. R. Gamble, and later assigned to the command of the Department of Kansas and the Department of the Northwest.

His son Samuel Stephen Ryan was aide-de-camp on his father's staff during the campaign in Arkansas and later served in the regular army.

From the description of Papers of Samuel Ryan Curtis : Addenda, 1846-1914 (bulk 1860-1890). (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122644214

Samuel Ryan Curtis was born in New York State on February 3, 1805 and moved with his family to Licking County, Ohio, in 1809. After graduation from West Point in 1831, he was sent to Fort Gibson with the 7th Infantry. On November 3, 1831, Curtis married Belinda Buckingham of Mansfield. In the summer of 1832, he resigned his commission, returned to Ohio, was employed as an engineer on the construction of the National Road, and took up the study of law. After service in the Mexican War, he went to Iowa as chief engineer for improvements in the Des Moines River, was city engineer of St. Louis, and became interested in railroading. He represented the First Congressional District of Iowa from 1856 to 1861, interesting himself especially in the promotion of the Pacific Railroad. He resigned his seat in Congress in August, 1861, to report for duty to Major General Frémont at St. Louis. He commanded the victorious Union Army at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, in 1862, and, as a result, was given command of the Department of Missouri. Curtis was later removed on account of friction between civil and military authorities. In 1864, he was assigned to command the Department of Kansas and in 1865 was sent to the Department of the Northwest. After the Civil War, he was one of the commissioners to treat with the Indians along the Missouri, and also served on the commission to examine and report on the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. While engaged on this survey, he died at Council Bluffs in 1866.

Both of General Curtis' sons served in the Civil War. Major Henry Zarah Curtis was assistant adjutant general on his father's staff while the latter was in command of the Department of Missouri. He was later transferred to General Blunt's staff in Kansas. He was killed in 1863 by guerrillas under Quantrill. A second son, Samuel Stephen Curtis, was aide-de-camp on his father's staff during the campaign in Arkansas and major of the 2d Colorado Regiment.

From the guide to the Samuel Ryan Curtis Papers, 1846-1866, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Survey of the Ohio, Wayne, Richland & Crawford Canal or Rail-Road / [surveyed by] Saml. R. Curtis, Engineer. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
creatorOf Hutchings, Albin H. [Hutchings engravings]. Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Central (downtown Buffalo)
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Correspondence, 1844-1847. [microform]. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part III: The Civil War: The Union, 1804-1915. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Franz Sigel Papers, 1806-1930 (Bulk 1848-1880) @ 2011 New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Potter, Edward A. Edward A. Potter, Jr. Civil War collection, 1862. Central Arkansas Library System, Main Library
referencedIn Letters concerning the conduct of Major Emeric Meszaros in the Battle of Pea Ridge, 1862-1863. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Letters, 1837-1858. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Sanderson, Winslow F., d. 1853. Winslow Fuller Sanderson papers, 1846-1860. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Sigel, Franz, 1824-1902. Franz Sigel papers, 1806-1901 (bulk 1860-1862). New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Commandery of the State of Massachusetts Civil War collection, 1724-1933 (inclusive);, 1861-1912 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Curtis, Henry B. (Henry Barnes), 1799-1885. Henry B. Curtis correspondence, 1850-1866. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Papers, 1841-1923 University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Kansas Collection.
referencedIn Woodward, Ashbel, 1804-1885. Ashbel Woodward biography collection, undated. Connecticut Historical Society
referencedIn Hall, Augustus, 1814-1861. Letters to Augustus Hall, 1847-1868 (bulk 1847-1857). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Military history collection, 1840-1971. Kansas State Historical Society
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Correspondence, 1844-1848. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn John Sherman Papers, 1836-1900, (bulk 1857-1894) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Peter Wellington Alexander Papers, 1855-1863 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Autograph letter signed : St. Louis, to unknown person, [Washington, D.C.?], 1863 Mar. 8. Texas Christian University
creatorOf Sigel, Franz, 1824-1902. Franz Sigel papers, 1861-1862, 1900-1901. New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Samuel Ryan Curtis diaries and papers, 1846-[ca. 1860]. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Samuel Ryan Curtis papers [microform], 1846-1866. Kansas State Historical Society
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Papers, 1859-1863. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
referencedIn Coe, William Robertson, 1869-1955,. Coe mss. 32, 37, 44, 81, 85, 122-5, 126, 147, 156, 212, 226, 351, 388, 410, 1816-1918. Kansas State Historical Society
creatorOf Parsons, Lewis B. (Lewis Baldwin), 1818-1907. Papers, 1799-1908 (bulk 1836-1908). Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
referencedIn Spivey, George. George Spivey letter, undated. Arkansas History Commission, Department of Archives and History
referencedIn [Plan of the Battlefield of Pea Ridge, Arkansas]. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Bolivar and Fort Wayne [survey] / Saml. R. Curtis. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
referencedIn Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Civil War Commandery of the State of Massachusetts collection: Patriotic covers, ca. 1861-1865. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Letters concerning the conduct of Major Emeric Meszaros in the Battle of Pea Ridge, 1862-1863. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Letter to [?]. Jefferson Barracks, MO. 1861 Sept. 1. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Halleck, H. W. (Henry Wager), 1815-1872. H.W. Halleck papers, 1843-1896 (bulk 1862). Library of Congress
referencedIn [Subjects on Bickel microfilm, reel 1] [microform]. Iowa State Historical Society
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Campaign book[s] [microform], [not before 1862]-1865. Kansas State Historical Society
creatorOf Gest, E. (Erasmus), 1820-1908. Papers 1834-1885. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
referencedIn Ankeny, Henry Giesey, 1827-1906. Henry Giese Ankeny papers, 1855-1919, bulk 1861-1864. State Historical Society of Iowa, Library
referencedIn Map showing the disposition of troops of the 1st & 2d Divisions on the 7th of March between 3 & 4 p.m. and of one part of them in the night of 7th, to 8th, commanded by Gen. Sigel. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Survey for the Ohio, Wayne, Richland, and Crawford Rail Road / Saml. R. Curtis. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
creatorOf Samuel Ryan Curtis letter, June 16, 1864 University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Kansas Collection.
referencedIn Philip Case Lockwood memorial collection of Civil War portraits and autographs, 1862-ca. 1886. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Samuel Ryan Curtis Papers, 1846-1866 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn H. W. Halleck Papers, 1843-1896, (bulk 1862) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Papers of Samuel Ryan Curtis, 1826-1866. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. A survey from Lexington [to] Bolivar, Ohio / Sam. R. Curtis. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
referencedIn Deane, Ernie. Markers & monuments [Cross Hollows] [graphic] / Ernie Deane [photographer]. Arkansas History Commission
referencedIn Cabell, William Daniel, 1834-1904. Papers of William Daniel Cabell and the Cabell and Ellet families [manuscript], 1798-1955. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Alexander, Peter Wellington, 1825-1886. Peter Wellington Alexander papers, 1835-1910. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Papers of Samuel Ryan Curtis : Addenda, 1846-1914 (bulk 1860-1890). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn United States. War Dept. Letter: to Colonel Samuel R. Curtis /by W. L. Marcy, Secretary of War, 1847 Nov 23. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Samuel Ryan Curtis correspondence, 1823-1837 (bulk 1823-1831). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Harmar and Lancaster Turnpike / [surveyed by] Saml. R. Curtis, Engineer. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
referencedIn Robert Carter letters from various correspondents, 1851-1898 (inclusive), 1851-1862 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Prentice, George D. (George Denison), 1802-1870. George Denison Prentice : papers, 1851-1862. The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Henderson, James Pinckney, Family Papers 82-59., 1837-1881 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. Samuel Ryan Curtis Papers, 1846-1866. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Herron, Francis Jay, 1837-1902. Francis Jay Herron papers, 1861-1877 (bulk 1862-1865). New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Bliss, Calvin Comins, 1823-1891. Calvin Comins Bliss papers, 1841-1906. Arkansas History Commission, Department of Archives and History
creatorOf Alexander, Peter Wellington, 1825-1886. Col. Peter Wellington Alexander, C.S.A., collection 1862-1864. University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, University Libraries
referencedIn Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Commandery of the State of Massachusetts Civil War collection, 1724-1933 (inclusive);, 1861-1912 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Kirkwood, Samuel Jordan, 1813-1894. Letter : Iowa City, to S[amuel] R[yan] Curtis, St. Louis, 1862 Nov. 4. Texas Christian University
creatorOf Curtis, Samuel Ryan, 1805-1866. ADS (copy), 1861 November 19 : Head Quarters, St. Louis. Special Orders. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Smith, Gustavus Adolphus, 1820-1885. Papers, 1841-1920. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alexander, Peter Wellington, 1825-1886. person
associatedWith Ankeny, Henry Giesey, 1827-1906. person
associatedWith Arnold, G. B. person
associatedWith Barton, William Eleazar, 1861-1930, person
associatedWith Bennett, L. G. (Lyman G.) person
associatedWith Bliss, Calvin Comins, 1823-1891. person
correspondedWith Brinkerhoff, Jacob, 1810-1880 person
associatedWith Cabell, William Daniel, 1834-1904. person
associatedWith Carter, Robert, 1819-1879 person
correspondedWith Chipman, N. P. (Norton Parker), 1836-1924 person
associatedWith Coe, William Robertson, 1869-1955, person
associatedWith Confederate States of America. Army. corporateBody
correspondedWith Corwin, Thomas, 1794-1865 person
associatedWith Curtis, Belinda Buckingham. person
associatedWith Curtis, Belinda Buckingham. person
associatedWith Curtis, Cornelia. person
associatedWith Curtis, Cornelia. person
associatedWith Curtis family. family
associatedWith Curtis family. family
associatedWith Curtis family. family
associatedWith Curtis, Henry B. (Henry Barnes), 1799-1885, person
associatedWith Curtis, Henry Zarah, d. 1863. person
associatedWith Curtis, Hosmer. person
associatedWith Curtis, Sadie. person
associatedWith Curtis, Sadie. person
associatedWith Curtis, Samuel S. person
associatedWith Curtis, Samuel S. (Samuel Stephen), person
associatedWith Curtis, Samuel Stephen. person
associatedWith Deane, Ernie. person
associatedWith Dearborn, Frederick M. (Frederick Myers), b. 1876 person
associatedWith Eaton, J. E. person
associatedWith Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890. person
associatedWith Gest, E. (Erasmus), 1820-1908. person
correspondedWith Grimes, James W. (James Wilson), 1816-1872 person
associatedWith Hall, Augustus, 1814-1861. person
associatedWith Halleck, H. W. (Henry Wager), 1815-1872. person
associatedWith Harlan, James, 1820-1899. person
associatedWith Henderson, James Pinckney, Family family
associatedWith Herron, Francis Jay, 1837-1902. person
associatedWith Hutchings, Albin H. person
associatedWith Insley, Capt. M. H. person
associatedWith Kirkwood, Samuel Jordan, 1813-1894 person
associatedWith Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866 person
correspondedWith Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 person
associatedWith Lockwood, Philip Case, 1844-1897 person
associatedWith McComb, Robert. person
associatedWith McKean, Thomas J. person
associatedWith Meigs, M. C., addressee. person
associatedWith Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Commandery of the State of Massachusetts, collector. corporateBody
associatedWith Mills, James K. person
associatedWith Noles, A. F. person
associatedWith Parsons, Lewis B. (Lewis Baldwin), 1818-1907. person
associatedWith Polk, James K. (James Knox), 1795-1849. person
associatedWith Potter, Edward A. person
associatedWith Prentice, George D. (George Denison), 1802-1870. person
associatedWith Price, Sterling, 1809-1867. person
associatedWith Republican Party (Iowa) corporateBody
associatedWith Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) corporateBody
associatedWith Sanderson, Winslow F., d. 1853. person
correspondedWith Sherman, John, 1796-1841 person
associatedWith Sigel, Franz, 1824-1902. person
associatedWith Smith, Gustavus Adolphus, 1820-1885. person
associatedWith Spivey, George. person
associatedWith Sully, Alfred, 1821-1879. person
associatedWith Taylor, Zachary, 1784-1850. person
associatedWith Thompkins, Daniel Decius, 1799-1863. person
associatedWith Union Pacific Railroad Company. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Colorado Cavalry Regiment, 2nd (1863-1865) corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Colorado Cavalry Regiment, 3rd (1864) corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Corps of Engineers corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Dept. of Kansas. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Dept. of Kansas. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Dept. of Kansas. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Dept. of the Missouri. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Dept. of the Missouri. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Dept. of the Northwest. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Dept. of the Northwest. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Iowa Infantry Regiment, 2nd (1861-1865) corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army of the Southwest. corporateBody
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associatedWith United States Commission to Negotiate with the Indians along the Upper Missouri River. corporateBody
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associatedWith United States. Congress. House corporateBody
associatedWith United States Military Academy. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. War Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Whittlesey, Charles, 1808-1886. person
associatedWith William E. Barton Collection of Lincolniana (University of Chicago) corporateBody
associatedWith Woodward, Ashbel, 1804-1885. person
associatedWith Wool, John Ellis, 1784-1869. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Fort Leavenworth (Kan.)
Camp Catherine (Ohio)
Middle West
Iowa
Missouri
New York (State)--West Point
Ohio
West (U.S.)
United States
Kansas
McConnelsville (Ohio)
United States
Iowa
Keokuk (Iowa)
Ohio
Mansfield (Ohio)
Southwest, Old
United States
Confederate States of America
Missouri
Camp Washington (Cincinnati, Ohio)
West (U.S.)
Arkansas
Ohio
Missouri
Colorado
United States
Ohio--Wayne County
Mexico
United States
Ohio
McConnelsville (Ohio)
Colorado
Newark (Ohio)
Arkansas
Ohio
Missouri
Iowa
Kansas
Ohio
Colorado
United States--Iowa
Ohio
Mount Vernon (Ohio)
United States
United States
United States
California
United States
Subject
Gold mines and mining--Colorado
Harmar and Lancaster Turnpike--Maps, Manuscript
Dakota Indians--Government relations
General
Politicians--Archives
Generals--Archives
Railroads--History--19th century--Sources
Canals--Maps, Manuscript
Cotton--Prices
Presidents--Election--1828
Roads--Maps, Manuscript
Water mills--Maps
Presidents--Election--1860
Gold mines and mining--California
Pea Ridge, Battle of, Ark., 1862--Maps
Engineering--Iowa
Indians of North America--Government relations--History--Sources
Railroads--Maps, Manuscript
Railroads--Maps
Engineering
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Pea Ridge, Battle of, Ark., 1862--Personal narratives
Engineering--Missouri
Indians of North America
Indian agents--Correspondence
Military cadets--Correspondence
Mexican War, 1846-1848--Veterans--Societies, etc
Pea Ridge, Battle of, Ark., 1862
Legislators--Archives
Price's Missouri Expedition, 1864
Buena Vista, Battle of, Mexico, 1847
Iowa--History--19th century--Sources
Gold mines and mining
Speculation
Dakota Indians--Treaties
Legislators--Correspondence
Mexican War, 1846-1848--Personal narratives
Occupation
Engineers--Missouri
Engineers--Ohio
Soldiers--United States
Soldiers--Ohio
Engineers--Iowa
Function

Person

Birth 1805-02-03

Death 1866-12-26

Americans

English

Information

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