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Biography of James Brackett
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James Brackett, a prominent lawyer of Cherry Valley, Otsego County, New York, who graduated in the class with Daniel Webster, at Dartsmouth College, came to Rock Island in 1847 to spend the last years of a long and useful life.
John Ely Brackett, eldest son of James Brackett, graduated from West Point and later was appointed a Lieutenant in the Second Regiment of Artillery. Later he became a Captain in Colonel Stevenson’s Regiment, which was to sail for California to serve during the war with Mexico, and afterwards, as Major-General John Ely Brackett, was very active during the troublous California days in 1849, and is much lauded in the annals of that State. He died in Rock Island some years later.
Joseph Warren Brackett, second son of James Brackett, was appointed midshipman in the navy, at the age of fifteen, in 1830, from which he resigned four years later. In 1840 he was admitted to the bar of New York, and practiced nine years in Cherry Valley, his birthplace. He then went to Rock Island, where he remained till his death. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Colonel Brackett joined the Ninth Illinois Cavalry, and was appointed successively Battalion Quartermaster and Regimental Commissary. This Regiment made a record second to none in brilliancy and secured the special thanks of General Curtis and Thomas. He was a member of the John Buford Post, No. 243, Grand Army of the Republic, and one of its Post Commanders. He died at the age of 79, and was born January 19, 1815, in Cherry Valley, New York.
William Brackett, fourth son of James Brackett, was born in Cherry Valley, New York, in 1820. He was educated at Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He went to Rock Island in 1848, moved to Chicago in 1852, where he practiced law until 1874. He was an excellent writer, having a style clear, pure and classical, and was a charming companion. He died in Chicago June 14, 1888.
Doctor James W. Brackett, third son of James Brackett, was born in Cherry Valley, New York, October 8, 1816, and came to Rock Island in 1846. When the Civil War broke out Doctor Brackett was appointed surgeon to the Ninth Illinois Cavalry. In 1863 he became a contract surgeon at the United States military prison on the Island of Rock Island. He died at Rochester, Indiana, and was buried at Chippiannock Cemetery, March 25, 1886.
Albert Gallatin Brackett, the youngest of James Brackett’s seven sons, was born in Cherry Valley, New York, February 14, 1829. In June, 1847, he became First Lieutenant in the Fourth Indiana Volunteers. He participated in a number of battles in the Mexican War, and was honorably discharged at its close. He then went to Rock Island where he lived till March 3, 1855, when he was appointed Captain in the Second Regiment of United States Cavalry and sent to Texas to fight the Indians. When the Civil War broke out he became Colonel of the Ninth Illinois Cavalry. July 17, 1862, he was made Major in the First Cavalry, Regular Army, and sent to the Department of the Missouri. In January, 1864, he was placed in command of the Second Brigade of the Cavalry Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, and in July of the same year was appointed Acting Inspector-General of Cavalry for the Cavalry Bureau, Army of the Cumberland. During the next thirteen years, as Colonel of the Third Cavalry, he was engaged in constant campaigning against the Indians. He died in Washington and was buried at Arlington with military honors.
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