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Biography of Col. Granville O. Haller

COL. GRANVILLE O. HALLER, U.S.A., Retired. – Granville Owen Haller was born in York, Pennsylvania, January 31, 1819. His father, George Haller, died when he was but two years of age, leaving a pious and most devoted mother in charge of four young children, who, with limited means, but with industry and thrift, had the satisfaction of seeing her eldest son graduate at the Jefferson Medical College of the University of Pennsylvania. She was very desirous of sending Granville to the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to be fitted for the ministry, but conscientious doubts on his part prevented him from conforming to his mother’s wishes. In 1839 a vacancy belonging to his district occurred at West Point Military Academy, when he and several other young men became applicants to fill the vacancy. The Honorable Joel R. Poinsett, Secretary of War, ruled that the recommendation of the representative of the district, giving his preference to one of the applicants, should secure his appointment. Haller received the preferred recommendation, but did not receive the appointment. Walter S. Franklin, of York, Pennsylvania, clerk of the House of Representatives, a warm and consistent friend of the Honorable James Buchanan, senator from Pennsylvania, and also a friend of Secretary Poinsett, had recently died, when Senator Buchanan applied for William B. Franklin, son of the deceased to be appointed. William was thereupon appointed to West Point; and Haller was invited to appear before a board of military officers, which met in Washington, District of Columbia, for information as to his fitness for the military profession. Haller presented himself, was examined, and on the seventeenth...

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