John E. Wool

JOHN E. WOOL, a distinguished American general, was born in Newburgh, New York, in 1789. He received but a scanty education, and passed the greater part of his youth in the store of a merchant at Troy, in the situation of clerk. He afterwards commenced the study of law, but at the end of a year he gave up the idea of following this profession, and, war having been declared with Great Britain, he procured a captain's commission in a regiment of infantry, and joined the forces under General Van Rensselaer, on the Niagara frontier. In the course of this war he distinguished him self greatly. For his services at Queenstown he was promoted to the rank of major; and for his gallant conduct at Plattsburgh he was made lieutenant-colonel, by brevet. During the interval of peace which followed the treaty of Ghent, Colonel Wool performed several important services. In 1832, he was despatched to Europe, for the purpose of procuring information on military matters; and in discharge of that duty he traveled through France and Belgium, and was present at Antwerp during the siege of that city by the French. In 1836, he superintended the removal of the Indians from the Cherokee country to the Arkansas; and, in 1838, he was placed in command of the Maine frontier during the troubles arising out of the boundary question. In 1841, he had risen by successive steps to the rank of brigadier-general. During the war with Mexico, General Wool was attached to the army under General Taylor; and it was to his skill and energy that the Americans were greatly indebted for the victory of Buena Vista. For his services on this occasion he was appointed major-general by brevet. Since the conclusion of the Mexican war, General Wool has been in command of the northeastern division of the American army, and now resides in the city of Troy.