Samuel Ryan Curtis began his career as a lawyer, switched to politics and led as a brigadier general several battles in the American Civil War.
Origin and teenage years:
Samuel Ryan Curtis was born on February 3, 1805 in Champlain, New York.
Entry into military service:
Curtis completed his first education at the US Military Academy in West Point, New York. This he completed in 1831 and was then stationed at Fort Gibson in Indiana.
Early on Curtis resigned from the military to work as an engineer. He also began to study law and, after graduating in 1841, worked as a lawyer in Ohio.
During the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848, he returned to the US Army and served as a military governor in some conquered cities.
After the war, he resigned from the military and resumed his job as an engineer, which he moved to Iowa. Among other things, was also at this time in charge of the Des Moines River project, a river in the upper midwestern United States flows into the Mississippi. He also worked for the city administration of St. Louis and later on several railway projects.
The political career:
In 1856 he made the mayoral election in Keokuk, a small town next to Fort Madison in Iowa, which he could win. He later joined the Republican Party and was elected to the Iowa Congress. As a member of parliament he represented in Congress especially the interests of the railway companies.
During the election campaign of Abraham Lincoln to the US President Curtis supported this. After his victory, Curtis was in discussion for a post in the President's Cabinet.
The American Civil War:
With the beginning of the American Civil War in April 1861, Curtis resigned as an MP and volunteered again as a volunteer with the US Army. There he was given the command of a volunteer regiment as colonel. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to Brigadier General and charged with securing the area in St. Louis.
End of 1861 he was entrusted the command of the Southwest Army. With this he was able to win a victory in the Battle of Pea Ridge in early March 1862, which he was promoted to Major General in 1862.
In September 1862, Curtis was subordinated to the Missouri area. However, with President Lincoln in dispute with the governor over the question of slaves and Curtis' views on it, Curtis was withdrawn from command.
Only in 1864 Curtis was given a command with the aim of stopping the advance of the Confederate Major General Sterling Price in Missouri. In the Battle of Westport Curtis could win. At the end of the war, he was given the command of the Northwest Defense Area.
The End of Life by Samuel Ryan Curtis:
After the Civil War Curtis resigned from the military and took over duties as an engineer, where he worked mainly for the railway companies and represented its interests to politics.
Curtis died after inspecting the Union Pacific Railroad on December 26, 1866 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was buried in the Oakland Cemetery.