Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Howard, Oliver O.

Oliver O. Howard

Oliver O. Howard

Oliver Otis Howard was born in Leeds, November 8, 1830. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1850 and from the U.S. Military Academy in 1855.

On the outbreak of the Civil War, Howard, an opponent of slavery, resigned his regular army commission and became colonel of the Third Maine Volunteers.

During the battle at Fair Oaks, Howard was so badly wounded that his right arm was amputated. He fought at the battles at Antietam, Bull Run, Fredericksburg, the Peninsular Campaign, and Chancellorsville.

A statue was erected to his memory by the state of Maine and unveiled November 12, 1932 on the battlefield of Gettysburg, where he had fought.

After the war President Andrew Johnson appointed him as commissioner of the Freedom Bureau, providing food and medical facilities for former slaves. In 1867, with the support of Radical Republicans in Congress, he helped establish Howard University for newly freed African Americans, and for five years served as its president (1869-1874).

Howard fought in the Indian Wars before serving as superintendent at West Point (1880-1882). After leaving the army he founded the Lincoln Memorial University, in Harrogate, Tennessee.

Howard also wrote several books about American Indian leaders and U.S. military leaders of his time. He died on October 26, 1909.

Additional resources

Carpenter, John A. Sword and Olive Branch: Oliver Otis Howard. New York. Fordham University Press. 1999. [Maine State Library]

Howard, O. O. (Oliver Otis). Autobiography of Oliver Otis Howard, Major General, United States Army. New York. Baker & Taylor Company. 1908. c1907. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections; Maine State Library]

Howard, O. O. (Oliver Otis). Marching in Proud Company: Civil War Recollections of Oliver Otis Howard. Brunswick, Me. Bowdoin College. [1983] (Portland, Me. Anthoensen Press). [University of Southern Maine (Portland), The Albert Brenner Glickman Family Library]

Lemke, William. A Pride of Lions: Joshua Chamberlain and other Maine Civil War Heroes. North Attleborough, Mass. Covered Bridge Press. c1997.

Library of Congress. Portrait of Oliver O. Howard.

McFeely, William S. Yankee Stepfather: General O. O. Howard and the Freedmen. New Haven. Yale University Press. 1968.

“Oliver Otis Howard.” Spartacus Educational. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAChowardO.htm (accessed May 16, 2012)

“Military Career of O. O. Howard., Major-General, U. S. Army, Retired.” (between 1900 and 1909) [Maine State Library]

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