GEN N. M. CURTIS DIES OF APOPLEXY _____________ "Hero of Fort Fisher," Where He Lost an Eye, Stricken in Street Near His Home _____________ SIX YEARS IN CONGRESS _____________ Author of "From Bull Run to Chancel- lorsville," and ex-New York State Commander of G. A. R. ______________ Gen. Newton Martin Curtis, "the Hero of Fort Fisher," at one time State Com- mander of the Grand Army of the Re- public, author of "From Bull Run to Chancellorsville," and recently an Assist- ant Inspector General of the National Soldiers' Home, with headquarters in New York City, was on his way home from his office yesterday afternoon when at Irving Place and Fifteenth Street he was stricken with apoplexy. He was carried into the office of the Consolidated Gas Company at that corner, where he died before a doctor arrived. He was a huge man, standing six feet and four inches, and built proportionately. Gen. Curtis was 74 years old. His wife died many years ago. He leaves four grown daughters, one of whom is a school teacher in this city. Two are librarians doing work in the West, and the fourth is married and lives in Minnesota. Gen. Curtis had been living in New York since 1898, at the home of friends at 20 Irving Place. For the past ten or twelve years he had been connected with the headquarters of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers here and had been writing books. The Putnams published his "From Bull Run to Chancellorsville" in 1906, and he has been at work since then on a his- torical work which he purposed calling "The Making and Welding of the Na- tion." Yesterday morning when he went to his office, the National Soldiers' Home, in the New York Life Insurance Building, at 346 Broadway, he put the copies of part of this work into the hands of sev- eral of his friends there. "I want you to read it," he said. "I may not be able to finish it." He left copies with Col. W.E. Elwell, Inspector General and Chief Surgeon; Col. C.W. Crawford, an Assistant Inspector General, and Col. Moses Harris, the Treasurer. He had brought the work only up to 1862, but he had it copied so that his closest friends could read that much of it. Gen. Curtis was born in St. Lawrence County on May 21, 1835, where he still had, at Ogdensburg, a home. He attended the Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary. The day after Fort Sumter surrendered to the Confederates it was suggested in the town of De Peyster, N.Y., where he was living, that it send fourteen men to Ogdensburg to form part of a company that should join the Union forces. Curtis, then 26 years old, was for organizing a company and taking it to Ogdensburg to join a regiment there. He started in to raise a company before President Lincoln called for volunteers, and in April was in Albany with eighty men whose services, along with his own, he wanted to offer. The little company was made a part of the Sixteenth, New York, and young Curtis was its Captain. He was at the first Battle of Bull Run, and served with the Army of the Potomac until the Battle of Antietam. He was wounded during the Peninsular Campaign, after which he was promoted to be Lieuten- ant Colonel of the 142d Regiment. He was soon made its Colonel, and it was with that command he saw his hardest fight- ing. The exploit oftenest connected with his name was the assault and capture of Fort Fisher, which was a strong sea coast fortification in North Carolina, between Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. It resisted all attacks until the Winter of 1864-65. His regiment was part of a force under the command of Gen. Butler which was landed near the fort. Col. Curtis led his men close up to the fort, while the fleet bombarded it. Gen. Butler gave up the fight, and ordered Col. Curtis to retire. The Colonel and his men remained near the walls of the fort. He kept sending back word that he could take it if his superior would let him. He finally retired after the fourth order directing him to do so. Upon the return of the expedition to Fort Monroe Gen. Grant, hearing of the Colonel's exploit, sent for him and asked a lot of information about the sea coast fortification and the Colonel was bre- vetted a Brigadier General. Gen. Grant ordered that another attempt be made on the fort, replacing Gen. Butler with Gen. Terry. Another brigade was added to the force. Gen. Curtis's brigade advanced by de- grees, lying down flat and then running forward ten or fifteen yards. The enemy got in one volley at them, which was in- effective, and by that time the attackers were just under the walls of the fort and below the plane of fire. The attackers scaled the walls and took the bastian nearest the Cape Fear River, and then began a stubborn fight toward the sea coast end, driving the garrison from one traverse to another. Though wounded four times during the day, Gen. Curtis kept his command until sunset, when an exploding shell sent a piece of metal against his head, knocking him senseless and robbing him of his left eye. He remained unconscious five hours, and it was thought that he was dead. His obituary was written by the New York newspaper correspondents. He was commissioned Brigadier General after that exploit, and some years later received a medal of honor for his services there. After the war he was made Postmaster of Depeyster, his native town, since which time he has held many offices. He was appointed Collector of Customs in the Dis- trict of Oswegatchie in 1866; was ap- pointed a special agent of the United States Treasury the next year, from which he resigned in 1880; was elected President of the State Agricultural Soci- ety in 1880, was soon afterward made Secretary of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station. He was a member of the State Legisla- ture from 1884 to 1890, and was a member of Congress from 1891 to 1897. He was elected State Commander of the G. A. R. in 1888, and has been an Assistant In- spector General of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers since 1898, with headquarters in this city. He wrote and lectured a great deal, his two sub- jects being the civil war and the advisa- bility of abolishing the death penalty in this country.
Maintained by Sue