While writing quizzes for the Roundtable I stumbled upon this historical sidelight on Canby. I hope you enjoy!
What two US Army proteges served together in the West prior to the Civil War, one sitting on the court-martial board for the other; the accused was aquitted and latter submitted a design for a camp tent he devised based on the teepee style which was accepted by the army in some part based on the recommendation of the other? One went south and they met up again in New Mexico.
ERS Canby and his friend Henry Hopkins Sibley. Sibley defeated Canby at Glorietta Pass but Canby forced the Confederates to retreat to Texas taking the strategic victory. Canby was appointed as custodian of the California Archives in 1850 and was instrumental in unravelling the complicated Mexican and Spanish land titles. He sometimes signed his name Edwardo (sic) Ricardo S. Canby in this position. He was called Richard in his childhood and “Sprigg” by his West Point classmates and army friends.
What two battles sealed the fate of Mobile 1865? Lee’s surrender ended resistance but not before these two battles occurred involving many US Colored Troops.
Spanish Fort on 8 April and Ft Blakely on 9 April. Although the port was closed the city held out defiantly circled in defensive fortifications. Gen. ERS Canby commanded the Union effort. Canby has the distinction of being the only US general killed in the Indian Wars. He was assasinated during negotiations with the Modoc tribe 11 April 1873 at Tule Lake, California.
At one time, Grant sent Canby an order to “destroy [the enemy’s] railroads, machine-shops, &c.” Ten days later, Grant reprimanded him for requesting men and materials to build railroads. “I wrote… urging you to… destroy railroads, machine-shops, &c., not to build them,” Grant said. Canby could be a destroyer but appeared to prefer the role of builder. Today, he might be considered a “policy wonk” because he was expert in policy and law. If someone had a question about army regulations or Constitutional law affecting the military, Canby was the man to see. Grant came to appreciate this in peace time, once complaining vigorously when President Andrew Johnson proposed to assign Canby away from the capital where Grant considered him irreplaceable.