NY Obits - New York Daily Tribune - March 29, 1901 - Gen. Stewart Van Vliet

Gen. Stewart Van Vliet

Special to the New York Times

Washington - Gen. Stewart Van Vliet, one of the oldest of the retires officers of the United States Army and a member of the famous class of 1840 of the Military Academy at West Point, died at his residence in this city to-day. His death removes a unique figure from Washington, for there was hardly a resident of the capital who did not know him by sight. He was a man of considerable wealth, and since his retirement, under the age limit, had been a liberal entertainer. He accumulated a remarkable collection of pictures and objects of art. He was a member of a number of military and patriotic organizations.

Gen. Van Vliet was born in Vermont Jan 21, 1815. He was First Captain of Cadets when Gen. Grant was a "plebe," and Gen. Grant used to say in later years that he was at the time in doubt as to whether Napoleon or Capt. Van Vliet was the greater man. Gen. Van Vliet graduated ninth in his class. he saw service in the Seminole war, and then went through the Mexican war with the Third United States Artillery. He was in command of the company which led the charge that won the day at Monterey and received the sword of Gen. Ampuclos. He participated in the battle of Blue Water, when Gen. Harney finally defeated the Sioux Indians. He fitted out Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston's expedition against the Mormons, who were in open revolt against the United States, and after it started was ordered to go on ahead and communicate with Brigham Young. He made a wonderfully rapid 1,000-mile drive from Leavenworth to Salt Lake City, traveling with his escort of thirty soldiers, in light wagons. On approaching Utah several travelers urged him to turn back, as the Mormons had threatened his life. He was so much impressed by these warnings that he left his little force 150 miles from Salt Lake City, in order not to endanger their lives, and rode into the Mormon stronghold alone. He was treated courteously, and the trouble was settled without bloodshed.

Gen. Van Vliet was Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac during the civil war. His last service was as a member of the Retiring Board at Washington in 1879. He received four brevets in the course of his career.

 

Source: New York Times, March 29, 1901

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