The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953 Page: 381
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General Ranald Slidell Mackenzie
That young Mackenzie's interest had already turned to the
army was shown by the program for the Junior Exhibition, Wil-
liams College, which was held on Tuesday, June 1, 1858, in
which he was listed for an oration on Military Tactics. This
subject was in striking contrast to the other orations which ranged
in subjects from one in Latin and one in Greek to The Druids,
Intellectual Homage, The Ministry of Sorrow, The Scholar's
Hope, Kossuth, and Ignatius Loyola. With the "inevitable con-
flict" of the Civil War less than four years away, young Ranald
stood out as the only realist in the group.
In June, 1862, Ranald Mackenzie graduated from the Military
Academy at the head of his class. His standing pleased but
astonished his friends, since he had shown no particular aptitude
for scholarship at Williams.1 He was assigned to the Corps of
Engineers and ordered to duty in the campaign of Northern
Virginia. On August 29, 1862, he was seriously wounded at
Manassas. When he recovered, he was attached to an engineering
battalion, and in the various operations of the Army of the
Potomac in the Maryland, Rappahannock, Rapidan, and Rich-
mond campaigns, he received four brevets for his "gallant and
meritorious services" and rose to the lineal rank of captain.12
He was temporarily attached to the staff of General George
Meade at the battle of Gettysburg, was again wounded, and for
his gallantry received his brevet as major.1"
Mackenzie's real chance to display his qualities came when
he was appointed colonel of the 2d Connecticut Volunteers,
Heavy Artillery (but serving as infantry), upon the recom-
mendation of General Emory Upton to the governor of the
state. On June 6, 1864, he took command of this regiment.14
A few days later, on June 18, he received his fourth brevet
as a lieutenant colonel in the regular army, for gallant and
meritorious service before Petersburg; but on the twenty-second
he was shot in the right hand, losing two fingers, and was com-
11Dorst, "Mackenzie," Twentieth Reunion.
12Cullum, Biographical Register, II, 840, 842.
laDorst, "Mackenzie," Twentieth Reunion.
14Dudley Landon Vaill, The County Regiment (Litchfield County University
Club, 19o8), 39. Upton was author of The Military Policy of the United States
(19o4) which had an influence in the army comparable to Admiral Alfred T.
Mahan's books on sea power.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953, periodical, 1953; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/m1/453/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.