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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor

 



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Adelbert Ames

AMES, Adelbert, soldier, born in Rockland, Maine, 31 October 1835. He was graduated at West Point m 1861, and assigned to the 5th artillery. He was wounded at the battle of Bull Run and brevetted for gallantry in that action, and was present at the siege of Yorktown, and the battles of Gaines's Mills, Malvern Hill, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Antietam, and Gettysburg, besides many of the minor engagements m Virginia throughout the civil war. He was brevetted colonel for gallantry, and commanded a brigade, and at times a division in the army of the Potomac, and in the operation before Petersburg ill 1864. He was brevetted Major-General of volunteers for his conduct at the capture of Fort Fisher, 13 March 1865, and brevetted Major-General, United States army, for "gallant and meritorious conduct in the field during the rebellion," and on 30 April 1866, mustered out of the volunteer service. On 28 July 1866, he was promoted to the full rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, 24th infantry. On 15 July 1868, he was appointed provisional governor of Mississippi, under acts of congress providing for such temporary government, and on 17 March 1869, his command extended to include the 4th military district. The lately insurrectionary states were at the time divided into five such districts, each with a general officer in command, and a military force at his disposal. Mississippi was among the last of the states to comply with the conditions of reconstruction, and in the interval the community drifted into a state bordering upon anarchy, the provisional governor at times interfering in the interest of order. Under his direction an election was held 30 November 1869, and on 11 January 1870, the legislature was convened by his direction. General Ames was elected U.S. senator for the unexpired term from 4 March 1869. In 1873 he was chosen governor of Mississippi by a popular vote, and resigned his seat in the senate. His administration was so repugnant to the democrats*or, in other words, to the white population*that between them and the republicans, mostly blacks, a feeling of hostility arose so bitter that "it culminated in a serious riot in Vicksburg, 7 December 1873, and this was followed by atrocities all over the state, consisting for the most part in the punishment, often in the murder, of obnoxious republicans, white and black. The civil officers were unable to enforce the laws, and Governor Ames appealed to the general government for aid. Upon this, dispatches of the most contradictory character were forwarded to Washington by the opposing parties, and, pending an investigation by congress; affairs were in a deplorable state of disorganization. An election held in November resulted in a general defeat of the republicans, both branches of the legislature becoming distinctly democratic. Got. Ames held that this election was largely carried by intimidation and fraud, and vainly sought to secure congressional interference° Soon after the legislature convened in January 1876, articles of impeachment were prepared against all the executive officers, and, pending the trials, the machinery of state government was nearly at a standstill. Got. Ames, seeing that conviction was inevitable, offered through his counsel to resign, provided the articles of impeachment were withdrawn. This was done, and he resigned at once and removed to Minnesota.

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