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Harney, William Selby 1798-1889

Military officer; born in Louisiana in 1798; entered the army while quite young; was in the Black Hawk War; and was made lieutenant-colonel of dragoons in 1836. Ten years later he was colonel. He served in the Florida, or Seminole, War (q. v.), and in the war with Mexico. In 1848 he was brevetted brigadier-general for his services in the battle of Cerro Gordo (q. v.). He was promoted to brigadiergeneral in 1858, and placed in command of the Department of Oregon; and in July. 1859, took possession of the island of San Juan, near Vancouver, which England claimed to be a part of British Columbia, and which the United States soon afterwards evacuated. Harney then commanded the Department of the West; and in April. 1861, while on his way to Washington, he was arrested by the Confederates at Harper's Ferry, Va., and taken to Richmond. He was soon released, and, on returning to St. Louis, issued proclamations warning the people of Missouri of the dangers of secession. In consequence of an unauthorized truce with Price, the Confederate leader. Harney was relieved of his command. He retired in August, 1863; was brevetted major-general, United States army, in March, 1865; and was a member of the Indian Commission in 1867. He died in Orlando, Fla.. May 9. 1889.

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