Bradley Winslow

United States Army general and politician (1831–1914)

Bradley Winslow (August 1, 1831 – October 24, 1914) was an American soldier, lawyer, and politician. He became a lieutenant in the Union Army during the American Civil War in 1861. In August 1862, Winslow fought in the Northern Virginia campaign.

Bradley Winslow
A man wearing a tuxedo with a walrus mustache looking left
Bradley Winslow in 1880
Born(1831-08-01)August 1, 1831
DiedOctober 24, 1914(1914-10-24) (aged 83)
Cause of deathPneumonia
Burial placeBrookside Cemetery, Watertown, New York
43°56′06″N 75°54′50″W / 43.935°N 75.914°W / 43.935; -75.914
Occupation(s)Soldier, lawyer, politician
Years active1861–1865
  • Geraldine M. Cooper (married 1855–1896)
  • Poppie H. Burdick (married 1901–1914)
Member of the New York State Senate
from the 21st District district
In office
Bradley Winslow

From 1864 to 1865, Winslow was the colonel of the 186th New York Volunteers. While he was colonel, he helped capture forts during the Siege of Petersburg. He was the mayor of Watertown, New York in 1875. He was also a member of the 21st District of the New York State Senate in 1880 and 1881.

Early years and career


Winslow's ancestors were English pioneers. His great great great great great grandfather was Kenelm Winslow, who was a pilgrim who traveled to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1629.[1][2]

Bradley Winslow was born on August 1, 1831. He was born on the farm owned by his father, John Winslow. The farm was in the town of Watertown, New York 2.75 miles (4.43 kilometres) away from the city of Watertown.[3][4] Winslow went to schools in the Watertown City School District as a boy.[3][5] On December 1, 1847, Winslow started going to Cazenovia College.[6] In 1851 and 1852, he studied at Falley Seminary.[6][7] From 1852 to 1853, Winslow studied at Wyoming Seminary.[8]

Winslow started to study law in the office of James F. Starbuck in autumn 1853. In 1854 Winslow started going to Poughkeepsie Law School.[4][7] Winslow was admitted to the bar in July 1855.[5][9] Winslow was taught by Starbuck in Winslow's first year of being a lawyer. Winslow opened a law firm on January 1, 1856 after a year with Starbuck.[6][5] In spring 1856 Winslow started to work with J.L. Bigelow. They started a law firm named Winslow & Bigelow.[6] In 1859 Winslow was nominated to be district attorney and was elected on January 1, 1861.[10][6][7]

Military career

Winslow after the war in 1865

The American Civil War started in 1861. When it started, Winslow quit his job as district attorney and volunteered to be a First Lieutenant in the Black River Corps, a Union Army military organization in Watertown, on May 13, 1861.[11][6] Winslow was mustered in to Company A of the 35th New York Infantry Regiment on June 11, 1861 as captain.[6][9] Winslow was promoted to lieutenant colonel on August 31, 1861.[12] On October 26, 1861, Winslow and his regiment captured Lieutenant H. J. Siegal's Cavalry near Falls Church, Virginia.[13]

In August 1862, Winslow fought in the Northern Virginia campaign. On August 9, 1862, Winslow and the 35th New York Regiment fought in the Battle of Cedar Mountain.[6] On August 23, 1862, Winslow commanded the 35th New York Infantry Regiment in the First Battle of Rappahannock Station.[11] From August 28 to 30, 1862, Winslow fought in the Second Battle of Bull Run.[11][9] While fighting in the Northern Virginia campaign, Winslow got typhoid fever, and he left the Union Army because of it on December 18, 1862.[11][9] Winslow became a soldier again on August 22, 1864.[14] He was mustered in as the colonel of the 186th New York Infantry Regiment on September 28, 1864.[15][9]

Attack on Fort Mahone


Ulysses S. Grant wanted to attack the Confederate Army in Petersburg, Virginia, and make them abandon Petersburg and the Confederate capital, Richmond. After the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865, Grant commanded the Union Army to attack Petersburg.

On April 2, 1865, the Union Army attacked Petersburg. General Simon Goodell Griffin made six of his regiments stand in a column at around 2 A.M., with one regiment in front of the other. His plan was to have all of his regiments attack Battery 28, which was a fort in between Fort Heaven and Fort Mahone, and that eventually one of the regiments can be able to get inside the fort. The 186th New York Regiment was the last in the column.[16] Winslow remembered later that while getting ready to capture the fort, he heard "Screaming, hissing shot and shell, interspersed with the sharp whiz and ping of leaden bullets, seemed passing everywhere above our heads".[17]

A captain turned to Winslow and shook his hand, and said "It will be hot, god bless you". Then, Winslow turned to his regiment, and said "Attention, Battalion! Shoulder arms! Forward, guide center. March!".[17] At 4:30 AM, the attack started. The front regiments were all shot, until the 186th regiment was the only regiment left. The 186th New York Regiment quickly captured Battery 28. Winslow looked at the rooftops in Petersburg and saw no soldiers, and he thought that the Union Army already won. The Confederate Army still had a secondary line, and still had Fort Mahone, and they shot at Winslow and his regiment.[16] Winslow was shot below between his lower left ribs by a Minié ball. The Minié ball went through his body and came out on the right side near his spine.[15][11]

Abraham Lincoln brevetted Winslow Brigadier general of US Volunteers on April 9, 1865, which was allowed by the United States Senate.[9] Winslow was discharged from the army on June 2, 1865.[14] He was made a lieutenant in the 22nd United States Infantry. He left the army instead and returned to Watertown, and he became a lawyer again.[9][18] On June 13, 1865, general Simon Goodell Griffin sent a letter to Winslow thanking him for being brave during the Siege of Petersburg. The letter said:[11]

My dear colonel, It is with sincere pleasure that I inform you that I have recommended your promotion to the rank of Brigadier General by brevet for bravery and gallant conduct on the field at the assault on the enemy's lines in front of Petersburg, April 2, 1865. I am very happy, Colonel, to make this acknowledgment of your meritorious services as commander of your regiment, and of the gallant and judicious manner in which you handled your regiment in my presence during the engagement of the 2nd of April, an engagement that will be forever memorable in our nation's history. With sincere esteem, I have the honor to be yours, etc.,

Later career

Bradley Winslow in 1898

On October 25, 1865, Winslow was elected district attorney of Jefferson County again until 1868.[19][9] In 1868, Winslow became a brigadier general in the New York Army National Guard as the head of the 16th Brigade for about six years.[9][11] Winslow was elected as the mayor of the city of Watertown in December 1875 for one term.[11][20] Winslow chose not to be re-elected as mayor again.[9] Winslow was a member of the 21st District of the New York State Senate in 1880 and 1881 as a Republican.[21][9]

From 1883 to 1884, he managed the Northern New York Republican, a newspaper.[22][9] In June 1908, Winslow was one of the delegates in the 1908 Republican National Convention to nominate a candidate for member of the United States Congress for the 28th congressional district (which is now part of the 21st district). He was the choice of everyone in the convention to be the chairperson.[23] In December 1912, Luther Wright Mott wrote a private bill to make Winslow officially retired. Winslow was paid $3,000 a year, equivalent to $59,090 in 2020 because of inflation.[24]

Personal life and death

Winslow's gravestone in Brookside Cemetery, Watertown, New York

When Winslow was 14 years old, his mother died.[11] On March 21, 1847, Winslow started to live with his uncle, Willard Ives.[11] Winslow married Geraldine M. Cooper on November 15, 1855. Winslow and Cooper had three children, one boy and two girls.[11][18] His son, John Cooper Winslow, was born on October 22, 1856 in Watertown.[1] Geraldine died on August 24, 1896 after accidentally being thrown out of a carriage.[23][4] Winslow married Poppie H. Burdick on January 22, 1901 in Cook County, Illinois.[1]

Bradley Winslow died on October 24, 1914 at 2:30 PM, after being ill from pneumonia for a few days. He died in Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, New York.[25] Winslow was buried at Brookside Cemetery in Watertown, New York.[9] He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic when he died, and he helped start the Joe Spratt Post Number 323 in Watertown.[15][9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Oakes 1905, p. 297.
  2. Warner, Anne (1894). An American ancestry. Boston Public Library. Minneapolis, Hall, Black & Company, Printers.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Durant 1878, p. 201.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Emerson 1898, p. 165.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Matthews 1898, p. 103.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Durant 1878, p. 202.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Oakes 1905, p. 295.
  8. Haddock 1894, p. 81.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 "Bar Association adopts resolutions are presented upon the death of general Bradley Winslow". Watertown Daily Times. Vol. 2. January 4, 1915. p. 9. Archived from the original on July 18, 2022. Retrieved August 17, 2022 – via NYS Historic Newspapers.
  10. Emerson 1898, p. 190.
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 Durant 1878, p. 203.
  12. Emerson 1898, p. 168.
  13. Durant 1878, p. 68.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Croswell 1906, p. 797.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 York, Grand Army of the Republic Department of New (1915). Abstract of General Orders and Proceedings of the ... Annual Encampment, Department of New York, Grand Army of the Republic. The Department. p. 281. Retrieved June 5, 2022.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Beals 1898, p. 108.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Haddock 1894, p. 78.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Oakes 1905, p. 296.
  19. "Union State Nominations". Northern New York Journal. October 25, 1865. Archived from the original on July 28, 2023. Retrieved August 20, 2022.
  20. Emerson 1898, p. 330.
  21. Emerson 1898, p. 188.
  22. Haddock 1894, p. 304.
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Gen. Winslow Passes Away". Watertown Daily Times. 2: 2. October 24, 1914. Archived from the original on July 28, 2023. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  24. "Retire Winslow as Colonel, Congressman Mott works to bring it about". Watertown Daily Times. Vol. 2. December 14, 1912. p. 9. Archived from the original on July 28, 2023. Retrieved August 20, 2022.
  25. "Gen. Winslow passes away, Had been Ill but a few days with pneumonia". Watertown Daily Times. Vol. 2. October 24, 1914. p. 6. Archived from the original on July 28, 2023. Retrieved August 20, 2022.



Other websites

  • Jefferson County New York Civil War Soldiers' Biographies: Bradley Winslow
New York State Senate
Preceded by
John W. Lippitt
New York State Senate
21st District

Succeeded by
Frederick Lansing