Monday, January 24, 2011

Asa T. Abbott.

Asa T. Abbott was born in Sidney, Kennebec County, Maine. In his youth, he apparently received only limited schooling. He enlisted at St Anthony on April 26, 1861 and was mustered into Company E, as a 20-year-old private, on April 29, 1861.

In the fall of 1861, Asa was detached to serve with 2nd Lt. Joseph Spencer on Co. A, to serve in the US Signal Corps. In the month of August, 1863, he was examined for an appointment as 2nd lieutenant in the Signal Corps. He received the strong recommendation of his friend Joseph Spencer.
In recommending him, Spencer wrote, "Private Abbott was one of the first detailed for the Signal Corps in August, 1861. He is a young man of good address, fair education, unexceptional moral character, and steady temperate, industrious habits. He served with me in the valley of the Shenandoah during the advance and retreat of Gen. Banks command through the campaign of the Army of Virginia under Gen. Pope; and also through the Maryland Campaign. He has always been faithful energetic, quick to perceive and prompt to act, and would make a thorough, efficient officer."

Lieutenant Abbott was assigned to duty on September 3, 1863, at the Signal Corps Camp of Instruction, at Georgetown DC. He served at that post until honorably discharged on Aug 29, 1865.

Captain William Roe, Chief Signal Officer, Dept of Washington, in a report dated Aug 1, 1864, and covering the operations of his command from July 10th to July 21st, 1864, at which time the defenses of Washington on the north side of the Potomac were attacked by the enemy and the city itself severely threatened, said, "I take pleasure in recommending to your notice Lieut Asa G Abbott, whose station was continually under the enemy's fire, an who many times narrowly escaped being struck by the enemy's bullets, but maintained his position and continued to work his station under fire for nearly two days."

Captain Joseph M Spencer, Chief Signal Officer, Military Division of the Tennessee, in a report dated Oct 4, 1865, and covering the operations of his command from April 28, 1865, to Sept 1, 1865, reported, "In mentioning in this connection 2nd Lt Asa Abbott, Signal Corps, USA, I would inform you that I have carefully watched his conduct since August, 1861. During the memorable campaign of Gens. Banks and Pope through northern Va. in 1862, Lieut Abbott, then being an enlisted man, won my admiration for his many acts of true bravery; at times, too, when he had no incentive for action, or expected any reward by promotion. As a commissioned officer, he has won my respect and esteem, by the intelligent and efficient manner in which he has performed every duty assigned him, of unflinching patriotism, zealous and reliable, he has served his country faithfully and well."

Abbott must have found the life of a soldier agreed with him. On March 7, 1867, he was appointed a 2nd lieutenant in the 28th U. S. Infantry. On July 14, 1869, he was assigned to the 3rd U. S. Artillery. He graduated from Artillery School in 1872. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on June 30, 1876. He retired from military service on April 23, 1879. He was brevetted 1st lieutenant from March 7, 1867, for meritorious service in the Signal Corps during the Civil War.

Though retired from active military service, he continued in the service of the government. In 1894, Asa was detailed as professor at the Bishop Seabury Mission in Faribault, MN. He served as the Professor of Military Science. During his tenure there, the school changed its name to the Shattuck Military School.

In August 1901, he was transferred to the University of Washington at the own request. The transfer was noted in a St Paul paper which reported, "Mr. Abbott ranks as a first lieutenant in the regular army, but is also a veteran of the First Minnesota. He enlisted in Company E of that regiment on April 29, 1861, as a private and was subsequently transferred to the regular army, finally procuring a commission."

"Lieut. Abbott is considered one of the best instructors in the country. It is even said that his equal cannot be found outside of the West Point Academy."

Abbott retired from the military on April 23, 1904, and returned to Faribault. He died on Dec. 6, 1923, at the age of 82.

This information cames from.
Signal Corps Association.

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