General David Bell Birney (1825-1864)
Civil War General, 5th child of James G. and Agatha (McDowell) Birney.
by Marvin Kusmierz (January 2004 - Updated March, 2010)
Birth: 29 May 1825, Huntsville, Madison Co., AL.
Death: 18 Oct 1864, Philadelphia, PA.
Burial: Woodlands Cem., Philadelphia, PA.
Spouse #1: Anna B. Case, m. May 5, 1847, Covington, Ky.
Spouse #2:Maria A. Jennison m. unknown.
David Bell Birney was the fifth child born to . The father was, an anti-slavery leader, and one of the most outstanding men of the 19th Century. He twice ran for President of the United States under the banner of the abolitionist Liberty party.
David spent his first seven years growing up in Huntsville, Alabama, the the family moved to Danville, Kentucky, where his father was born, and where his grandfather, also James, resided.
David was sent off to school in Andover, Massachusetts for his education. Afterwards, he went to Cincinnati, where his parents were living at the that time. There he worked for a large business house, in which he became a partner, and where he met Anna B. Case, whom he married on May 6, 1847, in Covington, Kentucky.
The couple left Cincinnati, shortly after being married, as the business David was a partner in wasn't doing very well. They went to Lower Saginaw, Michigan, where David's parents were now living. On April 5th, 1848, David and Anna had their first child, a daughter named Agatha. Later that year, they left Lower Saginaw for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where David was initially employed as an agent for a commercial business. Anna was pregnant at the time for their second child, and it appears she returned to her parents home for the birth of Frank C., on November 21, 1848, in Covington, Kentucky. The couple had two more children: William G., born November 21, 1851 and Annabel born September 15, 1853, both born in Philadelphia.
Anna died a few years after the birth of her last child, no specific date could be found. Davidmarried a second time, to Maria Antoinette Jennison, again, no specific date was found. However, their first child, a daughter, Mary E., was still born in 1860, and two more children followed: David Bell, Jr., born June 5, 1861; and Philip Kearny, born October 29, 1863.
Some time before or shortly after Anna's death, David entered law practice in partnership with O. Wilson Davis which lasted until David entered the Civil War. David excelled as an officer of the Union Army, serving under Gen. Kearny. This history on David's career has been well documented, and is not covered in this article. (See links in righthand column) -- Read the transcribed documents below for more information on this subject's history.
Maria was the sister of Charles E. Jennison, of Bay City, who married Florence Birney, David's sister.
The chronology of events on David's history are not clear, as some documents state he attended law school while in Michigan, making his stay there longer.
David Bell Birney, pre-war years. Added Feb., 2010.
Martial Deeds of Pennsylvania, by Samuel P. Bates (1876)
The son, David B., was put to school at Andover, Massachusetts, where he early
took a prominent place, and where he acquired exact and thorough training.
After leaving Andover he went to Cincinnati, and entered a large business house,
where he soon became junior partner, and marriedMiss Anna Case, of Covington,
Kentucky. The firm with which he was connected met with disaster, and, upon the
termination of its business, he went to Upper Saginaw, Michigan, where he
studied law and was admitted to the bar; but desiring a wider field for the
practice of his profession, removed to Philadelphia. For a time he was employed
in a commercial agency, but soon returned to the practice of the law, in which
he was associated with O. W. Davis, the firm attaining to great success and
eminence, so much so that it became necessary to open a branch office in New
York. His first wife having died, he marriedMiss Maria Antoinette Jennison,
daughter of William Jennison.
Note: School in Anover was Phillips Academy. In Cincinnati, Birney worked for the B. Douglas & Co.
David Bell Birney in Lower Saginaw (Bay City) - Added Jan. 20, 2010.
History of Bay County, Mich., 1883
DAVID BELL BIRNEY. _______
John H. Wiklins, late mayor of Bay City, was born in Philadephia, Pa., October 22, 1836. In 1853 he graduated from the Philadelphia High School, and immediately thereafter entered the employ of the late Gen. David B. Birney, who was chief manager of the mercantile agency and collection office of B. Douglass & Co., where he remained until June, 1856. Gen. Birney being the principle owner of a store at Lower Saginaw, now Bay City, sent Mr. Wilkins here to act as clerk. The store not proving a success, he was instructed to close up the business in 1857, send the stock to Scranton, Pa., where Gen. Birney was interested in coal mining, and to follow in person and open a new store. It was a flattering testimony to Mr. Wilkin's business capacity and integrity that, at the age of twenty-one, Gen. Birney was willing to entrust him with the management of a business.
Referenc: B. Douglas & Co was a partnership formed in 1850, between Benjamin Douglas, and his brother-in-law Robert G.Dun. In 1859, Dunn became sole owner of the company, which had business locations in most major cities.
Book excerpts, including funeral details. (Added Feb., 2010)
Life of David Bell Birney, Oliver Wilson Davis (1867)
EDUCATION AND EARLY LIFE. _______
Educated by such a father, and under such auspices, it is not at all strange that the subject of our sketch should have been a few years ahead of the age in which he lived. Until the commencement of the rebellion he never had an opportunity of giving a practical effect to his early notions of the duty of a man in the nineteenth century in America. He never essayed to go beyond his own social circle, but in this his political opinions were well known and ridiculed, until the country learned to understand them.
He was educated at Andover, Massachusetts, and though after leaving college his pursuits were of an active character, his retentive memory never lost that training he had received at college. At all times, in conversation or in writing, his quotations from the classic or English authors were correct and appropriate. There are a few men whose avocations after graduation were like those of General Birney's, who retained so much of the mechanical part of education.
After leaving the University he embarked in business in Cincinnati with a house that had been established for some years. Disaster soon overtook them, and the junior partner – the future major-general – before he was of age, found himself overwhelmed by debt. This, however,did not dampen his energy. He accepted a position as agent of P. Choteau & Co., and went to live at Upper Saginaw, Michigan, then a trading station with the Indians. Here, for several years, he devoted himself incessantly to the interests of his employers, and his services were duly appreciated. The climate, however, did not suit his health, and in spite of favorable offers to remain, he cut himself loose from the advantages of several years' connection, and with his wife and one child sought his fortunes anew.
During his residence in Michigan he had studied law, and was admitted to the bar. The profession, however, did not afford him a livelihood, and he was compelled, by necessity, to seek other means of subsistence. Coming to Philadelphia in 1848, he accepted the first situation that was offered him, a position as transcribing clerk in a mercantile agency, at a salary of six dollars a week. This, however, was only the entering wedge, and in less than three months he was the selected travelling agent of the establishment, and spent six months in travelling throughout the country and establishing those relations for the institution (then an experiment) which laid the foundation of its subsequent usefulness and success. Within less than year from his first connection with the agency he was its chief manager and director. In this position he remained until July, 1856, during which time he formed the acquaintance of the principal business men and firms of Philadelphia. They all entrusted him with their confidence, and many of them were indebted to him for their prominence and success. It was his faculty to make friends of all with whom he came in contact, and many houses availed themselves of his judgment and sagacity in the prosecution of their business.
“The coffin was plain mahogany, covered with black cloth, having upon the lid a silver plate with the following inscription:
David Bell Birney,
Major-general United States Volunteers,
Born May 29, 1829.
Died October 18, 1864.
“The body was dressed in the full uniform of a major-general, with the corps badge and decoration of the Third Corps Union, of which he was Vice-President, fastened upon his left breast, and wreath of the same beautiful flowers lay nearer his feet. The face, which bore evidence of the wasting character of the disease that had conquered him, was still life-like and natural, and betokened the quiet and peaceful manner in which the spirit had taken its flight. Several sets of side-arms and equipments, gifts of friendship and admiration, were grouped upon a side table.
“Brigadier-general William Birney, a brother of the deceased, and Chaplain S. S. Jennison, brother-in-law, were to arrive from the army at half-past two, until which hour the services were delayed, and the doors of the house remained open to admit the public . During all this time there was no diminution of the crowd that poured in, requiring the utmost efforts of the police to regulate it and keep it in motion. Probably during this hour and a half not less than five thousand people passed through the house, many shedding tears as they passed beside his remains of the beloved dead. Finally, when all was ready for the commencement of the services, it became necessary to close the doors in the face of an equally great multitude who were begging for admission.
“The services at the house were simple, solemn, and impressive. They were conducted by Rev. Henry A. Boardman, D. D., of the Presbyterian church, of which the family are members. They were introduced by reading selections from the psalm commencing “Lord, make me to know my end,” etc. After this were read some passages from St. Paul's Epistle, commencing “Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with with so great a cloud of witnesses,” etc. Dr. Boardman then delivered a short address to the company assembled, followed by a touching and impressive prayer, which, with the benediction, close the exercises.
“The family then drew near the coffin, and improved the last opportunity of looking upon the face of the loved one. It was a sad and hear-rendering spectacle as the bereaved widow, followed by the orphaned children, drew near the shrine of their heart's devotion. The lamentations, and sobs, and cries of the deeply-stricken family, appealed, in no ordinary manner, to the sympathies of all beholders.
“While these touch and impressive scenes were transpiring within the house, Brigadier-general Ellet was engaged without in forming the escort and arranging the funeral cortege. This was no easy matter, considering the dense mass of people that thronged the streets and choked up, for several blocks in either direction, every avenue of approach. But after persevering efforts the military line was formed, the troops facing the house, in readiness to salute the body as it was brought out.
“The procession was appointed to move at three o'clock; but it was precisely four as the remains were brought out of the door. This delay was occasioned in a great measure by the difficulty of forming the escort in the midst of so vast a crowd of spectators. The coffin was borne to the hearse by soldiers of the old Twenty-third regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers, formerly commanded by Birney. It was followed by the pall-bearers as follows: -- Major-general Cadwalader, Major-general Sickles, Commodore Engle, United States Navy, Brigadier-general Gwyn, and Colonel Peter Sides.
“As the body appeared the escort presented arms, the muffled drums beat a solemn roll, and the battery detailed for the purpose commenced firing minute-guns, which were continued until the burial was completed.
“The hearse was drawn by four black horses, and was surrounded by a detail of the City Troop (of which organization Birney was a member) as a guard of honor.
“The escort immediately moved down the street and halted to give place to carriages for the mourners and friends, and to form the civic part of the procession. When fully formed the following was the organization of the cortege:
“Detachment of police, under command of Chief of Police.
“Brigadier-general Ellet, commanding escort, and staff.
“One-hundred-and-eighty-seventh regiment Pennsylvania infrantry, with detachments from two militia regiments.
“First Troop Philadelphia city cavalry, S. J. Randall, M. C., commander.
“Detachment of United States marines, with drum corps.
“Carriages containing the officiating and other city clergyman.
“Pall-bearers in carriages.
“Hearse, with guard of honor.
“The General's body-servant, leading the General's favorite horse, 'Elclipse,' presented to him by General Sickles – one horse fully caparisoned.
“Carriage containing the widow, Wm. Jennison, Esq., her father, Brigadier-general William Birney, and Mrs. J. G. Birney, mother of the deceased.
“Carriage with Captain Graves, of the General's personal staff, and the children – Agatha, Frank, Willie, and Belle. (Two children, David B., Jr., three years old and Kearny an infant, did not go to the grave.)
“Mr. And Miss Jennison, and Chaplain S. S. Jennison, brothers and sister of Mrs. Birney, and Mrs. William Birney.
“Officers and soldiers of the Twenty-third regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers in the citizen's dress, the regiment having served its full period of enlistment.
“Captains Noble and Ford, of the General's staff, and Captains Fassitt and Moore, recently of the same conneciton.
“Other staff officers formerly serving with Birney, and the staff of Major-general Sickles.
“The Governor of Pennsylvania and staff.
“The Mayor of Philadelphia.
“Numerous carriages with intimate friends of the family.
“Franklin Lodge, No. 131, A. Y. M., (of which Birney was a member,) and deputations from other masonic orders, on foot.
“Officers of the army who have served under Birney – on foot, under direction of Colonel Collis.
“A large deputations of other officers and soldiers of the army.
“Union League of Philadelphia, on foot.
“The National Union Club of Philadelphia, on foot.
“Members of the bar of Philadelphia, and citizens generally.
“The procession was one of the most lengthy and imposing that has ever been seen in Philadelphia. When fairly organized and moving it could be measured only by miles. The entire city seemed to have turned out, either as participants in or spectators of the solemn pageant. The line of march from the residence to the cemetery covered a distance of about three miles, and along the entire route the streets were to densely packed with people that it was frequently with great difficulty the cortege forced its way through. The slow measured time of the solemn dirges played by the several bands also contributed to increase the time consumed in reaching the cemetery, and it was finally dark as the body was lowered into its last resting-place.
“The brief religious exercises at the grave were conducted by Rev. Dr. Ducachet, of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The coffin, wrapped in an American flag, was rested over the grave, the mourning friends surrounding it, while files of soldiers were just visible, through the faint twilight, in the background. The clergyman, when all was ready, in a clear tone recited one or two passages of the Episcopal burial service, commencing, 'We commit his body to the grave, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust,' ect., and closed the benediction.
“The body was then lowered into the grave. It was, indeed, a mournful scene. The shades of night were gathering so rapidly as already to render objects but dimly visible. The harsh grating of the coffin as it descended into the ground, the audible groans and sobs of the stricken widow, the plaintive cries of the bereaved children, and the sympathetic sobs of the attending multitude – all conspired to give impressiveness and deep solemnity to the event.
“And then the mourners moved away, having deposited their love one, in their wished-for unostentatious manner in his last resting-place; and when they had withdrawn beyond hearing, the more pompous and showy ceremonies of a masonic burial were carried out, succeeded by a military salute becoming the rank of the dead. Thus the sensitive shrinking of the family from the grand, empty show, was respected both at the house and at the grave, and the public desire for an opportunity to render homage to the dead gratified, while the formal grandeur of a military pageantry was not necessarily omitted.
The following article was written at the time of the death of Gen. David Bell Birney. It briefly describes his early life, and, in detail, his service during the Civil War. The article was written in 1864, and, published in the N.Y. Herald. It was reprinted in the Bay City Journal of Bay City, Michigan that year.
Bay City Journal - October 28, 1864
MAJOR GENERAL D.B. BIRNEY. _________
The country again called upton to mourn the death of its distinquished heroes. Major General D.B. Birney died at his residence, 1,920, Bruce street, Philadelphia, on the evening of the 18th inst., of fever contracted in the arduous campaign against Richmond.
David Bell Birney was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on the 29th day of May, 1825. He was the son of the Hon. James G. Birney, at one time the anti-slavery candidate for the Presidency; and a gentleman of prominence in the liberty party of his State. When quite young the subject of the present sketch removed with his father to Cincinnati, Ohio. He originally studied law, but instead of entering immediately into practice, he engaged in mercantile pursuits. For several years he remained in the West, and in 1848 made his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he commenced the practice of his profession.
After the first call for troops, upon the outbreak of the present war, Mr. Birney, busily engaged in the recruitment of the Twenty-third regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers for three months, and was commissioned lieutenant colonel. The regiment was placed in the column of Gen. Patterson, commanding the First division of Pennsylvania State troops, and operated on the Upper Potomac, in the vicinity of Haper's Ferry. At the expiration of its term of service the Twenty-third re-enlisted for three years, and Lieutenant Colonel Birney was commissioned colonel of the regiment.
In August, 1861, his regiment was ordered to the Army of Potomac, then commanded by General McClellan. In December, 1861, Colonel Birney was assigned to the command of a brigade. On February 3, 1862, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general, and was assigned to the command of the Second brigade, Third division (Kearney), Third army corps (Heintzleman), Army of the Potomac. On the Peninsula, General Birney partcipated in all the battles from Williamsburg to Malvern Hill, and was frequently mentioned for conspicuous service. At the battle of Fair Oaks, in June 1862, General Birney was arrested for disobedience of orders, but, upon investigation of the causes, was honorably aquitted. In General Pope's compaign in Northern Viriginia, he took a prominent part, and particularly distinguished himself at the second battle of Bull Run. At Fredericksburg in December, 1862, he commanded a division in General Stoneman'sThird army corps, Army of the Potomac, and in February, 1863, commanded the First division, Third Army corps (Sickles), Hooker's army. At Chancellerville, May 1, 1868, he took a prominent part, and was promoted to major general, to date from May 20, 1863. In June 1863, he temporarily commanded the Third army corps in place of General Sickles, and at Gettysburg again took command of the corps, after the wounding of General Sickles Shortly after he was relieved by General French, and resumed command of his division. He also took part in the "passage of the Rappahannock," Nov. 7, 1863. In the reorganization of the army by Lieutenant General Grant in March, 1864, General Birney was assigned to the Third division, Second army corps (Hancock), General Mead's Army of the Potomac, and partcipated in General Grant's movements towards Richmond. In June, 1864, he was temporarily in command of the 2nd corps, during the sickness of General Hancock, and in July, upon the return of that officer, resumed command of his division. Shortly after, by special orders from General Grant, approved by the President, General Birney was assigned to the command of the Tenth corps, Butler's army of the James, relieving General Terry. The part taken by the Tenth corps under the leadership of General Birney, in the severe operations south of the James river, against Petersburg, his gallant assaults upon the powerful works of the enemy, his splendid conduct in the recent movements on the north side of the James, his conduct at Deep Bottom and Chapin's farm, are still fresh in the memory and need not be repeated here.
In his military career, which has been so uniformly successful and brilliant, General Birney enjoyed the advantage over his associate general officers taken from civil life, in that he received in his early days a military education to the fullest extent furnished by the Western Military Institute of Georgetown, Kentucky.
As a companion and friend he was ever affable, polite and sociable. A strict disciplinarian, he was yet accessible to the humblest private in his command, who could approach him with an assurance of a patient hearing, and a just determination of his suit. He was generous as he was brave, and, with firm Christian principles, always approved himself an honest and honorable man.
In the present campaign against Richmond it was his misfortune to find his encampment among the malarious marshes of the famous Chickahominy. Here, after driving the rebels into the very gates of the rebel capital, achieving a series of victories that had promised not only to make his name famous in history, but to give him a more extended field of usefulness in the immediate present, he contracted the fatal disease that caused his death. The malaria had effected him so seriously as to demand medical assistance, and a course of treatment had been commenced that promised, with a days of quiet and repose, a full restoration of health, when on the morning of the 7th inst., the rebels made their desparate attempt to turn our right flank. Contrary to the advice of his physicians, and despite the earnest remonstrances of his friends, Birney mounted his horse at daylight, and, amid the unsurpassed storm of bullets and shell from which he was miraculously delivered unhurt, he directed every movement of this gallant command. But the exertion added to the weakening effect of the medicine, was too much for him. At midday he was compelled to call an ambulance, and, reclining in such a convenience, he continued in the field until night. The prostration that followed baffled the skill of the best physicians. On the following day he reluctantly consented to apply for a leave of absence from the field, provided the Medical Director would give him a certificate of disability that would not appear to be based upon a childish complaint. On the morning of the 9th inet. he left his home in Philadelphia promising to return within ten days. The passage home increased his malady, and on arriving in Philadelphia he had barely strength enough left to slight from his carriage at the polls of the ward in which he resided and deposit his ballots for the Union candidates.
Such was his last public act. From that day he sunk gradually but steadily, despite all the careful nursing of an affectionate wife, the comforts of a most comfortable and elegant home, and the skill and unremitting attentions of his family physicians, finally gracefully and quietly expiring, late in the evening of the 18th inst. --- N.Y. Herald
Son, David Bell, Jr. - Added Jan., 2010.
Who's Who In Pennsylvania (1908)
BIRNEY, David Bell ______
Surgeon; born in Philadelphia, June 5, 1862; son of Gen. David Bell Birney of Civil War fame. He was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1882 as A. B.; received the A. M. degree, 1885; graduated from the Medical Department as M. D. in 1885, and in 1896 received the honorary degree of LL. D. from Griswold College. He married in Philadelphia, May R. Lane. In 1885 he was appointed resident physician in the Presbyterian Hospital, and later became assistant in surgery to Dr. Ashhurst in the university, where for eight years he was an assistant demonstrator and quiz-master in surgery. From 1888 to 1893 he served as vaccine physician for the city of Philadelphia, and in 1894 was elected visiting physician to the Out-Patient Department of St. Mary's Hospital. He was a charter member of the Keystone Club, and a member of the Girard and Faculty Clubs and of many other social and professional organizations of Philadelphia. Address: 1810 De Lancey Place, Philadelphia.
Son: Frank C. BIRNEY. (Added Mar., 2010)
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. 8, 1953.
To: Gideon Welles Hon. Secretary of the Navy Executive Mansion.
Sir: Washington, Jan. 12, 1865
If it is legally possible, let Frank C. Birney, son of the late Major General Birney, be appointed to the Naval School. Yours truly
ALS, owned by John O Needles, Baltimore, Maryland. Frank C. Birney, son of Major General David B. Birney who died on October 18, 1864, entered the Naval Academy in July, 1865, and graduated in June, 1869.
1856 Directory Philadelphia, Pa.
Birney, David B., commissioner of deeds, for all the States except New Jersey, 88 Market, h S W 10th & Wallace. Particular attention paid to taking testimony to be used in other States. Affidavits, Acknowledgements, Claims & c., carefully attended to. Notices can be given to take depositions at his office, and in his absence the matter will be attended to.
1860 Census - Philadelphia, PA:
BIRNEY, David, age 35 (1825) Alabama, attorney
Mary, age 35 (1825), Viginia
Agatha, age 12 (1848), Michigan
Frank, age 10 (1850), Kentucky
William, age 8 (1852), Pennsylvania
Anebel, age 6 (1854), Pennsylvania
1870 Census - Philadelphia, PA:
BIRNEY, Mary, female, age 52 (1818) born NY
Frank, male, age 19 (1851), at school, born PA
William, male, age 17 (1853), at school, born PA
Belle, female, age 16 (1854), at school, born PA
David, male, age 8 (1862), at school, born PA
JENNISON, John, male, age 24, lawyer, born NY (Note #1)
SWEENY, Sarah, female, age 23, domestic, born Ireland
O'NEIL, Mary, female, age 23, domestic, born Ireland
- Note 1: Death cert #29115, Phila., PA: Died Dec. 17, 1914, attorney, married, age 75, born PA; burial Woodlands Cem. PA; parents: Wm. Jennison & Mary Beatte
1900 Census - Phildelphia, PA:
BIRNEY, Maria, female, widow, b. Oct. 1820 PA
David, male, b. Jun 1862 PA, married, physician
May, female, b. Apr 1868 OH, married, daughter-in-law
MORAN, Winnie, female, b. May 1880 Ireland, servant
1906 Death Record - Philadelphia, PA:
BIRNEY, David Bell, born Jun. 2, 1863, died Nov. 2, 1906, res. 1810 De Lancey Place, burial Woodlands Cemetery. Parents: David Bell Birney & Maria A. Jennison.
Birney, Agatha (dau.)
Birney, Bell (dau.)
Birney, David Bell (subject)
Birney, David B., jr (son)
Birney, Dion (bro.)
Birney, Elizabeth (mother)
Birney, Fitzhugh (step-bro.)
Birney, Frank (son)
Birney, James G. (father)
Birney, James G. (nephew)
Birney, Kearny (son)
Birney, William (bro.)
Birney, Willie (son)
Boardman, Henry A. Rev.
Jennison, Maria A. (wife)
Jennison, S.S. (bro-inlaw)
Jennison, William (f-inlaw)
Lane, Mary R. (dau-inlaw)
Lincoln, Abraham, Pres.
McDowell, Agatha (mother)
Needles, John O.
Sides, Peter (Col.)
Wilkins, John H.
1st Div, Pennsylvania
23d Penn., vols.
2nd army, 3rd div.
3rd army, 2nd div.
3rd army, 2nd brig., 3rd div.
23rd Reg., Penn. Vols.
Army of Potomac
Army of the James
Bay City Journal
Bay City, MI
B. Douglas & Co.
Campaign of Chancellerville
Campaign of Fredersburg
Campaign of N. VA
Campaign of Richmond
Battle of Bull Run #2
Battle of Fair Oaks
Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of Malvern Hill
Battle of Williamsburg
Madison Co., AL
New York Herald
Third Corps Union
Western Military Inst.
Kearny Medal & Cross.
-- In Nov., 1862, officers in the 1st Div. of II Corps of the Union Army of the Potomac decided to create a medal for officers who had honorably served under Maj-Gen. Philip Kearny, killed Sep. 1, in the Battle of Chantilly. The medal was manufactured by Bell, Black & Co., of New York. It was in the shape of a Maltese cross on which was superimposed a circle with the words "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." The medals cost $15 each and 317 were distributed.
-- Gen.David Bell Birney, who succeeded Gen. Kearny, directed on 13 Mar. 1863 that a "cross of valor" be awared to others who had distinquished themselves. The bronze cross had "Kearny Cross" on the obverse and "Birney's Divison" on the reverse. Among the first recipients were two woman: Anna Etheridge and Marie Tebe.
David Bell Birney, son: David Bell Birney A.b. M.D., 1885. A.M. 1886. b. Phila., June 5, 1862. Son ofGen. David Bell Birney and Maria Antoinette Jennison, Phila. Entered 1878. K.E. Physician. Vaccine Phys. City of PHila. Address, 1810 De Lancey Place, Phila. [Univ. of Penn., Biographical Catalogue (1894)
Images (Click to enlarge)
Gen. Birney, standing behind Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock (sitting), left of him is John Gibbon, to right is Francis Barlow. Setting is near the battle of Cold Harbon. -- Library of Congress photos.
at Gettsburg, memorial has a statue at each honorying generals, one of the is Gen. David B.Birney, show on right.
Gen. Birney is buried on a family site at Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA.
[Life of David B. Birney] Published in 1867, by author Oliver Wilson Davis, a law partner and friend of Birney. Covers of Birney's funeral and primarily covers his military career. -- Googlebooks.[Gen. D.B. Birney] Article from "The Generals of Gettysburg" by Larry Tagg.
[Birney's Zouaves] Biography and photos of Gen. Dave B. Birney.
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