(1822–94) Union army officer and state governor, born in western New York. Stoneman fought in the Mexican War (1846–48). He led the first cavalry troop to reach Washington, D.C., when the Civil War erupted and served with Gen. George B. McClellan in Virginia in the summer of 1861 but transferred to the infantry in 1862. Stoneman received several promotions and, as a major general, commanded an infantry company at Fredericksburg in 1862. He took some of the blame for the Union defeat at Chancellorsville (1863) because of his failure to cut the rail lines linking Gen. Robert E. Lee and Richmond in advance of the battle. Stoneman sought to restore his tarnished reputation during Gen. William T. Sherman's Atlanta campaign, but his effort to free Union prisoners at a camp in Georgia was a dismal failure. In 1871 he moved to California, where he became railroad commissioner and, in 1882, governor.
From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.