Perhaps best remembered for his bravery in the Peninsula Campaign's Battle of Gaines' Mill, this Union Army Commander also fought in the First Battle of Bull Run. At the conclusion of the American Civil War, he pursued a political career and was elected New York State Treasurer.
In 1861, he enlisted in the 16th New York State Volunteers regiment.
He helped establish Cornell University and the Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane.
When he was twenty-one years old, he married abolitionist Eliza Newton Woolsey.
He and prominent stage actress Maude Adams were both descendants of Mayflower Compact signer John Howland.