About William Reading Montgomery
Civil War Union Brigadier General. Graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1825, placing 28th out of 37, and commenced a long military career with garrison duty along the Canadian Border. Participated in the Seminole War of 1840 to 1842, and served in the Mexican War as Captain and commander of the 8th United States Regular Infantry, participating in the Battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and Molino del Rey. He was severely wounded twice, and was awarded the brevets of Major and Lieutenant Colonel. Promoted to full-rank Major in 1852, he was posted at Fort Riley, Kansas. In 1855 he was cashiered from the Army in for the alleged charge of using military funds for the creation of a town for the Pawnee Indian Association.
Returned to the Army in May 1861 when the outbreak of the Civil War created the need for experienced Army officers. He was appointed Colonel and commander of the 1st New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, and led the regiment in the First Bull Run Campaign, where it was held in reserve. His administrative skills brought him a promotion to Brigadier General, US Volunteers on August 9, 1861, and he spent the balance of his war service in administrative military assignments. Served as Military Governor of Alexandria, Virginia, commander of military posts in Annapolis, Maryland, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and as a military commissioner in Memphis, Tennessee. Resigned in April 1863 due to “failing health”. (bio by: Russ Dodge)
MONTGOMERY, William Reading, soldier, born in Monmouth county, New Jersey, 10 July, 1801 ; died in Bristol, Pennsylvania, 31 May, 1871.
He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1825 and became 2d lieutenant in the 3d infantry, with which regiment he served until 1838 on garrison and frontier duty, also performing the duties of disbursing officer during the removal of the Choctaw Indians from Mississippi to their reservation. After at-raining a captaincy on 7 July, 1838, he served on the Canadian border during the disturbances of 1838-'46, in the Florida war of 1840-'2, and in the occupation of Texas in 1845. He took part in the war with Mexico. He was wounded at Resaca de la Palma and brevetted major, and at Nolino del Rey he was again wounded, although not until after he had succeeded to the command of his regiment, which he led at Chapultepee and the capture of Mexico. His services again gained for him the further brevet of lieutenant-colonel, and he was promoted major in December, 1852. Meanwhile he served in garrisons, on the frontier, and on recruiting duty, until 1855, when he was removed from the army.
He was stationed at Fort Riley, in Kansas, during the trouble in that territory, and there pursued a course of strict impartiality, although his personal feelings were in favor of the free-state men; but his actions failed to meet with the approval of his superiors, and he was dismissed from the service.
At the beginning of the civil war he organized the 1st New Jersey volunteers, joined the Army of the Potomac, and aided in covering its retreat from Bull Run. He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers on 17 May, 1861, and appointed military governor of Alexandria, Virginia Subsequently he held a similar office in Annapolis, Maryland, and then in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, until 1863, after which he served on a military commission in Memphis, Tennessee Failing health caused his resignation on 4 April, 1864, and, after a brief interval of mercantile occupation in Philadelphia, he retired to his home in Bristol.