About Josiah Holcomb Kellogg
Colonel Josiah H. Kellogg was born at Erie, Pennsylvania, October 1, 1836. He was educated at private schools and the Erie Academy till 1853, when he entered Hobart College, at Geneva, N. Y., in which institution he was a junior when appointed as a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, in 1855. He graduated in 1860, and was appointed as a brevet second lieutenant in the First Dragoons. He was assigned to duty at the Carlisle barracks and served there until November 2, 1860, when he was ordered, with recruits, to join his regiment, part of which was then stationed at Walla Walla, in the Territory of Washington.
After serving there for some months, he was ordered to take command of the company which garrisoned Fort Crook, near Mount Shasta, in Northern California. He commanded Fort Crook until his regiment was ordered east to take part in the War of the Rebellion. He was promoted to second lieutenant, January 8, 1861; to the rank of first lieutenant, May 13, 1861; and was assigned to the First U. S. Cavalry, August 3, 1861. He was promoted to a captaincy in the First U. S. Cavalry, May 20, 1862. He also served for a time as adjutant of the First Dragoons, the title of the regiment having been changed by act of Congress.
By permission of the War Department, he was assigned to the command of the Seventeenth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, received a commission from the governor of Pennsylvania as colonel of U. S. volunteers, November 19, 1862, and at once took command of the regiment.
Although Colonel Kellogg was a perfect stranger when he came to the regiment, both officers and men soon learned to know and respect him as their commander. The initiation into military duties now began in earnest; everything was new to the men and they had much to learn.
Colonel Kellogg s thorough training, practical experience and diplomacy served him well for the task he had assumed.
He was an excellent tactician and most thorough drill-master, and by continued and unceasing efforts he soon brought the regiment to a high standard of military proficiency. He commanded the regiment during the famous Stafford, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg campaigns. Because of injuries incurred during the service, he was granted leave of absence and was obliged to be absent from the regiment until November 10, 1864, when he again reported for duty. He accompanied the regiment in the Gordonsville expedition, and commanded a provisional brigade of which the regiment formed a part.
Upon arriving in the vicinity of Gordonsville, the crossing of a stream was prevented by a Rebel battery on the opposite side. Colonel Kellogg, with his brigade, was ordered to proceed up the river several miles, where he effected a crossing and drove the Rebel battery from its position, capturing two of its pieces, thus opening the road to Gordonsville. Active service in the saddle again opened his wounds and he was forced to resign his command. Later he was ordered to the Springfield, Massachusetts, armory, to serve on a board of commissioners to remodel the Springfield musket, making it a breechloader.
Afterwards Colonel Kellogg was sent to West Point as assistant professor of natural philosophy and astronomy.
He was mustered out of the U. S. volunteer service December 17, 1864, and retired from the U. S. military service February 6, 1865.