About Orlando Bolivar Willcox (Wilcox)
Orlando Bolivar Willcox (April 16, 1823 – May 11, 1907) was an American soldier who served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
Willcox was born in Detroit, Michigan. He entered the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, in 1843. Following graduation in 1847, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 4th U.S. Artillery. He would subsequently serve in the United States Army in various capacities over a period of forty years. Willcox served in the Mexican-American War, fought against the Indians on the frontier, and again in the Third Seminole War. Following the latter conflict, he resigned from the Army in 1857.
When the Civil War began, Willcox was practicing law in Detroit. He was appointed colonel of the 1st Michigan Infantry. He was wounded and captured in the First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas) while in command of a brigade in Maj. Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman's division. He later received the Medal of Honor in 1895 for "most distinguished gallantry" during the battle.
After his release and exchange more than a year later, he was commissioned brigadier general of volunteers and commanded the 1st Division of Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside's IX Corps in 1862. He led the division at the Battle of Antietam and the corps at the Battle of Fredericksburg.
During the 1863 draft riots, Willcox commanded the District of Indiana and Michigan. He again led a division at Knoxville and during Lt. Gen.Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign. Following the Siege of Petersburg, he led the first troops to enter Petersburg, Virginia, before ending the war serving in North Carolina.
Later, he was appointed a brevet major general in the regular army. He put down the raids of Apache Indians as Commander of the Department of Arizona. For his service in the West, he was awarded a Vote of Thanks by the Arizona Legislature. Willcox retired in 1887 as a brigadier general.
He died in Cobourg, Ontario, at 85 years of age and was buried in Section 1, Grave 18, of Arlington National Cemetery.
The town of Willcox, Arizona is named in his honor.
Medal of Honor citation
Rank and organization: Colonel, 1st Michigan Infantry. Place and date: At Bull Run, Va., July 21, 1861. Entered service at: Detroit, Mich. Birth: Detroit, Mich. Date of issue: March 2, 1895.
Led repeated charges until wounded and taken prisoner.