Brevet Maj. Gen. Newton Martin Curtis, Medal of Honor

Is your surname Curtis?

Research the Curtis family

Brevet Maj. Gen. Newton Martin Curtis, Medal of Honor's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Newton Martin Curtis

Birthplace: De Peyster, NY, United States
Death: January 08, 1910 (74)
New York, New York
Place of Burial: Ogdensburg, NY, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Jonathan Curtis, Jr. and Phebe Curtis
Husband of Emmeline Curtis
Father of Emma P. Curtis; Mary W. Curtis and Florence R. Curtis
Brother of Private

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Brevet Maj. Gen. Newton Martin Curtis, Medal of Honor

Newton Martin Curtis (May 21, 1835 – January 8, 1910) was a Union brigadier general and brevet major general during the American Civil War and a member of the United States House of Representatives from New York.

Early life

Curtis was born in De Peyster, New York. Upon graduating from the Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary, Curtis became a teacher, lawyer, and postmaster of De Peyster. In the year prior to the Civil War, he was working as a farmer.

Civil War

On May 15, 1861, Curtis volunteered in the Union Army as a captain in Company G of the 16th New York Infantry. He fought in the Peninsula Campaign and was wounded in a minor engagement at West Point, Virginia. On October 23, 1862, he transferred to the 142nd New York Infantry, serving as a lieutenant colonel until his promotion to colonel on January 21 of the next year. As commander of the 142nd, he fought in the Bermuda Hundred Campaign of May 1864. He took command of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, X Corps, during the Siege of Petersburg. Curtis received a brevet promotion to brigadier general on October 28, 1864, for his actions at the Battle of New Market Heights.

His brigade became part of the expedition against Fort Fisher in December 1864. The first attack against Fort Fisher was defeated, but Curtis took part in the second attack in January 1865, in which his brigade played a key role in the Union victory. He was wounded at the head of his brigade and received a full promotion to brigadier general of volunteers and was also received the Medal of Honor. He remained in the army for less than a year after the fighting had ended, receiving a brevet to major general of volunteers on March 13, 1865.

Political career

After the war, Curtis was a collector of customs in the district of Oswegatchie, New York, in 1866 and then a Special Agent for the United States Treasury Department from 1867 until 1880. He was in the Department of Justice from 1880 until 1882. The Republican served as a New York State Assemblyman from 1884 to 1890.

Curtis was elected as a Republican Representative from New York's 22nd district to the 52nd Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Leslie W. Russell. He was re-elected to the 53rd and 54th Congresses and served from November 3, 1891, to March 3, 1897. During the 54th Congress (1895–1897), he served as chairman of the Committee on the Election of the President, Vice President and Representatives in Congress. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1896.

Later life and legacy

He wrote a book titled From Bull Run to Chancellorsville, published in 1906. In 1910, he was the assistant inspector general of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. He died in New York City and is buried at Ogdensburg Cemetery in Ogdensburg, New York, where a statue stands in his honor.

The General Newton Martin Curtis Camp #142 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was named for Curtis.

Medal of Honor citation

At the Second Battle of Fort Fisher: the first man to pass through the stockade, he personally led each assault on the traverses and was 4 times wounded

Wikipedia Summary

"...Newton Martin Curtis (May 21, 1835 – January 8, 1910) was a Union brigadier general during the American Civil War and a member of the United States House of Representatives from New York...."


From St. Lawrence County Historical Association:

St. Lawrence County was home for Newton Martin Curtis. Born in DePeyster and tall in stature as an adult, Curtis volunteered for the Union Army in 1861 as a captain in Company G of the 16th New York Infantry. Later he was transferred to the 142nd NYS Volunteers. Curtis rose in the ranks from captain to major general during the course of the war. In January 1865, Brigadier General Curtis took part in the second attack on Ft. Fisher, NC. He and his troops played a major role in the North’s victory in this battle. Curtis was wounded several times during the assault on Ft. Fisher, with the most severe wound taking his left eye. Curtis survived the Civil War to serve as: Collector of Customs in Ogdensburg, New York State Assemblyman, and US Congressman representing New York’s 22nd District.

From "History of Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois" (1876):

Col. N. Martin Curtis, He enlisted April, 1861, was mustered into the United States service May 15, 1861, as Captain of Co. G, 16th N. Y. Inf., and became Lieutenant Colonel of the 143d N. Y. Inf., Oct. 21, 1862, and Colonel Jan. 21, 1863; Brigadier General by brevet Oct. 27,1864; Brigadier General, Jan. 15, 1865, and Brevet Major General. The last two promotions were for gallantry displayed in leading the troops in the capture of Fort Fisher, Jan. 15,1865, where he lost his left eye. General Curtis was several times severely wounded. The Legislature of New York passed resolutions, April 5, 1S65, thanking Gen. Curtis and the officers and men of his command (who were all New York troops), for their achievements on that occasion. Gen. Curtis was appointed, August 14, 1866, Collector of Customs for the District of Oswegatchie, and Special Agent Treasury Depaitment March 4, 1867, which position he still holds.

Served in Civil War, Union

11th Army Corps: June-August 1863

Participated in Siege Operations at Charleston, SC - August - September, 1863

Opposed Forces at Grants Campaign against Richmond (Overland Campaign), June 1864 Army of the James, Tenth Army Corps, Second Division 1st Brigade - in charge of NY 142nd

Opposed Forces at Cold Harbor, June 1st, 1864 - 18th Army, 2nd Division, in charge of NY 142nd

Opposed Forces at Petersburg & Richmond, December, 1864 - 24th Army, 2nd Division - in charge of 1st Brigade

Opposed Forces at Fort Fischer, NC 24th Army, 2nd Division, 1st Brigade -January 13-15, 1865 Col. N Martin Curtis lost his left eye.

view all

Brevet Maj. Gen. Newton Martin Curtis, Medal of Honor's Timeline

May 21, 1835
De Peyster, NY, United States
January 8, 1910
Age 74
New York, New York
Age 74
Ogdensburg, NY, United States