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Miles Daniel McAlester
[[Image:200px|center|200px|border]]Miles Daniel McAlester
Personal Information
Born: March 21, 1833(1833-03-21)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: April 23, 1869 (aged 36)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Nickname: {{{nickname}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Brevet Brigadier General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Battles: American Civil War
Awards: {{{awards}}}
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Miles Daniel McAlester (March 21, 1833 – April 23, 1869) was a career United States Army officer and a Union general during the American Civil War.

Early life and career[]

McAlester was born in Belfast, New York. He entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in July 1852, and graduated four years later standing third out of 49 cadets. He was appointed a brevet second lieutenant on July 1, 1856, in the coveted Army Engineers. On December 1 he was promoted to second lieutenant.[1]

Civil War service[]

McAlester was the lead engineer for the Defenses of Washington from April 1861 until March 1862, during which he was promoted to first lieutenant on May 1, 1861. His next assignment was as chief engineer for the Army of the Potomac's III Corps from April to July 1862. During the Peninsula Campaign that March–July, McAlester was singled out twice for his conduct, winning brevets to major and to lieutenant colonel on July 1, 1862.[1]

File:Fort morgan alabama.jpg

Ft. Morgan, Mobile Point, Ala. in 1864

That fall McAlester was appointed the lead engineer of the Department of Ohio from October 30, 1862 into January 1863, when he joined the Army of the Tennessee to perform the same duty until August 9. During this time he was promoted to captain in the Regular army to rank from March 3. Then he was lead engineer for the Defenses of Cincinnati from August 9 into July 1864. On July 15 he was made lead engineer of the Federal Department of the Gulf (Military Division of West Mississippi) until July 16, 1865.[1]


The storming of Ft. Blakely in 1865

McAlester was in Alabama during the sieges of Forts Gaines and Morgan in August 1864, and was appointed a brevet colonel for his performance during these battles on August 23. He also won a brevet promotion to the rank of brigadier general for his conduct during the fight and capture of Mobile at the Battle of Fort Blakely on April 9, 1865.[1]


Following the end of the war McAlester chose to continue his career and remained in the small peacetime U.S. Army. He was promoted to major on March 7, 1867 and was at that rank when he died in Buffalo, New York in 1869.

He was buried in Hollenback Cemetery in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.[1]

Engineer's plans[]

During the course of his duties in the Civil War, McAlester prepared several detailed maps of Confederate fortifications the Federals encountered. Two of his plans are shown below, both depicting the defenses and approached to Confederate-held Fort Blakely at Mobile, Alabama, in 1865. They are included in the Official Records, published in 1892.

The picture to the left shows seven plans for forts and redans leading to Fort Blakely, while the picture to the right shows all four major defenses in the surrounding area.

See also[]

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32x28px American Civil War portal



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Eicher, p. 369.