Edward B. Williston

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Edward Bancroft Williston (1836-1920) - Born 15 Jul 1836 in Norwich, Vermont. A career U.S. Army officer and Medal of Honor recipient who served in the U.S. Civil War and the Spanish American War, and who rose to the rank of Brigadier General. Died 24 Apr 1920 in Portland, Oregon. Buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Lt. Williston and Horse

In February 1855 Edward's mother wrote to President Franklin Pierce requesting an appointment to the United States Military Academy for her son. The effort was not successful and Edward entered and graduated from Norwich University, a private military university in Vermont, in 1856.

At the beginning of the U.S. Civil War Edward was a civil engineer in San Francisco, California. He applied for, and was commissioned as a Union 2nd Lt. on 5 Aug 1861 in the 2nd U.S. Artillery. He was promoted to 1st. Lt. on 27 Sep 1861 and commanded Battery D of the 2nd U.S. Artillery.

He remained with the 2nd U.S. Artillery for most of the war and saw action in many of the major battles including the Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Antietam, the Battle of Gettysburg and the Siege of Petersburg. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions at Trevilian Station, Virginia on 2 Jun 1864.

After the end of the war Williston held the regular rank of Captain and a brevet rank of Colonel. Regular rank advances after the war were very slow and he did not advance to regular Major until 1885, regular Lieutenant Colonel in 1895, Colonel in 1898 (during the Spanish American War) and finally Brigadier General of Volunteers in 1898. The Brigadier General of Volunteers rank was temporary and ended with the end of the Spanish American War. His last assignment was in command of his regiment in Manila where he became provost marshal general and governor of the city.

He retired in 1900 as a regular Colonel. Four years later he was advanced on the retirement rolls as regular Brigadier General by act of Congress.

General Williston died on 24 Apr 1920 in Portland, Oregon, and was buried in Section 1, Grave 422 in Arlington National Cemetery. His second wife was interred with him in 1944.

Battery Williston in Hawaii and Camp Williston in Nevada were later named for the General.

Father: Ebenezer Bancroft Williston (1801-1845)

Mother: Almira Partridge (1796-1874)


  1. Helen Beatrice Moore (1846-1902) Married 20 Jan 1868 in Washington, DC, born in 1846 in Maine, died in March 1902
  2. Florence (Flora) Estella Chatfield (1861-1944) married 5 Dec 1902 in San Francisco, born 26 Sep 1861 in Michigan, died 24 Dec 1944


  • 3 children died in infancy


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