Illustration of William S. Rosecrans

William Starke Rosecrans (1819-1898) was born in Ohio and despite having no formal education, graduated from West Point in 1842. He did not fight in the Mexican War and went into business as president of the Preston Coal Oil Company. When the Civil War broke out, he became aide-de-camp to Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan before being given command of a brigade. He won laurels in the Western Virginia Campaign and later served in the Western Theater, commanding the Army of the Cumberland. His defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863 sidelined him for the rest of the war. Later in life, he served as a U.S. Representative from California.

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