- Thomas Devin
Infobox Military Person
name= Thomas Casimer Devin
born= birth date|1822|12|10
died= death date and age|1878|4|4|1822|12|10
New York City
New York City
West Point Cemetery
caption=Gen. T.C. Devin
nickname=Buford's Hard Hitter
allegiance= flagicon|United States United States of America
United States Army
rank= Major General
commands=6th New York Volunteer Cavalry 3rd U. S. Cavalry
American Civil War
Battle of Antietam
Battle of Chancellorsville
Battle of Gettysburg
Valley Campaigns of 1864 Indian Wars
Thomas Casimer Devin (
December 10, 1822– April 4, 1878) was an United States Armyofficer and general. He commanded Union cavalryduring the American Civil Warand cavalry regiments during the Indian Wars.
New York Cityto Irish immigrant parents, Devin was a house painter and partner in a paint and varnish company with his brother John for much of his early life, while also serving as a lieutenant colonel in the New York State Militia.
After the start of the Civil War, Devin formed his militia cavalry company into "Captain Devin's Independent Company" and served as its captain. Late that year, he became
Colonelof the 6th New York Volunteer Cavalry, nicknamed the "2nd Ira Harris Guards", which he would lead for the next year.
The regiment's first important service was in the
Maryland Campaignof 1862. At the Battle of Antietam, one of its squadrons was involved in the first attacks of the day. At the Battle of Fredericksburg, Devin inherited command of David McMurtrie Gregg's cavalry brigade, when the latter took charge of the brigade of George Dashiell Bayard, who had been killed by Confederate artillery fire. At the Battle of Chancellorsvillein 1863, his small brigade was the only cavalry not detached for Brig. Gen. George Stoneman's raid and he successfully led three Union Corps on the stealthy flanking march that preceded the battle. The men of the brigade repeatedly distinguished themselves in the heavy fighting of the battle. They suffered almost 200 casualties in the battle, an unprecedented loss for a cavalry brigade. Devin also led his brigade in the Battle of Brandy Station(June 9, 1863).
Battle of Gettysburg, Devin's brigade served in Brig. Gen. John Buford's cavalry division that began the battle on July 1, 1863. Devin had become a favorite of Buford's and his rugged leadership style lent him the nickname "Buford's Hard Hitter." As the Confederate attacks began, Devin's brigade was screening the northwest and northern road approaches to Gettysburg, and successfully delayed the arrival of Jubal A. Early's division. Friendly firefrom Union artillery on Cemetery Hillcaused most of his brigade to withdraw into the town of Gettysburg and they later skirmished with the Confederates as they entered the town. All of Buford's cavalry division was withdrawn from the battlefield by Cavalry Corps commander Alfred Pleasontonon the afternoon of July 2.
After Gettysburg, Devin continued to command a brigade and sometimes a division in the Cavalry Corps of the
Army of the Potomac. In the spring of 1864, he participated in the raid on Richmond by Judson Kilpatrick's cavalry. In August he accompanied the Cavalry Corps to the Shenandoah Valley, where they fought under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridanduring the Valley Campaigns of 1864. When Wesley Merrittbecame a corps commander, Devin inherited command of his division. He was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers for his part in the Battle of Cedar Creek, to brevet major general on March 13, 1865, brevet colonel in the regular army for Fisher's Hill, and brevet brigadier general in the regular army for Sayler's Creek. After the war he was promoted to major general of volunteers.
Devin remained in the regular army after the Civil War and died, on sick leave from active duty, as Colonel of the 3rd United States Cavalry, after commanding the 8th United States Cavalry. Devin was initially interred in Cavalry Cemetery on Long Island, but upon his wife's death in 1897, both were interred in West Point Cemetery, West Point, New York, very near his old friend and commander John Buford.
In popular media
Devin was portrayed by David Carpenter in the 1993 film "Gettysburg", based on Michael Shaara's novel, "
The Killer Angels".
List of American Civil War generals
* Boatner, Mark M. III, "The Civil War Dictionary: Revised Edition", David McKay Company, Inc., 1984.
* Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., "Civil War High Commands", Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
* Petruzzi, J. David, [http://www.bufordsboys.com "General John Buford's Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign"]
* Tagg, Larry, [http://www.rocemabra.com/~roger/tagg/generals/ "The Generals of Gettysburg"] , Savas Publishing, 1998, ISBN 1-882810-30-9.
* Warner, Ezra J., "Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders", Louisiana State University Press, 1964, ISBN 0-8071-0822-7.
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