|General Rufus Ingalls was born at
Denmark, Oxford County, Maine on August 23, 1819. He
was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy in 1839, and entered
it with a remarkable class that included President Grant and
After he graduated in 1843 he was assigned to the newly raised regiment, the U.S. Rifles.
He served with his regiment at Leavenworth, Kansas and at
Fort Jesup, Louisiana, until March, l845, when he was assigned
to the 1st Dragoons (Infantry). He participated in the war
with Mexico with his regiment and soon distinguished himself
in action at the skirmish at Eabudo and conflict at Pueblo
de Taos, for which he received the brevet rank of First Lieutenant.
After the war he served as Quartermaster with troops sent
by ship to California, serving at Monterey, Los Angeles, etc.
He was selected as Captain and Assistant Quartermaster on
the recommendation of General Jesup, the Quartermaster General.
He was soon after assigned to duty at Fort Vancouver.
General Jesup selected then Captain
Ingalls to accompany the pioneer expedition by Colonel
Steptoe's in its march overland across the continent, from
Leavenworth to Benicia, California (1854-55). He then went
to Vancouver as member of a commission to settle the Indian
war claims of Oregon.
At the outbreak of the Civil War,
he was sent with General Meigs to reinforce Fort Pickens,
Florida. He was then sent to Washington to organize supply
depots for the Army of the Potomac, serving with it at the
Peninsular Campaign, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg,
Fredericksburg, Cold Harbor and the Wilderness. General Ingalls
served as the Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac
from 1862 to 1864 and thereafter as the Chief Quartermaster
for all the armies operating around Richmond until the end
of the war. He was the mastermind behind supplying the massive
siege around Petersburg, Virginia in the last major campaign
of the war. As Quartermaster for the Army of the Potomac he
served under a number of leaders to include Generals Burnside,
Hooker, Meade and Grant. He received brevet promotions through
the rank of Major General during the war. In September 1866
he reverted to the regular Army rank of Colonel and Assistant
Quartermaster General. General Grant gave him high praise
in his memoirs saying, "There never was a corps better
organized than was the Quartermaster Corps with the Army of
the Potomac in 1864."
After the war General Ingalls served at the headquarters in Washington, then as Depot Quartermaster
at New York, San Francisco and Chicago, and finally was appointed
Quartermaster General on February 23, 1882, retiring at his
own request after forty years service, July 1, 1883. Upon
retirement he made his home in Oregon, then moved to New York
City in 1891.
General Ingalls died in New York City on January 15, 1893,
at the age of 73. He was buried with military honors at Arlington
General Ingalls was inducted into the Quartermaster Hall
of Fame in 1987.