Gouverneur Kemble Warren (1830-1882)
Gouverneur Kemble Warren (8 January 1830 - 8 August 1882) was a civil engineer and prominent officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
Warren was born in Cold Spring, New York and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1850, commissioned a second lieutenant in the Corps of Topographical Engineers. In the years prior to the Civil War he worked on the Mississippi River, on transcontinental railroad surveys, and mapped the trans-Mississippi West. At the start of the war he received a commission as a lieutenant colonel of Volunteers in the 5th New York Infantry Regiment, and later was promoted to colonel and regimental commander. The regiment fought at the Battle of Big Bethel. He commanded a brigade (3d Brigade, 2d Division, V Corps) at the Battle of Yorktown and was wounded in the knee at the Battle of Gaines' Mill. At the Battle of Malvern Hill his brigade stopped the attack of a Confederate division. But at the Second Battle of Bull Run, the brigade suffered over 50% casualties.
Promoted to brigadier general in September 1862, he served as Chief Topographical Engineer and then Chief Engineer, Army of the Potomac.
On the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Warren initiated the defense of Little Round Top, recognizing the importance of the undefended position and directing, on his own initiative, the brigade of Colonel Strong Vincent to occupy it just minutes before it was attacked. Warren suffered a minor neck wound during the Confederate assault.
Promoted to major general after Gettysburg, he commanded II Corps from August. 1863, until March, 1864, when he assumed command of V Corps. He led the V Corps through the Overland Campaign, the Siege of Petersburg, and the Appomattox Campaign.
At the Battle of Five Forks in 1865, Major General Philip Sheridan relieved him of command for what was perceived as a failure to advance in a timely manner. A court of inquiry later cleared him of any wrongdoing, but this exoneration occurred after Warren's death. Warren served in the Corps of Engineers after the war, with assignments along the Mississippi River. He died in Newport, Rhode Island and was buried there at his request in civilian clothes and without military honors.