Alfred Thomas Archimedes
Born in Georgetown, Delaware
1 July, 1833; died at sea, 30 September, 1880
TORBERT, Alfred Thomas Archimedes, soldier.
He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1855, assigned to the 5th infantry, served on frontier duty during the next five years in Texas and Florida, on the Utah expedition, and in New Mexico, being promoted 1st lieutenant, 25 February, 1861. In April, 1861, he was sent to muster in New Jersey volunteers, and was made colonel, on 16 September, of the 1st New Jersey regiment.
On 25 September, 1861, he was promoted to captain in the 5th United States infantry. Colonel Torbert served through the peninsula campaign, was given a brigade in the 6th corps on 28 August, 1862, and fought in the battle of Manassas on the two following days.
He also took part in the Maryland campaign, and was wounded at the battle of Crampton’s Gap, 14 September, where he made a brilliant bayonet; charge. He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers on 29 November, 1862, and was at Gettysburg. He fought his last battle in the infantry at Rappahannock station, 7 November, 1863, and in April, 1864, was placed in command of the 1st division of cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, participating in the skirmishes at Milford station and North Anna river. He commanded at Hanovertown, and then participated in the cavalry battle at Hawes’s shop, 28 May, 1864, for which he was brevetted lieutenant-colonel, United States army.
He also repelled the enemy at Matadequin creek, 30 May, and drove them close to Cold Harbor. He took that place on the 31st with cavalry alone, after a severe fight, before the arrival of the infantry, and held it the next, clay against, repeated assaults. He was now ordered by General Sheridan, with another division, to make a raid to Charlottesville, had the advance, and commanded at Trevillian station on 11 June. On 8 August, 1864, General Torbert was made chief of cavalry of the middle military division, and given command of three divisions when General Sheridan took command of the Army of the Shenandoah. When Sheridan was closely pressed at.
Winchester, Torbert was specially active with the cavalry and aided in putting the enemy to flight, for which he was brevetted colonel on 19 September, 1864. He had been brevetted major-general of volunteers on the previous 9 September Returning through the valley, he halted after several actions at the command of General Sheridan, and fought the cavalry battle at Tom’s river on 9 October, completely routing General Thomas L. Rosser’s command, and pursuing it many miles. On 19 October, at Cedar Creek, General Torbert assisted the 6th corps in holding the pike to Winchester against desperate assaults.
He commanded at Liberty Mills and Gordonsville on 22-23 December, 1864, when his active service ended. After his return from a leave of absence on 27 February, 1865, he was in command of the Army of the Shenandoah, 22 April till 12 July, 1865, of the district of Winchester till 1 September, and of southeastern Virginia till 31 December On 13 March, 1865, he was brevetted brigadier-general, United States army, for Cedar Creek, and major-general for gallant and meritorious services during the war. He was mustered out of the volunteer service, 15 January, 1866, and resigned from the regular army, 31 October, 1866. He was appointed in 1869 minister to San Salvador, transferred as consul-general to Havana two years later, and filled the same post at Paris from 1873 till his resignation in 1878. He lost his life, while on his way to Mexico as president of a mining company, on the steamer "Vera Cruz," which foundered off the coast of Florida.