John G. Foster Photo

John G. Foster

Born: May 27, 1823

Death: Sep 2, 1874

Birthplace: Whitefield

Nationality: United States

John G. Foster

Date of Birth : May 27, 1823
Date of Death : Sep 2, 1874
Birth Place : Whitefield

John Gray Foster was a career military officer in the United States Army and a Union general during the American Civil War whose most distinguished services were in North and South Carolina. A postbellum expert in underwater demolition, he wrote the definitive treatise on the subject in 1869. He continued with the Army after the war, using his expertise as assistant to the Chief Engineer in Washington, DC and at a post on Lake Erie. From 1862 to December 1863 Foster commanded the Department of North Carolina. After the Emancipation Proclamation, he appointed Horace James, a Congregational minister, to help freedmen prepare for independent life, and directed a former contraband camp to be developed as the Freedmen's Colony of Roanoke Island. By 1864, 2200 freedmen were settled on household plots. Many worked for pay for the Army, which held the forts. Under President Andrew Johnson, after the war, the Army abandoned the colony. Most of the freedmen chose to return to the mainland for work.

Also known as

  • John Foster
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