Portrait of General John Grubb Parke c. 1880
Oil on canvas
43 inches x 33 inches
John Grubb Parke (September 22, 1827 - December 16, 1900) was a United States Army engineer and a Union general in the American Civil War. Parke's Civil War service was closely associated with Ambrose E. Burnside, often serving him as chief of staff in major engagements such as Antietam, Fredericksburg and the Overland Campaign.
Parke was born in Coatesville, Chester County, Pennsylvania, to Francis G. and Sarah Parke. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1849 and was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. As an engineer, he determined the boundary lines between Iowa and the Little Colorado River, surveyed routes for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, and was the chief surveyor of the party charged with the delineation of the boundary of the northwest United States and British North America, 1857â€“1861.
At the start of the Civil War, Parke was appointed brigadier general of volunteers and commanded a brigade in the operations on the North Carolina coast in early 1862. He received a brevet promotion for the Battle of Fort Macon and was promoted to major general of volunteers on July 18, 1862. After the Battle of the Crater, Burnside was relieved of command and Parke assumed command of the IX Corps. He led it at the Battle of Globe Tavern, the Battle of Peebles' Farm, and the Battle of Boydton Plank Road. In 1865, while Army of the Potomac commander Maj. Gen. George G. Meade was in a conference, Parke, being senior officer, was acting commander of the army during the Battle of Fort Stedman until Meade returned to the field. He led the IX Corps through the fall of Petersburg and the Appomattox Campaign. In 1865 he was appointed brevet major general in the regular army in recognition of his service at Fort Stedman
After the Confederate surrender, Parke was mustered out of the volunteer service on January 15, 1866. He served as an engineer, being promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel on March 4, 1879. Parke attained the rank of colonel on March 17, 1884. He served as superintendent of the United States Military Academy from August 28, 1887, to June 24, 1889, and he retired from the Army on July 2 of that year. Parke died in Washington, D.C., leaving a wife Ellen but no children. He is buried in the churchyard of Church of St. James the Less in Philadelphia. Parke wrote several reports on public improvements and exploration of the west. He also served as a cartographer, publishing maps of the New Mexico Territory and California.
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