Last updated: June 17, 2015
James Henry Carleton was born at Lubec, Maine, on December 27, 1814. In 1839 he received his commission as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army and participated in the Aroostook War (a boundary dispute with Canada) and Mexican War prior to the Civil War. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Carleton was appointed colonel of the 1st California Infantry, and in 1862 lead the regiment on an epic march of 2,000 miles to recapture Federal forts and frontier settlements from the invading Confederates and sweep the enemy from Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas. Promoted to brigadier general after this success, Carleton served as commander of the Department of New Mexico for the remainder of the war, where his primary concern was with threats from the American Indians. Following the war, Carleton remained in the army, serving with the 4th U.S. Cavalry until his death in 1873.