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Halbert Eleazer Paine

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Halbert Eleazer Paine

Halbert E. Paine
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1865 – March 3, 1871
Preceded by James S. Brown
Succeeded by Alexander Mitchell
Personal details
Born (1826-02-04)February 4, 1826
Chardon, Ohio
Died April 14, 1905(1905-04-14) (aged 79)
Washington, D.C.
Resting place Arlington National Cemetery
Political party Republican
Military service
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Union Army
Years of service 1861 - 1865
Rank Major General
Commands Wisconsin 4th Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment
Battles/wars American Civil War

Halbert Eleazer Paine (February 4, 1826 – April 14, 1905) was a lawyer, politician, and general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was a three-term postbellum U.S. Congressman from Wisconsin.[1]


Paine was born in Chardon, Ohio, and was the first cousin of future general Eleazar A. Paine. After attending the common schools, he graduated from Western Reserve College in 1845 and moved to Mississippi for a year to teach school. He returned to Cleveland to study law. He passed his bar exam in 1848 and established a practice. He moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1857 and continued his legal career.

American Civil War

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Paine entered the Union army as the colonel of the Fourth Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment. On April 9, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Paine brigadier general of volunteers, to rank from March 13, 1863.[2] The President had nominated Paine for the promotion on March 12, 1863 and the U.S. Senate had confirmed the appointment on March 13, 1863.[2] Paine led the Third Division of the Army of the Gulf in an assault on Priest Gap during the Battle of Port Hudson, where he suffered a wound that necessitated the amputation of his leg. After his recovery, Paine commanded troops in the defenses of Washington, D.C. during Jubal A. Early's raid in 1864. He resigned from the army on May 15, 1865 and returned to Wisconsin.[2]

On December 11, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Paine for appointment to the brevet grade of major general of volunteers, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on February 6, 1867.[3]


Paine, a Republican, was elected to the 39th, 40th and 41st Congress, serving from March 4, 1865 till March 3, 1871. He represented Wisconsin's 1st congressional district. He was a delegate to the Philadelphia loyalists' convention of 1866. In 1869, he championed the passage of a bill that provided for taking meteorological observations in the interior of the continent. He served as chairman of the Committee on Militia (Fortieth Congress), and the Committee on Elections (Forty-first Congress). After the expiration of his third term in Congress, he retired from politics and chose not to accept renomination.


Paine then practiced law in Washington, D. C. for several years before accepting President Ulysses S. Grant's appointment as the United States Commissioner of Patents in 1879, serving in that post for two years. In 1888, he authored Paine on Contested Elections. He died April 14, 1905 in Washington D.C. and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.[4]

See also



  • Template:CongBio Retrieved on 2008-12-01
  • Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.

Preceded by
James S. Brown
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1865 – March 3, 1871
Succeeded by
Alexander Mitchell

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