Philip Sidney Post
Philip Sidney Post was born on March 19, 1833, in Florida, Orange County, New York. He pursued classical studies and graduated in 1855 from Union College in Schenectady, New York. He continued his education at the Poughkeepsie Law School and was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1856. Post then traveled through the northwest and settled in Kansas, where he practiced law and also established and edited a local newspaper.
At the beginning of the Civil War, Post entered the Union Army as a second lieutenant and served with the 59th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was promoted through the ranks to colonel in 1862. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Pea Ridge in northwest Arkansas. After recovering in St. Louis, Missouri, he joined his regiment in front of Corinth, Mississippi, and was assigned to the command of a brigade.
From May 1862 until the close of the war, Post was constantly at the front. He distinguished himself as a brigade command in the Army of the Cumberland, at the Battle of Stones River during the Battle of Murfreesboro, and in the Atlanta Campaign, where he commanded a division in the 4th Army Corps. On November 16, 1864, in a charge on Overton Hill during the Battle of Nashville, a grapeshot crushed through his hip. For some days it was thought this was a mortal wound. On December 16, 1864, Post was made a brevet brigadier general of volunteers.
After the Civil War, Post was appointed to the command of the western district of Texas, where there was then a concentration of troops on the Mexican border. He remained there until 1866, when the withdrawal of the French from Mexico removed all danger of military complications. He was recommended for the appointment of colonel in the regular army but instead, he resigned and returned to Illinois.
In 1866, Post was appointed consul to Vienna and promoted as consul general to Austria-Hungary in 1874. He resigned in 1879. He was the commander of the Grand Army of the Republic’s Department of Illinois in 1886.
Post was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery at the Battle of Nashville. The citation reads, that he “led his brigade in an attack upon a strong position under a terrific fire of grape, canister, and musketry; was struck down by a grapeshot after he had reached the enemy’s works.” Twenty-nine years later, Post received the Medal of Honor on March 8, 1893.
Philip Sidney Post joined the District of Columbia SAR. His National number is 2033 and his D.C. Society number is 233.
Post was elected as a Republican to the Fiftieth Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses. He served from March 4, 1887, until his death before the close of the Fifty-third Congress. Congressman Phillip Sidney Post died January 6, 1895, in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Hope Cemetery in Galesburg, Illinois.