Thursday, July 14, 2011

Maj. Zalmon Ludington and Brigadier Gen. Marshall Independence Ludington

"The body of Major Sealman [sic.] Ludington, who died in Philadelphia at the residence of his son, Marshall J. [sic.] Ludington [3406 Powelton Ave.]. on Sunday, was buried here to-day. Major Ludington was a soldier in the war of 1812 and was president of the Philadelphia Survivor's Association of Veterans of that war, which at its last meeting, three years ago, contained only six members." (Phila. Inquirer, April 25, 1889)

The Zalman family had a long history of serving in the army. Zalmon Ludington was the grandson of Comfort Ludington who was a Captain in the Dutchess Co. Militia during the Revolutionary War. Zalman served as a Private in Col. Churchill’s Regiment of the New York Militia from 1812 to 1815. After the War, he settled in Uniontown, Pa. where he had a shoe and leather business. He was awarded two patents for improvements to machinery for pressing peat into molds and drying it. All four of his sons fought in the Civil War.

Marshall I. Ludington was born in Smithfield, Pa. on Independence Day, 1839. He joined the Army during the Civil War as a Captain and assistant quartermaster of volunteers. He participated in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Battle of the Wilderness. After the war, he joined the Regular Army as an assistant Quartermaster and served in New Mexico, Washington, D.C. and Nebraska.

In 1883, Ludington was appointed Depot Quartermaster in Philadelphia. It was the main depot for the purchase of clothing, tenting, and other equipment for the Army. He and his wife moved to 3406 Powelton Ave. which provided easy travel to his office at 1428 Arch St. He served here for 6 years before being transferred to San Francisco. After several promotions, he became Chief Quartermaster of the Department of the East. President McKinley appointed him Quartermaster General on February 3, 1898, just twelve days before the destruction of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor. Months before his appointment, he is credited with pushing preparations for a possible war and quickly reversing a long period of low funding for the Army during decades of peace. In 1903, Gen. and Mrs. Ludington retired to her childhood hometown, Skaneateles, N.Y.

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