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Erastus Newton Bates
Erastus Newton Bates.png
Erastus Newton Bates c. 1858
Born (1828-02-29)February 29, 1828
Plainfield, Massachusetts
Died May 29, 1898(1898-05-29) (aged 70)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Place of burial
Allegiance United States of America
Union
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1862–1865 (Army)
Rank Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Unit 80th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars American Civil War
  • Streight's Raid
Other work Illinois House of Representatives
(1857–1859)
Illinois Treasurer
(1869–1873)

Erastus Newton Bates (February 29, 1828 – May 29, 1898) was an American politician and general from Massachusetts. A graduate of Williams College, Bates was an early settler of Minnesota and participated in its first constitutional convention and state senate. He then moved to Illinois, where he served with the Civil War. A longtime prisoner of war, Bates was commissioned a brevet brigadier general. Upon his return from the war, he served in the Illinois House of Representatives and as Illinois Treasurer.

Biography

Erastus Newton Bates was born in Plainfield, Massachusetts, on February 29, 1828. When he was eight, his family moved to Ohio. After his father died, Bates lived with an uncle, teaching and working to raise money for college. He was accepted to Williams College in Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1853. He first studied law in New York City, New York, but soon moved to Minnesota, where he practiced law in Minneapolis. There, he was a member of the Minnesota Constitutional Convention of 1856. He was elected as a Republican to the first session of the Minnesota Senate the next year.

Bates moved to Centralia, Illinois in 1859. Three years later, he opened a law office there. He then was commissioned a major of the 80th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. He was later promoted to lieutenant colonel before he was captured by the Confederates. He was held prisoner of war in Libby Prison for fifteen months. He escaped, but was then immediately recaptured and transferred to Morris Island. After his release, he accepted a full colonelcy and a brevet as brigadier general.

When he returned to Centralia, he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, serving one two-year term. This was followed by his election as Illinois Treasurer, serving two two-year terms. He married Lucy A. Sanders in 1855. Bates died in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 29, 1898. He was buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.

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