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Alumni Feature 1

Rufus R. Dawes, Class of 1860

Brevet Brigadier General, U.S. Congressman

Rufus R. Dawes

In response to the fall of Fort Sumter and President Abraham Lincoln’s call to "suppress the Rebellion," Rufus R. Dawes, less than one year following his graduation from Marietta College, began to gather volunteers. Dawes was elected Captain of the resulting Company K in the Sixth Wisconsin volunteers, part of the "Iron Brigade."

Having led his Company in all the great conflicts fought in the East during America’s Civil War, Dawes and his men fought gallantly for the Union on many battlefields including Gainesville, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Dawes recounted the history of his regiment in Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers. Promoted to Major in 1862, Dawes moved up the military ranks until named Brevet Brigadier General in 1864 for meritorious service.

Following service to his country on the battlefield, he returned to Marietta and was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1880. His reputation as an orator and his influential voice for the establishment of diplomatic relations with Persia, prompted President McKinley to offer Dawes the position of Minister to Persia in 1897, a post he declined due to failing health.

A Trustee for Ohio's Institute for the Deaf and Dumb, Dawes often exerted his powerful influence on behalf of good government and social reform. Dawes also served on the Board of Trustees of his beloved Alma Mater from 1871 until his death, 28 years later.