Palmer, Innis Newton was born on March 30, 1824 in Buffalo, New York, United States. Son of Innis Bromley and Susan (Candee) Palmer.
Grad United States Military Academy, 1846.
Appointed brevet Second lieutenant United States Army, 1846. Served at battles of Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco, Chapultepec and Mexico City during Mexican War. Brevetted captain, 1848.
Served in cavalry in Western United States, 1848-1861. Promoted major, 1861. Brevetted lieutenant colonel regular army and promoted brigadier general United States Volunteers, 1861.
Served at battles of Bull Run, Fair Oaks, Glendale and Malvern Hill during Civil War. Brevetted colonel 2d Cavalry, promoted major general United States Volunteers, 1865. Commanded 2d Cavalry in West, 1865-1879.