Orville Elias Babcock, American engineer, army officer. member of staff of General W. B. Franklin, 1862.
Babcock, Orville Elias was born on December 25, 1835 in Franklin, Vermont, United States. Son of Elias and Clara (Olmstead) Babcock.
Graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1861.
Assigned to Corps Engineers, United States Army as Second lieutenant, 1861, then ordered to Army of Potomac. Member of staff of General W. B. Franklin, 1862. Appointed acting chief engineer Department of Ohio, 1864, in charge of positions, defenses, bridges, etc.
Promoted to Lieutenant col, 1864. Aide-de-camp to General Ulysses S. Grant, 1864-1868. Served in Battle of Wilderness, subsequent battles of Army of Potomac.
Breveted brigadier general United States Volunteers, 1865. Promoted to colonel United States Army. Served as President Grant’s private secretary, 1868-1871.
Appointment superintendent engineer of public buildings and grounds, 1871. Indicted by grand jury of St. Louis because of connections with John McDonald (one of the known leaders of the Whiskey Ring), 1875, acquitted through President Grant’s intercession. Returned to duties at White House, retired shortly afterwards.