Albert C. Ramsey (Dickinson Chronicles)

John Osborne and James W. Gerencser, eds., “Albert C. Ramsey,” Dickinson Chronicles,
Albert Ramsey was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1813.  He and his brother, William Sterritt Ramsey, were the sons of William Ramsey (1779-1831) who was the Jacksonian representative during the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd United States Congresses and died in office.  Both brothers entered the local Dickinson College with the class of 1830 but did not graduate.  Both brothers were, however, elected to the Union Philosophical Society at the College, Albert in the class of 1829 and William with the class of 1830.

Few other details of Ramsey's early life are available but he was admitted to the York County bar in November 1834.  According to items held in the Gettysburg College Special Collections, he received a master's degree in 1838 from Pennyslvania College in Gettysburg.  He had served as District Attorney and was also editor of the York Democratic Press.

The Mexican-American War proved to be a pivotal event in his life.  He was appointed as inspector general of the York County Militia in June 1842.  He joined the Regular Army as colonel of the Eleventh Infantry in April 1847.  After service in the War he remained in the area, becoming fluent in Spanish and, in 1850, publishing a translation of a Mexican account of the war under the title The Other Side: Or Notes for the History of the War between Mexico and the United States. He purchased land in Mexico and in Texas but was not able to settle it profitably.  He sponsored a scheme to carry mail and passengers from New Orleans to San Francisco via ship and an adjoining stagecoach line running from Vera Cruz to Acapulco in a total of twenty-five days.  This "Ramsey Mail Route" attracted the attention of Congress for a time in 1854, but by 1857 Ramsey and his partner were suing the United States Post Office for damages resulting from that contract.

Ramsey returned from Texas when the Civil War broke out.  Again, facts are incomplete, but one Colonel Albert C. Ramsey raised a unit in New York's Dutchess County called the "New York Voltiguers" which was amalgamated into the 57th New York Volunteer Infantry in late 1861.  Ramsey did not serve in that regiment.

Ramsey married Sarah Wilmer in Chestertown, Maryland in December 1844.  Their son died in infancy and their daughter Catherine married in Houston, Texas in 1867.  Family reports indicate that when Col. Ramsey returned to the North at the outbreak of the war in 1861, his wife and child remained in Texas, loyal to the Confederacy.  In any case, on March 6, 1869,  Albert C. Ramsey died alone in New York City suffering from Bright's disease.  He was quietly buried the next day.  He was fifty-six years old.
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