August 2, 1783|
December 7, 1862 (aged 79)|
|Place of Burial||Oak Hill Cemetery, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
United States Army|
|Years of service||1812–1861|
Brevet Brigadier General
1st U.S. Artillery|
3rd U.S. Artillery
|Commands held||Inspector General of the Army|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
Churchill was born in Woodstock, Vermont, the son of Joseph and Sarah (Cobb) Churchill. Educated in the schools of his home town, he became a journalist, and published, in 1808, a weekly newspaper, "The Vermont Republican." Churchill married Lucy Hunter (1786–1862), daughter of William and Mary (Newell) Hunter, August 30, 1812, in Windsor, Vermont.
At the outbreak of the War of 1812, he was appointed 1st lieutenant, 3rd U.S. Artillery on March 12, 1812, and was promoted to captain on August 15, 1813. He transferred to 1st U.S. Artillery on June 1, 1821, promoted to major, 3rd U.S. Artillery, on April 6, 1835, and colonel and Inspector General on June 25, 1841. He received the rank of brevet brigadier general, to date from February 23, 1847, in recognition of his services under General John E. Wool, at the Battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican–American War. At the beginning of the American Civil War, he had been Inspector General of the Regular Army for 20 years. He was retired September 25, 1861, due to ill health, and succeeded by Randolph B. Marcy.
Churchill died in Washington, D.C.
- Churchill, Winston S., The Hinge of Fate (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1950), 729.
- Peck, Theodore S., compiler, Revised Roster of Vermont Volunteers and lists of Vermonters Who Served in the Army and Navy of the United States During the War of the Rebellion, 1861-66. Montpelier, VT.: Press of the Watchman Publishing Co., 1892, pp. 678, 737.
- Heitman, Francis B.. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1789-1903. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1903, p. 301.
- Churchill, Franklin Hunter, Sketch of the Life of Bvt. Brig. Gen.Sylvester Churchill, Inspector General U.S. Army, New York: McDonald, 1888.
- Henley, David C., Brigadier General Sylvester Churchill: The story of an American army hero ..., Fallon, NV: Lahontan Valley Printing, 1988.
- Lavender, David, Climax at Buena Vista: The American Campaigns in Northeastern Mexico 1846-1847, Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1956.