Abraham Eustis was born in Petersburg, Virginia. He was educated at Harvard College and Bowdoin College. He served during the War of 1812, in the Black Hawk War (1832), and in the Seminole Wars in Florida.
In 1830, Eustis became the first commander of Fort Monroe, which guards the entrance to Hampton Roads at Old Point Comfort in southeastern Virginia. There for many years, he commanded the school for Artillery Practice.
In May, 1838, Eustis took command of Fort Butler, one of the main military posts built for the forced removal of the Cherokee known as the Trail of Tears. Nearly 5,000 Cherokee of North Carolina and adjacent Georgia were taken to Fort Butler, thence to the main internment camp at Fort Cass. The troops stationed at Fort Butler were those of Eustis's command from the Second Seminole War in Florida (Duncan 2003:190).
He was the father of Brig. Gen. Henry L. Eustis.
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