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Civil War Soldiers - Shields

Shields, James, brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born in Dungannon, County Tyrone, Ireland, Dec. 12, 1810. He emigrated to the United States in 1826, studied law and was admitted to the bar at Kaskaskia, Ill., when he was but twenty-one years old. He subsequently turned his attention to politics, in 1836 was elected to the state legislature and in 1839 was made state auditor. In 1843 he was appointed judge of the Supreme Court and in 1845 was appointed commissioner of the U. S. land office. He served during the Mexican war, being severely wounded both at Cerro Gordo and Chapultepec, and for meritorious and gallant services on the former occasion was commissioned brigadier-general and brevet major-general. He served under Gen. Taylor on the Rio Grande and under Gen. Wood at Chihuahua. After resigning from the army he was appointed governor of Oregon in 1848. He served as U. S. senator from Illinois, 1849-55, and was U. S. senator from Minnesota from 1858-60, and afterward settled in California. He was in Mexico at the outbreak of the Civil war, engaged in superintending a mine, but at once went to Washington and offered his services for the cause of the Union. He was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers on Aug. 19, 1861, assigned to the command of Gen. Lander's brigade after the latter's death, and was placed at the head of a division of Gen. N. P. Banks' Army of the Shenandoah, March 29, 1862. He took a leading part in the battles of Winchester and Port Republic, and resigned from the service in 1863. Gen. Shields then settled in Wisconsin, whence he removed to Carrollton, Mo., where he practiced law and served as a railroad commissioner. In 1874 he was elected to the Missouri legislature and in 1879 was appointed to the U. S. senate to serve out the unexpired term of Senator Bogg. He died at Ottumwa, Ia., June 1, 1879.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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