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Civil War Soldiers - Steedman

Steedman, James B., major-general, U.S. Army, was born in Northumberland county, Pa., July 30, 1818. Migrating to Ohio at nineteen, he did some contract work on the Wabash & Erie canal and was sent to the legislature in 1843. He was one of the "Argonauts" of 1849, crossing the plains to California at the head of a company of gold- seekers, but came back the next year and in 1851 was a member of the state board of public works. Under President Buchanan he was at Washington as printer to Congress and in 1860 a member of the Democratic national convention at Charleston. In 1861 he entered the war as colonel of the 14th Ohio infantry, was sent to western Virginia and took part at Philippi in "the first battle of the rebellion." Joining Gen. Buell in Kentucky, he received a brigadier's commission in July, 1862, and at Perryville arrived in time to save the day. In July, 1863, he took command of a division of the reserve corps of the Army of the Cumberland. With Gen. Granger he divided the honors of reinforcing Gen. Thomas, who was thus enabled to maintain his position at Chickamauga against the entire Confederate army; heading a furious charge in person, he drove Gen. Hindman's division from an important position and secured the ridge at a cost of one-fifth of his troops and a severe wound. He was advanced to major-general of volunteers in April, 1864; took part under Gen. Sherman in the movement on Atlanta; relieved the garrison at Dalton, Ga., and defeated Gen. J. G. Wheeler's cavalry in June. Returning to the help of Gen. Thomas when Tennessee was attacked by Gen. Hood, he took command of a provisional corps made up of a brigade of colored troops and some 5,000 men who had failed to join their commands in time for the march to the sea, and with this irregular force did terrible execution on Hood's right flank in the battle of Nashville. He was military governor of Georgia after the war, left the army in July, 1866, and was appointed by his friend, President Johnson, collector of the port of New Orleans. In his later years he edited a paper in Ohio and was sent to the state senate in 1879, but failed of reelection. He became chief of police of Toledo in May, 1883, and died there Oct. 18, of the same year.

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

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