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Shields, James

SHIELDS, JAMES (1810-1879), American soldier, was born in Dungannon, county Tyrone, Ireland, in 1810. He emigrated to the United States in 1826, and in 1832 began to practice law in Kaskaskia, Illinois. He was prominent in Democratic politics, was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1836-1838, was state auditor in 1841-1843, was judge of the supreme court of the state in 1843-1845, and was commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office in 1845-1847. In the Mexican War he served as a brigadier-general of volunteers under General Zachary Taylor on the Rio Grande, under General John E. Wool in Chihuahua, and under General Winfield Scott in the southern campaign; he was breveted major-general for gallantry at Cerro Gordo, where he was severely wounded, and he was again wounded at Chapul tepee. In 1840-1855 he was a United States senator from Illinois; and in 1858-1859 was a senator from Minnesota. In 1860 he removed to California. In August 1861, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, he was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers; in March 1862 he succeeded to the command of General Frederick W. Lander's division; he was in command on the Federal side at Winchester (23 March 1862) and at Port Republic (9 June); and in March 1863 he resigned his commission. He then settled in Carrollton, Missouri, and in 1875 was a member of the State House of Representatives; in 1879 he was United States senator from Missouri for six weeks to fill an unexpired term. He died at Ottumwa, Iowa, on the 1st of June 1879.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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