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Wilson, James Harrison

WILSON, JAMES HARRISON (1837- ), American cavalry soldier, was born at Shawneetown, Illinois, in 1837 and entered West Point military academy in 1855, graduating in 1860. He was appointed to the engineer branch of the United States army, served in the Port Royal and Fort Pulaski operations, being breveted major for his gallant conduct at Pulaski, was on M'Clellan's staff at Antietam as a lieutenant-colonel in 1862, and as a topographical engineer on the headquarters staff of the Army of the Tennessee during the Vicksburg and Chattanooga campaigns. His services in the intricate operations before Vicksburg were rewarded by promotion to brigadier-general U.S.V. In 1864 he was appointed to command a division in Sheridan's cavalry corps, and played a distinguished part in the cavalry operations of the 4th to 6th of May during the battle of the Wilderness (for which he was breveted colonel U.S.A.), the so-called Richmond Raid, the operations on the Totopotomoy, etc. Later in 1864 he commanded the cavalry of Thomas's army in Tennessee. During the closing operations of the war he led a cavalry expedition on a grand scale through the Southwestern states, occupying Selma, Montgomery and Macon, and capturing at different times nearly 7000 prisoners, including President Davis. He was promoted major-general of volunteers and breveted major-general U.S.A. shortly before the end of the war. Returning to duty in the regular army as a lieutenantcolonel of infantry for some years, he resigned in 1870 and engaged in engineering and railway construction. In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, he was appointed a majorgeneral in the new volunteer army, and took part in the operations in Puerto Rico. He served in the China expedition of 1900 as a brigadier-general and in 1001 was placed on the retired list as a brigadier-general U.S.A.

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

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