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J. Stewart

J. Stewart

Federal (USA)


James Stewart


(1826 - 1905)

Home State: Unknown

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: 4th United States Artillery, Battery B


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

A printer by training, he emigrated from Scotland to the US in 1844. He enlisted in Battery B, 4th US Artillery on 29 October 1851 as a Private. He was promoted to Corporal, Sergeant, and First Sergeant of the Battery by November 1861. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of the Battery on 15 November 1861.

On the Campaign

In Battery B, 4th United States Artillery, assigned as part of the 1st Division of I Corps' Artillery. His section were the first Federal guns deployed into the Cornfield, and were joined there by the rest of the Battery during the I Corps advance early on the 17th. The Battery was crucial in helping to stop the charge of Hood's Division. The CO, Capt Campbell, was wounded during that fighting and command of the Battery fell to Lt Stewart. In an 1893 letter to John Gould, he noted:

About ten minutes after being placed in command I was struck by a minie ball breaking my waist belt plate and knocking me down. On getting up I found my sword belt broken in two. The shock was trouble for some time, but I knew if I should allow it to be known that I was wounded that someone else would be sent to command the battery. I suffered a great deal and had to use a catheter for many years and sometimes especially when I catch cold the old pain will come back. General Gibbon does not know to this day that I was wounded in the battle.

When the battle was over, in place of looking over the field and making notes I had to lie down flat on my back and obtain all the relief that I possibly could until the surgeon came and helped me out of the pain.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to First Lieutenant on 3 July 1863. He was honored by brevet to Captain 1 August 1864 for gallant and meritorious service in the battle of Spottsylvania Courthouse and during the campaign before Richmond, VA, and Major on 18 August 1864 for gallant and meritorious service in the battle on the Weldon Railroad, VA.

After the War

He continued in Regular Army service, and was appointed Captain, 18th US Infantry on 28 July 1866. He retired on 20 March 1879, and was given the rank of Major. He lived at Fort Thomas, KY, near Cincinnati.

References & notes

Service dates from Heitman1. Further details from Silas Fenton's essay on the Battery in Nolan's Giants in Their Tall Black Hats: Essays on the Iron Brigade (1998). His picture from an engraving after a photograph in Buell2.


05/18/1826; Edinburgh, Scotland


04/19/1905; burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 924  [AotW citation 10431]

2   Buell, Augustus, The Cannoneer: Recollections of Service in the Army of the Potomac, Washington: The National Tribune Company, 1890, frontpiece  [AotW citation 10432]