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W. Gorman

W. Gorman

Federal (USV)

Brigadier General

Willis Arnold Gorman

(1816 - 1876)

Home State: Minnesota

Education: University of Indiana, Law

Command Billet: Brigade Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Corps


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

He was admitted to the bar, and began to practise in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1835. He was elected to the state senate.

He was appointed Major of General Lane's regiment of Indiana volunteers in 1846, served in the Mexican war, and led an independent rifle battalion at the battle of Buena Vista, where he was severely wounded. In 1847 he was made colonel of the 4th Indiana regiment, which he commanded in several battles. In 1848 he was civil and military governor of Puebla.

From 1849 till 1853 he was a representative to congress from Indiana, having been chosen as a Democrat. He was appointed governor of the territory of Minnesota in 1853, and ex-officio superintendent of Indians, which offices he held till 1857. In that year he was a delegate to the State constitutional convention.

He represented St. Paul in the Minnesota legislature in 1858. He practiced law in St. Paul till 1861, when he was made colonel of the 1st Minnesota regiment, and served in the battle of Bull Run. He was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers on 7 September 1861.

On the Campaign

He led one of the lead Brigades in General Sumner's ill-fated attack to the West Woods. His regiments were hit from front and flank, and were knocked back with high casualties.

After the War

In 1864 he was mustered out of the service and resumed his law practice in St. Paul. He was elected City Attorney in 1869, and held this office till his death.

References & notes

Sources: Heitman, Francis Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, Washington, US Government Printing Office, 1903;
Wilson, James Grant and Fiske, John, editors, Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889.

More on the Web

See also his Congressional Bio.


1/12/1816; near Flemingsburg, KY


5/20/1876; St. Paul, MN; burial in Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul, MN