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Scottish Born Brigadier General John McArthur

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Item No. CV5876MF Category


Civil War Union Brigadier General John McArthur. Born in Scotland, McArthur would immigrate to the United States in 1849 and settled in Chicago. When the Civil War broke out in April of 1861, he helped recruit an infantry regiment that drew it’s ranks largely from Chicago’s Scottish community. When the regiment was mustered into Federal service as the 12th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, John McArthur was appointed it’s Colonel and commander on August 1, 1861. He led his unit until January 1862, when he was advanced to brigade command. His abilities were tested in the February 1862, Battle of Fort Donaldson, where his out-positioned brigade suffered heavily in the face of a Confederate breakout attempt, but retired in an orderly manner. Promoted to Brigadier General, US Volunteers on March 21, 1862, he was in command of the Union Army of the Tennessee’s 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Division at the April 1862 Battle of Shiloh, where he was wounded. He returned from his wounds to the field in time to lead his troops during the May,1862 First Battle of Corinth. Advanced to Division command and sent to the Army of the Mississippi under Major General William S. Rosecrans, a mistake in orders found him temporarily without a command during the October, 1862 2nd Battle of Corinth. When the mistake was discovered, he was assigned to command a brigade during the battle. Eventually returning to command the VI Division, XVII Corps, Army of the Tennessee, he would lead it through the balance of the war, fighting with his men in the Spring-Summer 1863 Vicksburg Campaign, in the December 1864 Battle of Nashville, and in the April 1865 capture of Fort Blakely, Alabama. Brevetted Major General, US Volunteers to date from December 15, 1864 for his service in the Battle of Nashville, he was honorably mustered out of service on August 24, 1865. This is a splendid view of the general wearing his Scottish Tam O’shanter. The reverse bears this superb, period ink inscription reading “Brig. Genl. John McArthur Comdg Post of Vicksburg. Commanded the old 6th Division 17th A.C. During campaign against Vicksburg. Dinna you hear the slogan till McArthur” . Beautiful carte view.

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