General James Addams Beaver
General Beaver has a Revolutionary ancestry. He was born at
Millerstown, Perry County, Pennsylvania, in October, 1837, was graduated
from Jefferson College at Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, in August, 1856, and
was admitted to the bar of Centre County in January, 1859.
Before the War of Secession he was connected with a company of uniformed
militia known as the " Bellefonte Fencibles." This company responded to
the President's first call for troops, and reached Harrisburg, April 18,
1861. It was attached to the Second Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and
finally became a part of Patterson's column in his operations in the
Shenandoah Valley. Beaver served as first lieutenant of the company.
He assisted Colonel Thomas Welsh in raising the Forty-fifth Regiment,
Pennsylvania Volunteers, and was mustered, October 1S, 1861, as
lieutenant-colonel. The regiment joined the Army of the Potomac at
Washington, but was ordered in December to join the forces at Port Royal,
South Carolina, and was there divided so that Beaver was given a separate
He had charge of the outposts on Scull Creek and Calibogue Sound on Hilton
Head Island for several months. In July, 1862, the regiment was
transferred to the Army of the Potomac.
September 4, 1862, Beaver resigned to accept the appointment of colonel of
the One Hundred and Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, took command
September 6, and left Harrisburg September 8. His regiment -,vas posted
along the Northern Central Railroad during the Antietam campaign, and
remained in that position until December 10, 1862, when it was transferred
to the Rappahannock and became part of the First Brigade, First Division,
||Colonel Beaver took part with his
regiment in the battle of Chancellorsville, where he was severely
wounded through the body, May 3, 1863.
Whilst suffering from this wound, at the earnest request of General
Couch, he took command of Camp Curtin, in order to organize the
troops for the emergency, which were flocking by the thousand to
Harrisburg to defend the State from Lee's invasion.
He joined his regiment after it recrossed the Potomac, and
participated in Meade's retrograde movement from Culpeper
Court-House, and in the Mine Run campaign during the autumn of 1863.
The winter was spent near Stevensburg, Virginia.
Before active operations in 1864, his regiment was transferred to the
Fourth Brigade of the First Division, Second Corps. He participated in
all- the battles of the Wilderness campaign, receiving the surrender of
General Stuart at Spottsylvania, and being slightly wounded at Cold
Harbor, where he succeeded to the command of his brigade. He was severely
wounded in the first assault upon the works at Petersburg, June 16, 1864.
Recovering from this wound in a measure, he returned to the army in time
to follow his division in an ambulance, and reached it just as it was
receiving the overwhelming assault of the enemy at the battle of Ream's
Station, August 25, 1864. In this battle ' he received a wound in the
right thigh, which resulted in an amputation at the hip joint.
He was brevetted brigadier-general, August 1, 1864, for highly meritorious
and distinguished conduct throughout the campaign, particularly for
valuable services at Cold Harbor, while commanding a brigade."
The loss of his leg incapacitated him for active service, and, declining a
detail for court-martial duty, he was, at his own request, honorably
mustered out, December 22, 1864, on account of wounds received in battle.
He resumed the practice of his profession, the business having been
conducted during his absence by his partner, Hon. H. N. McAllister. He was
the unanimous choice of the convention of the Republican party for
governor of Pennsylvania in 1882, but was defeated by reason of a division
in the party. He was again unanimously nominated in 1886, and elected
governor of the State of Pennsylvania, retiring at the close of a
successful administration, January, 1891. Upon his retirement from office
he became at once actively engaged in business, and retains his interest
in all vital questions affecting the public good.
He was married, December 26, 1865, to Mary Allison McAllister. Three
sons-Gilbert Addams, Hugh McAllister, and Thomas-are living.
Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who
served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419
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