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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 command.

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, Second Corps.

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 pgs.

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