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Brevet Brigadier-General James Biddle, U.S.V.

Brevet Brigadier-General James Biddle was born at Philadelphia, Pa., December 11, 1832, and is the son of Edward R. Biddle and Eliza T. Davis, his wife. Edward R. was the son of Colonel Clement Biddle, deputy quartermaster-general U. S. Army during the Revolution, and his wife, Rebecca Cornell, daughter of the governor of Rhode Island,

He was appointed first lieutenant and regimental quartermaster Tenth N. Y. Vols., May 2, 1861, and went to Fortress Monroe with his regiment; was appointed captain in the Fifteenth U. S. Infantry, honorably mustered out of the volunteer service August 31, 1861, and accepted captaincy September 1, 1861; was appointed colonel of the Sixth Indiana Cavalry, by the governor of Indiana, November 11, 1862, for services rendered with that regiment at the battle of Richmond, Kentucky, and was brevetted major U. S. Army for services in the same battle. He served at Indianapolis with his regiment, and in pursuit of the rebel General John Morgan in his raid into Indiana and Ohio; shelled Brandenburg, Kentucky, from the steamer on which his men were, while Morgan's men were in that town crossing the river. He went with his regiment into East Tennessee with General Burnside, and was engaged at the battle of Campbell's Station, in command of a provisional brigade attached to the Ninth Army Corps. He was mentioned complimentary for gallantry and efficient service by General Potter, commanding the corps. (See " Rebellion Records.")

General Biddle was engaged in the action of Bull's Gap, East Tennessee, and the siege of Knoxville; was in many little skirmishes in East Tennessee, accounts of which appear in the " Rebellion Records." After the siege of Knoxville, he went to Mount Sterling, Kentucky, to remount his command, and was placed in command of the Second Division Cavalry Command, Twenty-third Army Corps. After serving in Kentucky for a short time, he was ordered to report to General Stoneman to proceed to and join General Sherman at Dalton, at which point he was placed in command of the First Brigade of Stoneman's cavalry, belonging to the Twenty-third Army Corps, and took part in all the principal engagements and many small skirmishes up to and including Atlanta. He then participated with General Stoneman on his raid to the interior of the Confederacy, and was captured with one regiment of his brigade while holding the rear-guard, after turning back from Macon, Georgia, when the command was unable to cross the river. He was held a prisoner for over two months at Macon and Charleston, South Carolina, where he was placed under fire of our own batteries. He had a special exchange, and rejoined his regiment at Chattanooga, Tennessee, from which place he went to Nashville, where he was placed in command of the Second Brigade, Sixth Division Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi, and was on the extreme right of the line in command of his brigade at the battle of Nashville and the pursuit of the rebel General Hood for several days.

He was brevetted lieutenant-colonel U. S. Army for gallant and meritorious services at this battle, and was honorably mustered out of the volunteer service June 29, 1865. He was brevetted as brigadier-general 13th of March, 1865, for long, gallant, and meritorious services during the war. General Biddle then rejoined the Fifteenth U. S. Infantry, as captain, in July, 1865, and assisted in the reconstruction of the South till November, 1870. He was transferred to the Twenty-fourth Infantry Sept. 21, 1866; again transferred to the Eleventh Infantry April 25, 1869, and finally transferred to the cavalry arm and assigned to the First Cavalry Jan. 1, 1871. He served in the Modoc War under Generals Canby and Gillam till April, 1873; was appointed major in the Sixth Cavalry February 21, 1873, while in the Lava Beds.

General Biddle was in General Miles's expedition against the Cheyennes, Kiowas, and Comanches in Northwestern Texas and the staked plains, 1875-76; was appointed acting assistant inspector-general, Department of Arizona, April 10, 1876, and served as such till Nov. 4, 1880, when he was placed in command of troops in the field in that department and acted against hostile Chirachua Apaches; went with General Crook on his march into Mexico after Apaches, and had command of the reserve on the border of Mexico. He was then ordered with his regiment to New Mexico, and with a battalion of the Sixth Cavalry drove Geronimo and the Chirachua out of New Mexico. He was then ordered to Fort Meyer, Va. He was promoted lieutenant-colonel Fifth Cavalry, Oct. 19, 1887, and colonel Ninth Cavalry July 1, 1891.

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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