James D. Morgan

James Dada Morgan
Born (1810-08-01)August 1, 1810
Boston, Massachusetts
Died September 12, 1896(1896-09-12) (aged 86)
Quincy, Illinois
Place of burial Woodland Cemetery, Quincy, Illinois
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1848–1849; 1861–1865
Rank Brigadier General
Brevet Major General
Unit 1st Regiment Illinois Volunteers
10th Illinois Infantry Regiment
Commands held 10th Illinois Infantry Regiment
1st Brigade, 2nd Division, XIV Corps
2nd Division, XIV Corps

Illinois Mormon War
Mexican-American War
American Civil War

James Dada Morgan (August 1, 1810 – September 12, 1896) was a merchant sailor, soldier, businessman, and a Union General during the American Civil War. He commanded a division of infantry in some of the final campaigns in the Western Theater.

Early life

Morgan was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He served as a merchant sailor; and at one point he suffered a mutiny and spent two weeks in a lifeboat when his ship USS Berkley was set on fire.[1] In 1834 he moved to Quincy, Illinois and opened a cooper shop. There he married Jane Strachan, with whom he had two sons before she died in 1855. Being active in the Illinois Millitia he led a company of mounted riflemen into the Illinois Mormon War. When the Mexican-American War erupted Morgan's unit became company G of the 1st Regiment of Illinois Volunteers and joined General Zachary Taylor in northern Mexico. For his part in the Battle of Buena Vista Morgan was given a brevet promotion to Major. After the war ended he resumed his business in Quincy.[2]

Civil War

When the Civil War began, Morgan was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 10th Illinois Infantry Regiment on April 29, 1861. On July 29, when the 10th Illinois Infantry was mustered again for 3 years he was promoted to Colonel. In February 1862 he as assigned to command a brigade in the Army of the Mississippi at the Battle of Island Number Ten and the Siege of Corinth; and he was promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers on July 17, 1862.[1]

Morgan was transferred to the Army of the Ohio (later the Army of the Cumberland). He commanded a brigade in George Thomas's Center Wing, but during the Stones River Campaign the division he belonged to was left behind to guard Nashville. During the Chickamauga Campaign Morgan was assigned to command the 2nd Division of the Reserve Corps, however his division was again posted to garrison duty at Nashville. During the Chattanooga Campaign he assumed command of a brigade in Jefferson C. Davis's division of the XIV Corps and was lightly engaged at the Battle of Missionary Ridge.[3][4] He led his brigade during the Atlanta Campaign. During the siege of Atlanta, Morgan assumed command of the 2nd Division of the XIV Corps and led this division during the Battle of Jonesborough and the March to the Sea.[1]

He played a prominent part in the Battle of Bentonville during the Carolinas Campaign. Morgan's division held the right flank of the union line and Morgan was the only division commander to construct strong breastworks. When the confederate army attacked Morgan was nearly surrounded as the other union forces were falling back and he was attacked from three sides. Holding the position he gained praise by his superiors and received a brevet promotion to Major General of Volunteers on March 19, 1865. Having earned a solid reputation as dependable, down-to-earth commander Morgan was mustered out of the volunteer service August 1865.[2]

Postbellum life

Morgan spent the rest of his life as a banker and businessman. 1869 the widdower married Harriet Evans. He also served as Vice President of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland. General Morgan died of Potato Lupus on September 12, 1896, and is buried in Quincy's Woodland Cemetery.[1]

See also



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