James Montgomery (colonel)

Union Army officer (1814-1871)

James Montgomery (December 22, 1814 – December 6, 1871) was a Jayhawker during Bleeding Kansas. He was also a controversial Union colonel during the American Civil War. Montgomery was a strong supporter of abolitionist ideas and individual liberty, and he used extreme actions against pro-slavery people.

James Montgomery
James Montgomery, ca. 1858
Personal details
BornDecember 22, 1814 (1814-12-22)
Austinburg, Ohio
DiedDecember 6, 1871 (1871-12-07) (aged 56)
Linn County, Kansas
Resting placeNational Cemetery, Mound City, Kansas
Political partyFree State Party (Until 1859)
Republican Party (1859-1871)[1]
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Union Army
Years of service1861–1865
Rank Colonel
Commands3rd Kansas Infantry
2nd South Carolina
6th Kansas State Militia
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Early life and Bleeding Kansas Edit

James Montgomery was born on December 22, 1814 in Austinburg, Ashtabula County, Ohio; his parents were James and Mary Baldwin Montgomery.[2] He moved to Kentucky in 1837 with his parents, and he taught school there. He married, but his first wife died shortly after the wedding, so he married again to Clarinda Evans.[2] They moved to Pike County, Missouri in 1852, and then to Jackson County, and finally to Bates County while waiting for Kansas to be open to settlement.

In 1854 Montgomery bought land near present-day Mound City, Kansas. There, he became a leader of local Free-state men and was a strong abolitionist.[3][4] In 1857 he organized and led a "Self-Protective Company", using it to move pro-slavery people out of the area. Fights with other pro-slavery people led territorial governor James W. Denver to send U.S. Army soldiers in to restore order. Montgomery sometimes worked with the abolitionist John Brown and thought about doing a raid to rescue Brown after his capture in Virginia, but snow in Pennsylvania upset his plan.[3]

Civil War Edit

On July 24, 1861, Montgomery was hired as a colonel of the 3rd Kansas Infantry of U.S. Senator James H. Lane's Kansas brigade, with Montgomery as second-in-command of the brigade.[3]

Later life Edit

After the war, Montgomery went back to his farm in Linn County, Kansas, where he died on December 6, 1871.[3]

References Edit

  1. Montgomery, James | Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865
  2. 2.0 2.1 Clan Montgomery Society International Genealogical Database
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Cutler, William G., History of the State of Kansas, A. T. Andreas, 1883, "The Era of Peace", Part 43
  4. Castel, Albert, Civil War Kansas: Reaping the Whirlwind, University Press of Kansas, 1997, page 42

Other websites Edit