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James Gwyn

Nov. 24, 1828 to Jul. 17, 1906

Brevet Major-General James Gwyn was born in Ireland, at Londonderry, November 24, 1828 and emigrated to the United States, selecting Philadelphia for his residence. Here he entered the employ of Stuart Bros., of which George H. Stuart, famous during the war as President of the Christian Commission, was senior member.

In April, 1861, he served as Captain in 23d Pennsylvania Regiment on the Peninsula and in front of Richmond. July 22, 1862, he resigned to accept commission as Lieutenant-Colonel of the Corn Exchange. He was mustered into service with this regiment as Lieutenant-Colonel, August 16, 1862. He participated in its first engagement at Shepherdstown, Virginia, where the regiment fell into an ambuscade and was fearfully decimated; he also participated in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.

At the close of these campaigns he was promoted to Colonel of the regiment, November 1, 1863, having succeeded Colonel Charles M. Prevost, who had been seriously wounded at Shepherdstown, September 20, 1862, and resigned, September 30, 1863. May 5, 1864, in the first day’s fight in the Battle of the Wilderness, he was severely wounded in the right thigh. He rejoined his regiment in front of Petersburg, Virginia. At Peeble’s Farm, September 30, 1864, Colonel Gwyn as senior officer commanded the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Army Corps. He led forward his men with gallantry and captured two earthworks and a fortified line, and for this meritorious behavior he was breveted a Brigadier-General. At Five Forks, April 1, 1865, in the famous charge, General Gwyn’s brigade captured a large number of prisoners and many battle-flags, and as a reward he was promoted to the rank of Brevet Major-General.

At the close of the war he was mustered out of service with the regiment, June 1, 1865. He then returned to mercantile pursuits with his old employers, Stuart Bros., but after a time, failing in health, he retired. Brevet Major-General James Gwyn enjoyed the reputation of having been a patriotic citizen, a gallant soldier, a handsome and accomplished officer, and a bold and aggressive leader.

Buried at: Woodlands Cemetery  - Plot: Section E, Lot 33

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Author: admin Published on: 16-Sep-2009
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