Charles John Stolbrand

Charles John Stolbrand was born near Kristianstad, Sweden, on May 11, 1821. At the age of eighteen he entered the Royal Vendes Artillery as a cadet and during the Schleswig-Holstein campaign of 1848-50 took part with some members of his regiment in the successful defense of Denmark against the armed intervention of Prussia. At the termination of the war Stolbrand emigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago, where he became prominent in Swedish affairs. When the Civil War broke out he organized an artillery company which could not be accepted since the quota was filled, but in the summer he organized another (from nearby Sycamore and De Kalb), "Battery De Kalb," which was accepted with Stolbrand as its captain. He was promoted to major on December 3, 1861, and commenced a most distinguished career as an officer of artillery of the post of Jackson, Tennessee, in September, 1862. He directed Logan's division artillery during the Vicksburg and Chattanooga campaigns and was chief of artillery of the XV Corps at the beginning of the Atlanta campaign. While reconnoitering in the vicinity of Kingston, Georgia, on May 19, 1864, he was captured by a Confederate patrol but escaped and rejoined his command in October. At this time he was directing a full brigade of artillery, comprising ten batteries with almost a thousand men and forty-six guns. He continued on the "March to the Sea" and in the campaign of the Carolinas, but at the end of January, 1865, despondent because of his failure to obtain promotion, asked to be mustered out. W. T. Sherman, who did not wish to lose his services, asked him to carry some dispatches to Washington for delivery to President Lincoln on his way home. One of the dispatches was a recommendation for Stolbrand's promotion and Lincoln, upon reading it, made him a brigadier general on the spot. During the last weeks of the war he commanded a brigade composed of three Illinois infantry regiments in the XVII Corps. Stolbrand was mustered out in January, 1866, and settled in Columbia, South Carolina, where he immediately engaged in politics. He was secretary of the carpetbagger-dominated constitutional convention of 1868, delegate to the Republican National Convention the same year, and presidential elector for U. S. Grant. He also served as superintendent of the state penitentiary. During the administration of Benjamin Harrison, General Stolbrand was superintendent of the new Federal courthouse and post office building in Charleston. He died there on February 3, 1894, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.