Jacob Gartner Lauman


Jacob Gartner Lauman was born January 20, 1813, in Taney town, Maryland; but as a young boy moved with his parents across the state line to nearby York County, Pennsylvania, where he received his education in the local academy. In 1844 he moved to Burlington, Iowa, and engaged in business until the outbreak of the Civil War. On July 11, 1861, Lauman was mustered into Federal service as colonel of the 7th Iowa Infantry. He served under U. S. Grant in Missouri and was severely wounded on November 7, 1861, in the battle of Belmont, while cutting a way through the Confederate lines. He distinguished himself at the capture of Fort Donelson, where, in command of a brigade of C. F. Smith's division, he was one of the first to enter the Confederate works. For this service he was commissioned brigadier general on March 22, 1862, to rank from the previous day. At the battle of Shiloh Lauman commanded a brigade of Hurlbut's division of the Army of the Tennessee, which sustained 458 casualties. During the Vicksburg campaign Lauman directed the 4th Division of the XVI Corps detachment under Washburn, which was first attached to Sherman's XV Corps and later to Ord's XIII Corps. Following the surrender of the Confederacy's last stronghold on the Mississippi, Lauman accompanied W. T. Sherman's forces, consisting of three army corps, in its mission to retake Jackson, Mississippi, the state capital. In the course of getting his division into its assigned position in front of the city on July 12, 1863, Lauman's men were badly mauled by the intrenched Confederates, one of his brigades losing 465 out of 880 present for duty. Edward O. C. Ord, claiming the whole affair was conducted by Lauman "without orders, and directly in violation of the instructions as to the position he was to take,"  relieved him from command and ordered him to report to General Grant at Vicksburg. Ord was sustained by Sherman in this action, and on July 15 Grant ordered Lauman to return to Iowa and await orders. Despite the fact that he seems never again to have been on duty, he was duly brevetted major general as of March 13, 1865, for the usual "gallant and meritorious services during the war." He died in Burlington on February 9, 1867, and was buried in Aspen Grove Cemetery.

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