James Clifford Veatch
James Clifford Veatch was born on
December 19, 1819, in the village of Elizabethtown, Indiana, but by 1841 was
living in Rockport on the Ohio River. He was admitted to the Indiana bar in
1840, practiced law for many years, and from 1841 to 1855 was auditor of Spencer
County. He was a member of the state legislature during the 1861-62 term, but
had already entered the army as colonel of the 25th Indiana Infantry on August
19, 1861. This regiment's first important service was performed at the capture
of Fort Donelson. At Shiloh, Veatch commanded a brigade of Hurlbut's division
and sustained 630 casualties in his four regiments. He was made a brigadier
general of volunteers on April 28, 1862, and, after taking part in the siege of
Corinth, moved on Memphis with the balance of Hurlbut's division. He was in
command of the District of Memphis for many months and engaged in numerous minor
operations near there, including an engagement at the Hatchie River with the
forces of Sterling Price and Earl Van Dorn after the battle of Corinth. From the
beginning of the Atlanta campaign until July 17, 1864, when he went on sick
leave, Veatch commanded the 4th Division of the XVI Corps, Army of the
Tennessee. During this period he seems to have incurred the displeasure of
Oliver O. Howard, who ordered Veatch to remain in Memphis and await orders after
his return from leave in September.
He was without a command for a time, discharged the duties of minor posts in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas, and in February, 1865, was sent to the Department of the Gulf. During the campaign which resulted in the capture of Mobile in April, he commanded a division of Granger's XIII Corps and was subsequently brevetted major general of volunteers, specifically for his services in Mobile from March 26 to April 12, 1865. He was then in command of a district in West Louisiana until he was honorably mustered out in August. General Veatch returned to his home in Rockport, was adjutant general of Indiana in 1869, and from 1870 until 1883 was United States collector of internal revenue for his district. He died in Rockport on December 22, 1895, and was buried in Sun Set Hill Cemetery.
Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.