James Madison Tuttle

James Madison Tuttle was born on September 24, 1823, in Summerfield, Ohio. After receiving a public-school education he moved to Farmington, Iowa, about 1846, where he engaged in farming and operated a store. He was elected sheriff of Van Buren County in 1855, county treasurer in 1857, and recorder two years later. On May 31, 1861, he went into the army as lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Iowa and, upon the promotion of S. R. Curtis, became its colonel on September 6. Tuttle was present at Fort Donelson with his regiment, the first to occupy the enemy works after the capitulation. At the battle of Shiloh he was in command of a brigade of W. H. L. Wallace's division and, after Wallace's death, of the division itself. He did yeoman's service at the "Hornet's Nest," an eroded lane which ran parallel to the Confederate line of attack on the first day of the battle, a position which if carried might well have resulted in the ultimate disaster for U. S. Grant's forces. During the siege of Vicksburg he commanded one of Sherman's XV Corps's divisions, and during the first capture of the capital of Mississippi he compelled Joseph Johnston's Confederates to evacuate the city so hurriedly that he was able to capture a part of their artillery. Tuttle was prone to mix soldiering with politics and in 1863 ran for governor of Iowa on the Democratic ticket. He was defeated but, nothing daunted, ran again the following year and was again defeated. He seemingly was not averse to capitalizing on his rank and position to line his own pockets if the opportunity arose; this may have resulted in the acceptance of his resignation by the War Department on June 14, 1864. He returned to Iowa, served several terms in the legislature, and engaged in farming, real estate operations, and pork packing. In 1877 he became interested in mining in the Southwest. He had an interest in the Jack Rabbit Mine, south of Casa Grande, Arizona, where he died of a stroke during the night of October 24, 1892. General Tuttle's body was taken east for burial in Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa.

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