James Sidney Robinson

James Sidney Robinson was born October 14, 1827, on a farm near Mansfield, Ohio. After attending the local schools he learned the printer's trade and moved in 1845 to Kenton, Ohio, where he edited and published the Kenton Republican from 1847 until he entered the Union army in 1861. His name, however, was not removed from the paper's masthead until 1865. From 1856 to 1858 he was also chief clerk of the Ohio house of representatives. Robinson enlisted five days after the bombardment of Sumter, was elected first lieutenant the following day, captain on May 4, and led his company of the 4th Ohio—a ninety-day regiment—at Rich Mountain under George B. McClellan. He became major of the 82nd Ohio on December 31, 1861 lieutenant colonel April 9, and colonel August 29, 1862. He served with John C. Fremont in the Shenandoah that summer, and at the battle of Second Manassas he was in Milroy's "Independent Brigade" of Sigel's I Corps, Army of Virginia, taking charge of the 82nd Ohio after his colonel was killed. At Chancellorsville, the regiment was "unattached," although serving with Schurz' division of Howard's ill-fated XI Corps and sustaining eighty-one casualties when Howard's position was overrun by Stonewall Jackson's famous flank attack. At Gettysburg, Robinson's command was again involved in the defeat of the XI Corps, and he was severely wounded. Upon his return to duty, the XI and XII Corps had been consolidated into the XX Corps and sent west under Joseph Hooker and were poised to jump off against Joseph E. Johnston in W. T. Sherman's campaign against Atlanta. Robinson was assigned to the command of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, of the XX Corps, which he led with sufficient distinction to be brevetted brigadier general of volunteers in December, 1864, and appointed a full brigadier on January 12, 1865. Meantime he had taken his command through Georgia and the Carolinas to Johnston's surrender at Durham Station and the grand review of the armies in Washington. In the postwar years General Robinson's career was hardly less distinguished: he served as commissioner of railroads and telegraphs in Ohio, occupied a seat in Congress from 1881 until his resignation in 1885, and was secretary of state of Ohio from 1885 until 1889. He died at his home in Kenton, January 14, 1892, and was buried in Grove Cemetery there.

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