James Streshly Jackson


James Streshly Jackson was born on a farm in Fayette County, Kentucky, September 27, 1823. He received an excellent education at Centre College, Danville, Kentucky; Jefferson College, Can-onsburg, Pennsylvania; and in the law department of Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky. He was admitted to the state bar and commenced practice in Greenupsburg, Kentucky, in 1845. During the war with Mexico, Jackson served as a private in the 1st Kentucky Cavalry, a regiment which he aided in recruiting and of which he was later made third lieutenant, but he resigned, it is said, to escape court-martial after fighting a duel with his colonel. In 1859 he removed to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and the next year was elected to Congress as a Unionist. He served as a Congressman from March 4 until December 13, 1861, when he resigned to become colonel of the 3rd Kentucky (Union) Cavalry, which he had recruited and organized during the summer recess. Although "not actively engaged," he took part in the battle of Shiloh, where his regiment was attached to T. L. Crittenden's 5th Division of Buell's Army of the Ohio. On July 19, 1862, he was appointed brigadier general of volunteers in accordance with the prevailing administration policy of rewarding loyal border-state politicians with higher rank, whatever their military qualifications. In the case of Jackson advance in rank was merited; he seems to have been capable, and a few weeks later was assigned to the command of the cavalry of General William Nelson's Army of Kentucky. Although involved in the disaster at Richmond, he did not reach the vicinity of the battle until the following day, and his report to Nelson would tend to exculpate him from any blame. In any event, upon the orders of General D. C. Buell, Jackson was assigned to the command of an infantry division of McCook's corps, Army of the Ohio, on September 29, 1862. At the battle of Perryville, October 8, 1862, Jackson and both of the brigade commanders of his division—singular to relate— were killed on the field. General Jackson was buried in Riverside Cemetery, Hopkinsville.

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