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Gen. James Blair Steedman

Gen. James Blair Steedman

Male 1817 - 1883  (66 years)

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  • Name James Blair Steedman 
    Prefix Gen. 
    Born 29 Jul 1817  ____, Northumberland Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    1840 Census 1840  Napoleon Twp., Henry Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • p. 250
      James B. Steedman     001 010 000 0000 - 000 020 000 0000
      W. C. Steedman           000 000 100 0000 - 000 000 000 0000

      Census Analysis:

      Male     20-30 : James B Steedman, b. 1817
      Female 20-30 : Sarah Miranda Stiles, b. 1819
      Female 20-30 : ?
      Male     10-15 : ? Francis W. Steedman, b. 1828  (cousin)

      William B. Steedman, b. 1832   (brother)
      Sarah Steedman, b. 1813     (sister)   (married to George R Barrett and in Clearfield Co., PA)

      Male     40-50 : William Cook Steedman, b. 1797

      Catherine H. Steedman, b. 1825
      Francis W. Steedman, b. 1828  (may be with James B Steedman)
      Harris C. Steedman, b. 1832
    1850 Census 25 Oct 1850  Waterville Twp., Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • p. 136
      James B Steedman     32  M   Farmer   ----  Penn
      Sarah M                      32  F                          New Jersey
      Lewis C                        2  M                          Ohio
      Rebecca Peters          17  F                          Penn

      James Bowerman       52  M   Farmer   ----  NY
      Phebe                          50  F                          "
      Andrew                       18  M   Boatman        "        school
      Aton  - twin                 16  M   Farmer          Penn     "
      Edwin - twin                16  M     "                      "        "
      James                          14  M                        Ohio       "
      Phebe M                       20  F                          NY
      Servie E                         7  F                         Ohio    school
      Sarah E                          4  F                            "            "
      Phebe                         6/12 F                            "
      Silas                             22  M   Farmer           NY      school
      John Connelly              37  M   Laborer          Ireland
    1860 Census 20 Jun 1860  Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Toledo PO, Ward 3, p. 191
      Jas. B Steedman    41  M   Attorney   ----        $2000  Penn
      Sarah M                  41  F                   $10,000  ----       NJ
      Lewis                     12  M                                              Ohio    school
      Ann Otis                 19  F   Servant                               Ireland
      Enoch Battan          24  M   Clerk                                   Germany
      Jno Stiles                24  M     "                                        NJ
    Passport Application 23 Jan 1869  ____, Orleans Parish, LA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • He gives 29 July 1818 in Northumberland County, PA as his birth information on passport application.
    James Blair Steedman Passport Application
    James Blair Steedman Passport Application
    1870 Census 17 Jun 1870  Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Toledo PO, Ward 3, p. 267a
      Stedman, Jas B.      52  M  W   Ex. Maj. General    ----       ----    Pa.              citizen
      ---, Sarah M.            52  F  W   Keeps house       $30,000  ----     "
      ---, Lewis C.            22  M  W  At home                                       Ohio            citizen
      ---, Victor                  9  F   B    Servant                                          "
    1880 Census 8 Jun 1880  Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • 8th Ward Precinct A, ED 47, p. 20   National Archives Film T9-1044     Page 461D
      62 Missouri Street
      Stedman, Gen Jas B     W  M  63                Head  Md   Lawyer              Pennsylvania  Scotland  Scot
      ---, Maggie                    W   F  18                Wife           Keeping House  Ohio                 Ireland    Ireland
      ---, James                     W   M   9                GSon          At School          Ohio                 Ohio        Penn
      ---, Emma                      W   F    7                GDau          At School          Ohio                 Ohio        Penn
      ---, Beckey                    W  F  11/12  July   Dau                                      Ohio                  Penn       Ohio
      Gildrery, Mary               W   F  15              Domestic  S  Domestic           Ohio                 Ireland     Ireland
    Died 18 Oct 1883  Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Obituary 19 Oct 1883  Boston, Suffolk Co., MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Boston Daily Advertiser 
    • General James Barrett Steedman
      General James B. Steedman died yesterday afternoon of pneumonia, after a protracted illness, at his home in Toledo, O. General Steedman was born in Northumberland county, Penn., JUly 30, 1818. In 1837 he went to Ohio as a contractor in the construction of the Wabash and Erie canal. In 1843 he was elected to the legislature by the democrats. In 1849, when the gold fever was at its height, he organized a company of gold-hunters, and crossed the plains to California, where he remained but one year. Returning to Ohio, he was elected to a position on the board of public works. He was appointed, during President Buchanan's administration, printer to Congress, which position he held till the republicans came into power. On the breaking out of the war, he entered the army, and in 1861 was colonel of the fourth Ohio Volunteers. His command was assigned to duty in western Virginia, where he took part in the battle at Philippi. He subsequently joined General Buell in Kentucky. He was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers July 17, 1862, and one year later distinguished himself in the battle of Perryville, as the commander of the first division reserve corps. On April 24, 1864, he was made a major-general for conspicuous bravery at the battle of Chickamaugua. He took an active part in Sherman's Atlanta campaign, relieved the little garrison at Dalton, and defeated Wheeler's cavalry in June 1864. He joined General THomas when Sherman marched to the sae, and again distinguihed hemself in the battle of Nashville. On July 19, 1866, he resigned his commission, and was subsequently appointed by President Johnson internal revenue collector at New Orleans. At the time of his death he held the position of chief of police of Toledo.
    Buried Aft 18 Oct 1883  Woodlawn Cemetery - Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gen. James Blair Steedman (1817-1883)
    Gen. James Blair Steedman (1817-1883)
    Woodlawn Cemetery, Toledo
    • James Blair Steedman was born 29 July 1817 at the Steedman home in Chillisquaque twp, Northumberland County, PA, to George Steedman and his wife Sarah Blair.  His grand parents were William Steedman and his wife Rebecca Cook.  He was a great-grandson of James Steedman of Fife, Scotland who was his immigrant ancestor.  James was one of four Steedman brothers who came to America in the 1750s.  His brothers settled in South Carolina and were the founders of the large Steedman/Steadman families of the Carolina and throughout the South.

      James Blair Steedman at age 15 entered the printing office of the Lewisburg (PA) Democrat newspaper.  He became a contractor on the Wabash and Erie canal in 1837.

      In 1838 he went to Napolean, Ohio (Henry Co.), and later acquired control of the Northwestern Democrat newspaper, published in Napolean.  He, and probably his uncle William Cook Steedman, were enumerated in the 1840 census in Napolean Twp.  James was involved in contract work related to the construction of the Toledo, Wabash, and Western Railroad. In 1847-1848 he was a member of the Ohio Legislature.  In 1849 he went to California, as one of the "Argonauts on '49", but returned to Ohio shortly thereafter.  He was enumerated in the 1850 census in Waterville Township in Lucas Co., OH, just south of Toledo.  He became a member of the Ohio state board of public works, 1852-56.

      He was a public promoter (public printer or printer to Congress) in Washington, 1857-60, during the administration of President Buchanan. In 1860 he was a delegate to the national convention of the Democratic Party at Charleston, SC, where he advocated the nomination of Stephen A. Douglas.  At the time of the 1860 census, he was listed (as James B. Steedner) as an attorney living in Toledo, Lucas Co., OH.

      In 1861 he enlisted as colonel of the 4th regiment of Ohio Volunteers. He took part in the battle of Philippi, and was promoted brigadier-general, July 17, 1862.  He drove back the Confederate assault at Perryville. He commanded the 1st division, reserve corps, Army of the Cumberland, at Chickamauga, where he reinforced Thomas at a critical moment, thus saving the army from defeat. He was promoted major-general, April 24, 1864, and served in the Atlanta campaign, defeating Wheeler's cavalry in June, 1864. He commanded the provisional detachment of the Federal army under Thomas, composed of about 5000 men, partly African-American troops from Sherman's army, who had arrived from Chattanooga too late for their proper commands, and did good service at Nashville, Dec. 15-16, 1864.

      He served as provisional governor of Georgia, and resigned, July 19, 1866. He was U.S. collector of internal revenue at New Orleans, but became involved in financial difficulties, and returned to Ohio in 1879.

      He was Ohio state senator, 1879-80, and was chief of police at Toledo and editor of the Weekly Ohio Democrat.

      He died in Toledo on 18 October 1883.  A monument was erected to his memory at Toledo, May 26, 1887.

      An article included in Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio, Vol. 2, pp 159-160, gives his middle name incorrectly as "Barrett".  Information concerning him is contained in Egle's Pennsylvania Genealogies; Pennsylvania Notes and Queries, Vol. 1, 4th Series; Dictionary of National Biography; and in Joseph Earle Steadman's Barton-Steadman family genealogy from which much of this article is adapted.

      Gen. Steedman was married three times.  In 1838 he married Sarah Miranda Stiles (1819 - 31 Jan 1872) at Defiance, OH.  She was born in New Jersey and died in Toledo.  His second wife was Rosie Barr.  The third wife whom he married on 16 Sept 1878 was Margaret Gildea of Toledo.  There are 4 known children.

      From: William Henry Egle, Notes and Queries Historical and Genealogical: Chiefly Relating to Interior of Pennsylvania, Series 4 Volume I (1893), pp. 10-12

      General James B. Steedman - 1818-1883

      James Blair Steedman (Major General U. S. V.) died in Toledo, Lucas Co., Ohio, October 18, 1883, aged sixty-five years. He was born in Chillisquaque township, Northumberland county, Pa., at the old Steedman home, immediately opposite Lewisburg, on the bank of the West Branch of the Susquehanna. His grandfather, William Steedman, married Rebecca, daughter of Col. William Cooke (Hist. Register, Vol. 1, page 178) of the noted 12th Pennsylvania Regiment of the Continental line, and his father, George Steedman, married Sarah Blair.

      When James was about fourteen years old, death entered the family and his father and mother were buried on the same day. His olny sister, Sarah, married Hon. George R. Barrett, now of Clearfield, Pa. THe Judge was then editing a Democratic paper at lewisburg and James became an apprentice in the office. After working two years at printing he became "boss" of a gang of laborers on the canal, and gave early evidence of his unflinching courage and athletic force by whipping the best man on the job; a burly Irishman who, when Steedman ordered him to drop his spade and leave the ditch, avowed his intention "to whopp the big head off the striplin."

      When about twenty years old the young printer moved to Napoleon, Henry county, Ohio, and become proprietor of the North Western Democrat. In October, 1841, he was elected a member of the Ohio General Assembly and re-elected in 1842. He was always engaged in contracting on the Wabash and Erie canal, and subsequently on the Wabash railroad. About this time occurred the next great trial of his physical strength. A blacksmith who had long been held as the "best man" of Northwest Ohio, hearing of Steedman's pugilistic reputation, accosted him: "They tell me you were the best man in Pennsylvania. I am the best man in Ohio. You can't stay in Ohio unless you can lick me." They fought three hours. Steedman had three ribs and a finger broken, but came off victor and the blacksmith never fought again.

      In October, 1851, Steedman was elected on the Democratic ticket a member of the Board of Publick Works of Ohio by a majority over his Whig opponent of nearly 24,000. His courage, united with sagacity and great knowledge of human nature, made him a leader, and he became a political power in his adopted State. In 1857 his political fortunes were transferred to Washington city, by his selection for the office of Public Printer.

      He was a delegate to the Democratic convention which met in Charleston, S. C., April 23, 1860, and while there made himself conspicuous for abilty and zeal in advocating the claims of Stephen A. Douglass, and the unbending firmness with which he stood up for the "Little Giant." He was at home in a fight; he stood no fear of no mortal man, or any number of them, and when "Jim Steedman" stepped into the arena Yancey and his "fire eaters" stopped bullying while he was about. In the same year, 1860, Steedman was a candidate for Congess, but was defeated by Hon. James M. Ashley, of Toledo.

      In 1861 Steedman had removed to Toledo and when Governor Dennison issued his call for volunteers, Steedman promptly telegraphed the Governor an offer of an entire regiment. Three days after he was appointed colonel, he had the regiment ready for the field. For his own history and that of his renowned regiment, the Fourteenth Ohio, the reader may consult Whitelaw Reid's "Ohio in the War." Reid says "Scarcely any Ohio General not in command of a large army rendered more valuable or distinguished service. He never belonged to the school of delaying Generals. He was a bold, energetic gighter and his voice was always for battle. His troops had unbounded confidence in and admiration for him."

      It was a Chickamauga that Gen. Steedman won his stars. His cool, self-possession is well brought out by an anecdote related by a correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial-Gazette: " As Steedman rode into battle he passed General Gordon Granger. The latter said, feelingly: 'Steed, old boy, it is going to be hot in there. If anything should happen have you any requests to make of me?' 'Yes," General Granger; 'if I fall int he fight, please see my body decently buried, and my name correctly spelled in the newspapers;'" and he deliberately spelled it.

      The same correspondent gives General Steedman's own account of the part he took in the battle. it is worthy of presentation in our historical annals. His determination to take responsibility and his unflinching bravery recalls the heroism of his ancestor, Col. William Cooke, who, with the Twelth Pennsylvania Regiment, bolding confronted Cornwallis and the whole left wing of the Bristish army at Brandywine. The writer says:

      "As we sat one night in 1875, in the ratty old editorial rooms of the TOledo Morning Democrat and Herald, of which he was "leader" writer, and I managing editor, I asked him for the story of Chickamauga, where he won his stars and the soldier title of 'Old Chickamauga.' of which he was so proud. He told it as cooly as if it was a dream to him:

      "Why, my boy, there wasn't much to it. I was in charge of the First Division of the Reserve Corps of the Army of the Cumberland, and had been stationed at Ringgold or Red House Bridge, over the Chickamauga. My orders were explicit, 'to hold the bridge at all hazard.' and prevent the enemy from flanking General Thomas. The enemy disappeared from our front. The sound of cannonading and battle to the northward told me that the enemy had massed against our center, and a great battle was on. From the noise of the conflict I judged, and rightly, that Thomas was sorely pressed. I felt that my command was needed, and could not understand the absence of new orderes.

      I waited impatiently enough from daylight till nearly noon, hoping for some word from my commanding officer. Finally I decided to risk my neck, rather than see the Union army destroyed through in activity on my part. Calling a council of officers and men I explained the situation, read my orders, told them my decision, and that on my shoulders should fall whatever responsibilty attached to the disobedience of orders. You know the inexorable military law is "to ask no questions, obey all orders, and accept consequences." I knew that if my movement was a failure, my judgement mistaken, nothing less than court-martial and death awaited me. But the battle was on, and every fiber in me said I was wanted. We burned the bridge and marched by the cannon's sound to Thomas' aid. Through corn fields, thickets, oak woods, we made a fearful tramp, for no man in command knew the country, and our only guide was the cannon's boom. When I reported to Thomas he was in despair at the loss of the key of his position, which had just been captured by General Hindman's rebel corps. The place was indicated to me by the flash of guns and the rattle of canister on the dry leaves of the tree under which Thomas and I stood. There was a forbidding thicket and an oak forest between us and the belt of rocks that marked the edge of a broad palteau on which the enemy was jubilant with victory. 'There, there,' said Thomas, as the guns flashed again. 'Now you see their exact position. You must take that ridge.' My reply was, 'I'll do it.' In thirty minutes after we reached the field we were storming the rock of Chickamauga. It was an awful contest up that slope, every foot of which was planted with death.

      "We went in with seven thousand five hundred men, and only four thousand reported for duty at the next muster. We went up, up, up till we reached the summit and planted ourselves there to stay. It was a terribly hot place, and we made the plateau a lake of blood before we drove Handman back. I rode back and reported to Thomas. I was bloody from head to foot. He clasped my hand, and said with great emotion: 'General Steedman, you have saved my army.' I got my stars not long afterwards, and that's about all there is of it. Yes, it was a big risk I ran in, but I was right, and I knew it."

      After the war General Steedman was placed in command of the District of Georgia, but subsequently resigned after a tour throught he South of inspection of the Freedman's Bureau. His report thereon brought him into close relations with President Johnson. The latter offered him a number of civil appointments, which he declined, and there was a rumor that he would be made Secretary of War. He finally accepted the position of collector of Internal Revenue at New Orleans.

      While at New Orleans, says the same correspondent, General Steedman one day received a telegram from the President in these words:

      "You will proceed at once to the of Mexico as commissioner of this government to intercede for the life of Maximilian. Papers and instructions will reach you at Galveston."

      His reply was, "Mr. President, I have seen my country stand idly by while my fellow-countryman Walker, and his brave comrades were murdered in cold blood for their efforts in the cause of liberty, and after such an episode I respectfully decline to risk my life for that of a royal freebooter."

      After General Steedman returned to Ohio he served as a member of the Third Constitutional COnvention of Ohio, which assembled in Columbus May 13th, 1873. He was elected to succeed his fellow-townsman of Toledo, Mr. Morrison R. Waite, who resigned his seat in the convention to accept the office of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Wealth never came to stay with the printer boy of the West Branch. At his death he was filling the office of chief of police of Toledo. His widow with three orphan grandchildren survive him. I will add a more magnanimous, generous, charitable and fearless man than General James B. Steedman I never knew.

      by Hon. John Blair Linn.
    Person ID I39283  Stedman/Steadman/Steedman Families of the New World
    Last Modified 5 Jun 2009 

    Father George Steedman,   b. 26 Aug 1793, ____, ____, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1830  (Age 36 years) 
    Mother Sarah Blair,   b. Between 1794 and 1800, ____, ____, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1830  (Age ~ 36 years) 
    Married Bef 1813 
    Family ID F14727  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Sarah Miranda Stiles,   b. 1819, Pequannock, Morris Co., NJ Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Jan 1872, Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Married 1838  Defiance, Defiance Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Lewis Cass Steedman,   b. 1848, Waterville, Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Mar 1876, Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 28 years)
    Last Modified 8 Jan 2006 
    Family ID F14729  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Rose H. "Rosie" [--?--],   b. Abt 1851, ____, ____, OH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Feb 1876  (Age ~ 25 years) 
    Married 1874 
    Last Modified 5 Jun 2009 
    Family ID F14730  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Margaret "Maggie" Gildea,   b. 31 Oct 1861, Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Mar 1948, Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years) 
    Married 16 Sep 1878 
     1. Rebecca Blair "Becky" Steedman,   b. 5 Jul 1879, ____, ____, OH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 May 1916, Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years)
     2. Samuel Jones Tilden Steedman,   b. 5 Nov 1881, ____, ____, OH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Jun 1952, ____, Cook Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)
     3. Mary Moore "Mae" Steedman,   b. 30 Mar 1883, ____, ____, OH Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Sep 1975, Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years)
    Last Modified 7 Jan 2006 
    Family ID F14731  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 29 Jul 1817 - ____, Northumberland Co., PA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1838 - Defiance, Defiance Co., OH Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google Maps1840 Census - 1840 - Napoleon Twp., Henry Co., OH Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google Maps1850 Census - 25 Oct 1850 - Waterville Twp., Lucas Co., OH Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google Maps1860 Census - 20 Jun 1860 - Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google Maps1870 Census - 17 Jun 1870 - Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google Maps1880 Census - 8 Jun 1880 - Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 18 Oct 1883 - Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsObituary - Boston Daily Advertiser - 19 Oct 1883 - Boston, Suffolk Co., MA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - Aft 18 Oct 1883 - Woodlawn Cemetery - Toledo, Lucas Co., OH Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Gen. James Blair Steedman (1817-1883)
    Gen. James Blair Steedman (1817-1883)