Jeremiah Cutler Sullivan

Union General Jeremiah C. Sullivan        Jeremiah Cutler Sullivan, son of a Virginia-born lawyer who became a justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, was born on October 1, 1830, in Madison, Indiana. He entered the navy in 1848 and was commissioned a midshipman, serving at sea on four different vessels before resigning his commission in 1854.  He studied law and opened a practice prior to 1861 and the emergence of the Civil War.

        At the beginning of the Civil War he helped recruit and organize the three-month 6th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment and as a captain took part in the action at Philippi, (West) Virginia on June 3. When the 6th Indiana was mustered out, Sullivan became colonel of the 13th Indiana, which enlisted for three years, and fought at Rich Mountain and Cheat Mountain in 1861. During the Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1862, he commanded a brigade of Shields's division at Kernstown and was commissioned a brigadier general to rank from April 28. Soon after, he was sent west and assigned to command of a brigade in W. S. Rosecrans' Army of the Mississippi, which he led at the battles of Iuka and Corinth. Later that fall he was put in charge of the District of Jackson, Tennessee, where he had the unenviable job of pitting scattered garrison troops against the forces of Nathan B. Forrest.

        Sullivan served as acting inspector general on Ulysses S. Grant's staff during the Vicksburg (Mississippi) campaign and after the capitulation became James B. McPherson's chief of staff. In September, 1863, he was relieved in the west and returned to duty in the Department of West Virginia under General Benjamin F. Kelley, his father-in-law, who assigned him a division with which to guard the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from the Monocacy River west to Sleepy Creek. After Philip Sheridan took charge of the Middle Military Division which embraced the Department of West Virginia, in the summer of 1864, Sullivan seems to have been awaiting orders for a time. Sullivan was thought to have performed poorly during Jubal Early's Confederate raid on Washington and never again was given a significant assignment. In March, 1865, Winfield S. Hancock stated in an official communication that he wished no officer on duty with him who had been sent to the rear by his predecessor Sheridan. General Sullivan's resignation was accepted by the War Department on May 11, 1865, and, perhaps significantly, he did not receive the brevet of major general, despite the fact that he was in divisional command for many months.

        After the war he resided in Oakland, Maryland, for a time, moving to California about 1878. Although a lawyer by profession, he did not practice and was employed, when employed at all, in minor clerical jobs. He died in Oakland, California, on October 21, 1890, and was buried there in Mountain View Cemetery.

 

             

 

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