A Civil War Biography

Jeremiah Cutler Sullivan

.Sullivan was born 1 October 1830 in Madison, Indiana. He joined the navy as a midshipman in 1848 and served aboard four different ships, the USS Savannah, the USS Vincennes, the USS Constitution, and the USS San Jacinto, until 1854 when he resigned while serving at Annapolis. The son of an Indiana supreme court justice, Sullivan decided to follow his father and studied the law then opened a practice. When the war began Sullivan helped form the 6th Indiana Volunteer infantry, a three-month regiment, and was appointed captain on 18 April 1861. The 6th saw action on 3 June at Philippi in western Virginia before its enlistment expired. On 19 June Sullivan was named colonel of the 13th Indiana. This new three-year regiment was also sent to western Virginia where it saw action at Rich and Cheat Mountains. Sullivan commanded a brigade at the 23 March 1862 battle at Kernstown. He was appointed brigadier general of volunteers to rank from 28 April and sent west taking command of the 2nd brigade, 3rd division, Army of the Mississippi on 20 June. He led his brigade at Iuka and Corinth, Mississippi but for some unknown reason relinquished his command at the latter. He was assigned to district command at Jackson, Tennessee and commanded the Union forces that attempted unsuccessfully to subdue Nathan B. Forrest's Confederates operating in the area. During the early stages of the Vicksburg campaign he served as acting inspector general on the staff of Ulysses S. Grant. After Vicksburg Sullivan was was appointed chief of staff of James McPherson's XV Corps and remained in that position until being sent back to the eastern theater. Beginning 18 September 1863 he commanded a division assigned to guard the Baltimore and Ohio railroad in the Department of West Virginia. The department was under the command of Sullivan's father-in-law, Benjamin F. Kelley. After performing poorly commanding his division at the Union disasters at New Market and Lynchburg, Virginia Sullivan was succeeded by George Crook and never again given a significant assignment. Sullivan resigned on 11 May 1865. Following the war Sullivan settled in Maryland before moving to Oakland, California in 1878 where he worked as a clerk. He died 21 October 1890 in Oakland.

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