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James B. Steedman


Newspaperman, Civil War General, Legislator, and Police Chief

Steedman was a  newspaperman, canal builder and Civil War general known as "Old Chickamauga".


He distinguished himself by saving many lives at the Battle of Chickamauga (1863). He served as chief of police in his latter years. After his death, a loyal friend, James Finlay, paid the total cost of a bronze statue which was first placed at the intersection of Summit, St. Clair, and Cherry streets. The statue was moved to Riverside Park in 1920. Finlay also had a memorial, complete with bronze bust, placed at the general's gravesite here at Woodlawn Cemetery

Here is a brief Steedman biography from The Battle of Perryville website:

Born in Northumberland County, PA on September 29, 1817, Steedman grew up receiving no formal education, but did learn the printing trade. He served in the Texas Army during the Mexican War. After the war, Steedman would be legislator in Ohio, a 49er in the California gold rush, and owner of the Toledo Times. In 1857, he was designated public printer of the U.S. government. The start of the Civil War saw him elected Colonel of the 14th Ohio on April 27, 1861, a ninety-day unit. The unit re-enlisted for three years and was in action at Philippi, WV. Steedman was advanced to Brigadier General on July 17, 1862. Steedman and his unit were at Perryville and Stones River.


Steedman is credited with performing the most conspicuous act of personal courage recorded by any army officer during the Battle of Chickamauga. He was promoted to Major General on April 20, 1864. He commanded a provisional division of 11 regiments during the Battle of Nashville. Steedman resigned his commission on August 18, 1866 to become the Collector of Internal Revenues at New Orleans.


He would edit a paper in Toledo, served as an Ohio State Senator and be Chief of Police in Toledo in May 1883.

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