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Solomon Meredith (1810-1875)

Solomon Meredith

Solomon Meredith was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, and when he was nineteen he came to Wayne County, Indiana, reportedly walking the entire distance.  He worked as a woodchopper and as a clerk in a store in Centerville.  He was very much involved in political matters, and from 1834 to 1859 he served at various times as Sheriff of Wayne County, as a member of the State Legislature, and as the United States Marshall for the District of Indiana.

At the start of the Civil War in 1861, he formed a regiment of Wayne County men, and while he had no military experience, Governor Morton appointed him colonel of the unit that became the 19th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers.  The 19th was attached to the Army of the Potomac in a unit that would soon become known as the Iron Brigade.  In October 1862, Colonel Meredith was promoted to brigadier general and commanded the Iron Brigade until he was seriously wounded on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg.  The 19th Indiana participated in a host of battles including Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor and Petersburg.  After Petersburg, the regiment was so decimated that it was consolidated with another unit, the 20th Indiana.

General Meredith never fully recovered from his wounds and did not command in the field again.  He was appointed to command garrisons at Cairo, Illinois and Paducah, Kentucky until the end of the war.  He returned to his farm near Cambridge City, and except for the years 1867-1869 when he was surveyor-general of Montana, concentrated on raising prize-winning cattle, sheep and horses until his death in 1875.  The Richmond Grand Army of the Republic Post was named in his honor.

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