Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MONTGOMERY, Jalnes, pioneer, born in Ashtabula county, Ohio, 22 December, 1814 ; died in Linn county, Kansas, 6 December, 1871. He came with his family early in life to Kentucky, and taught, ultimately becoming a Campbellite preacher. Later he devoted himself to farming, but in 1854 went to southern Kansas, where he was one of the earliest settlers. His residence in Linn county was burned by the Missourians in 1856, and this resulted in his taking an active part in the disturbances that followed. The retaliatory visits into Missouri were frequently led by him, and his discretion, courage, and acknowledged ability gained for him the confidence and support of the southern counties. His enrolled company included nearly 500 men, all of whom were old residents of the territory, and consequently familiar with the peculiar mode of fighting that was followed on the border. Captain Montgomery was one of the acknowledged leaders of the free-state cause during 1857-'61. Next to John Brown he was more feared than any other, and a contemporary sketch of the "Kansas Hero," as he was then called, says: "Notwithstanding every incentive to retaliate actuates them to demand blood for blood, yet Montgomery is able to control and direct them. He truly tempers justice with mercy, and he has always protected women and children from harm, and has never shed blood except in conflict or in self-defence." In 1857 he represented his county in the Kansas senate, and at other times he was a member of the legislature. At the beginning of the civil war he was made colonel of the 10th Kansas volunteers, but soon afterward was given command of the 1st North Carolina colored volunteers. These troops he led on a raid from Hilton Head into Georgia in July, 1868, and at the battle of Olustee, Florida, on 20 February, 1864, was one of the few officers that escaped with his life. Horace Greeley says of his regiment and the 54th Massachusetts: "It was admitted that these two regiments had saved our little army from being routed." At the close of the war he returned to Kansas and passed the last years of his life at his home in Linn county.
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