Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DONALDSON, James Lowry, soldier, born in Baltimore, Maryland, 17 March 1814" died there, 4 November 1885. He was graduated at the U. S. military academy in 1836, and became 2d lieutenant in the 3d artillery, serving in that capacity during the Florida war in 1836'8. He was transferred to the 1st artillery in May 1837, and became 1st lieutenant in July 1838. Subsequently he was on garrison duty until 1846, when He was stationed at Fort Brown during the military occupation of Texas. During the Mexican war he participated in the battles of Monterey and Buena Vista, receiving the brevets of captain and major. He was appointed assistant quartermaster, with the rank of captain, in March 1847, and was on duty as such in Coahuila, Mexico. Subsequent to the war he continued as quartermaster at various posts until he became chief quartermaster of the Department of New Mexico in 1858'62. During the civil war he held a like office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with the 8th army corps in Baltimore, Maryland, and in the Department of the Cumberland. He was chief quartermaster of the military division of the Tennessee in June 1865, and of the military division of the Missouri until 1869, when he was retired. Meanwhile he had attained the rank of colonel on the staff, and had received the brevet of major general of volunteers. He resigned on 1 January 1874. During his administration of the quartermaster's department of the division of the Tennessee, he became a favorite with General George H. Thomas. to whom he suggested the creation of cemeteries for the scattered remains of soldiers who had fallen in battle, from which has resulted the annual Decoration day. General Donaldson published " Sergeant Atkins" (Philadelphia, 1871), a tale of adventure founded on events that took place during the Florida war.
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