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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McARTHUR, John, soldier, born in Erskine, Scotland, 17 November, 1826. He is the son of a blacksmith, and worked at that trade till he was twenty-three years of age, when he came to the United States and settled in Chicago, Illinois, where he was employed as foreman of boiler-making in a foundry, and was subsequently at the head of an establishment of his own. When the civil war began he joined the 12th Illinois volunteers, with a company of which he was captain, and was chosen lieutenant-colonel. He soon afterward became colonel of the regiment, commanded a brigade at the assault on Fort, Donelson, and for his gallantry was promoted brigadier-general, 21 March, 1862. At Shiloh he received a wound in the foot in the beginning of the first day's battle, but returned after it was dressed to his brigade, and succeeded to the command of the 2d division, when General William H. L. Wallace was mortally wounded. In the operations against Vicksburg he commanded a division in General McPherson's corps. He took a conspicuous part in the battle of Nashville, where he was at the head of a division under General Andrew J. Smith, which carried the salient point, of the enemy's line, and for gallantry in this action he was brevetted major-general. He was postmaster at Chicago in 1873-'7.
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