Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MEREDITH, Solomon, soldier, born in Guilford county, North Carolina, 29 May, 1810 ; died in Cambridge City, Indiana, 21 October, 1875. At the age of nineteen he went to Wayne county, Indiana, and by manual labor earned enough to give himself an education. In 1840 he removed to Cambridge City. He was chosen sheriff of his county in 1834 and 1836, thrice elected to the legislature in 1846-'8, and in 1849 became United States marshal for the district of Indiana. In 1854 he was again chosen to the legislature. In July, 1861, he became colonel of the 19th Indiana regiment, which saw its first service in Virginia, and lost half its effective force at Gainesville, where Colonel Meredith was wounded. He was promoted brigadier-general of volunteers on 6 October, 1862, and commanded what was known throughout the war as the iron brigade. Under his leadership this brigade forced a crossing of the Rappahannock in April, 1863, receiving special thanks in general orders, took part in the battle of Chancellorsville, and opened the battle of Gettysburg, where General Meredith was wounded again and disabled till November, 1863. He was ordered to the command of Cairo, Illlinois, early in 1864, and in September to a similar post in Paducah, Kentucky, which he retained till the close of the war. On 14 August, 1865, he was brevetted major-general of volunteers. In 1867-'9 he was surveyor-general of Montana, and he then retired to "Oakland farm " near Cambridge City, Indiana, where he devoted himself to raising fine stock, and dispensed a generous hospitality. He was also a pioneer in improved methods of agriculture. General Meredith was six feet six inches in height, of commanding presence, and a ready speaker. He was active in securing the passage of the present Indiana school laws, and as financial agent of the Indiana central railroad did much for the success of that enterprise. His three sons were all in the National army during the civil war, and two lost their lives in the service.
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