Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GRESHAM, Walter Quinton, jurist, born near Lanesville, Harrison County, Indiana, 17 March, 1882. He was educated in country schools, and spent one year in the state University at Bloomington, Indiana, but was not graduated. He then studied law in Corydon, Indiana, was admitted to the bar in 1853, and became a successful lawyer. He was elected to the legislature in 1860, but resigned in August, 1861, to become lieutenant colonel of the 38th Indiana regiment, He was promoted to colonel of the 53d Indiana in December, and on 11 August, 1863, after the fall of Vicksburg, was made brigadier-general of volunteers. He commanded the 4th division of Blair's corps in the fighting before Atlanta, and received a severe wound that disabled him for a year, and prevented him from seeing further service. On 13 March, 1865, he was brevetted major general of volunteers for his gallantry at Atlanta. After the war he resumed practice at New Albany, Indiana He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for congress in 1866, and in 1867-'8 was financial agent of his state in New York. President Grant, who held him in great esteem, made him United States judge for the district of Indiana in 1869, and in 1880 he was an an-successful candidate for United States senator. He resigned his judgeship in April, 1882, to accept the place of postmaster-general in President Arthur's cabinet, and in July, 1884, on the death of Secretary Polger, was transferred to the treasury portfoilo. In October of that year he was appointed United States judge for the 7th judicial circuit, which office he still holds (1887). Judge Gresham was a strong supporter of General Grant for a third term in the Chicago convention of 1880, but has not been conspicuous in politics.
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