A Civil War Biography
James Sidney Robinson
Robinson was born 14 October 1827 near Mansfield in Richland County,
Ohio. He learned the printer's trade in Mansfield, and after moving
to Kenton, Ohio on 31 December 1845 established the Kenton
Republican of which he was editor and publisher for the next 18
In 1856 he was secretary of the first convention of the Republican
party that was held in Ohio. He was chief clerk of the Ohio house of
representatives for two sessions beginning in 1856.
Following the firing on Fort Sumter Robinson enlisted in company G
of the 4th Ohio Infantry regiment as a private on 17 April 1861. He
was elected 1st lieutenant the following day. On 4 May he was named
captain and commanded the company at Rich Mountain, Virginia.
Robinson mustered out on 24 July along with the rest of the 4th
which had originally enlisted for three months.
He was commissioned a major in the 82nd Ohio on 31 December. He
served under John C. Fremont in the Shenandoah Valley seeing action
at McDowell and Cross Keys. Robinson was promoted to lieutenant
colonel on 9 April 1862. The 82nd fought at Second Bull Run where
its commander, James Cantwell was killed. Robinson was promoted to
colonel on 29 August and took over command of the regiment. He
commanded the regiment at Cedar Mountain, Chancellorsville, and
Gettysburg where he was severely wounded.
After returning to duty in early 1864 he was sent along with the XI
Corps, to which the 82nd was attached, and the XII Corps to join
Sherman's Army of the Cumberland in the west. Robinson was elevated
to command of the 1st brigade, 3rd division of the XI Corps on 13
March 1864. He commanded the 3rd brigade, 1st division in the XX
Corps, a new corps formed when the XI and XII Corps were
consolidated, during the Atlanta campaign, the march to the sea, and
during the Carolina campaign. He was brevetted brigadier general of
volunteers on 9 December 1864, commissioned brigadier general of
volunteers on 12 January 1865, brevetted major general of volunteers
on 13 March then mustered out on 31 August.
Following the war Robinson returned to Ohio. He was named chairman
of the state Republican executive committee serving from 1877 until
1879. In 1879 he was appointed commissioner of railroads and
telegraphs by Ohio governor Richard M. Bishop. Robinson was elected
to the US House of Representatives from the 9th Ohio district in
1880. He served two terms from 4 March 1889 until 12 January 1885
when he resigned and became secretary of state of Ohio. He held that
office until 1889. Robinson died 14 January 1892 in Kenton.
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