Wallace, James

James Wallace was from a prominent Dorchester County family in Cambridge, Maryland. He graduated from Dickinson College in 1840. He returned to Cambridge and studied law, and opened a successful practice in 1842. In December 1843, he married Ann Elizabeth Phelps and the couple had five children. He entered politics and served a term in the Maryland House of Delegates between 1854 and 1856, then moved on to the state senate between 1856 and 1860. In 1856, having become involved with the American Party, he was a presidential elector for Millard Fillmore. After the outbreak of the Civil War, he helped raise the First Maryland Volunteers (Eastern Shore) in August 1861 and took command as its colonel. The unit was intended to protect Union interests on the Eastern shore but in July 1863, the First found itself at Gettysburg fighting on the third day of the battle around Culp's Hill. In the regiment's only day of pitched battle during its entire service, and with Wallace in command, it met and mauled the First Maryland Regiment of the Confederate States Army that contained many of their friends and neighbors from coastal Maryland. The regiment, and its colonel, mustered out two days before Christmas in 1863. Wallace returned to Cambridge to resume his practice and also opened several large business concerns, including a large oyster steam packing plant on the docks and a fruit cannery with his son James. James Wallace died in 1887 while visiting his married daughter in Baltimore. He was sixty-eight years old. (By John Osborne)
Life Span
to
Dickinson Connection
Class of 1840
Full name
James Wallace
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Exact
Death Date Certainty
Exact
Gender
Male
Race
White
Sectional choice
North
Origins
Slave State
No. of Spouses
1
No. of Children
5
Family
Robert Wallace (father), Susan LeCompte Wallace (mother), Anne E. Phelps Wallace (wife)
Education
Dickinson (Carlisle College)
Occupation
Politician
Military
Attorney or Judge
Farmer or Planter
Political Parties
Whig
Republican
American Party (Know Nothings or Nativists)
Government
State legislature
Military
Union Army

James Wallace (Jones, 1902)

Reference
Col. James Wallace was born in Dorchester County, Md. March 17, 1818. His parents were Robert Wallace and Susan Wallace, nee LeCompte, great-granddaughter of John LeCompte, a Huguenot refugee, who came to this country after the treaty of Ryswick and settled in Dorchester County. The paternal grandfather of Col. James Wallace served in the Revolutionary War under General Smallwood.

Colonel Wallace was graduated at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., in 1840, and two years later was admitted to the Bar in Cambridge, having studied law under the late Henry Page. In 1854 he was elected to the House of Delegates;he was a Presidential Elector at large in 1856, voting for Mil- lard Fillmore; the same year he was elected to the State Senate, serving until 1858.

In politics he was an old line Whig and in later years was identified with the Republican party. After 1858 he took no active part in politics, although he was several times prominently mentioned for Governor.

At the solicitation of Gov. Hicks, he accepted a commission from the Secretary of War and raised the First Maryland Eastern Shore Volunteer Regiment in the Civil War. He was engaged in military duty on the Eastern Shores of Maryland and Virginia from the organization of the regiment until 1863. His command was with the Army of the Potomac in 1863, under General Lockwood, forming part of his independent brigade of Marylanders.

In his official report of the battle of Gettysburg, General Meade especially commended the Maryland Brigade for gallant service on that occasion. Towards the close of 1863, Colonel Wallace resigned his position in the Army and resumed the practice of his profession, but subsequently abandoned it to engage extensively in the more congenial pursuit of agriculture. He is said to have planted and cultivated the first large peach orchard in Dorchester County, and up to the time of his death was considered perhaps the most successful horticulturist in the State.

He manifested, at all times, the liveliest interest in the improvements and progress of the town and county and was foremost in all the leading enterprises of the community.

He died February 12, 1887, and no higher eulogy could be pronounced upon any man than to say he possessed this transcendent gift, to impress his ideas upon the age in which he lived.
Elias Jones, History of Dorchester County, Maryland (Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins, 1902), 395-396.

James Wallace (Dickinson Chronicles)

Scholarship
James Wallace was born on March 14, 1818 to a prominent Dorchester County family in Cambridge, Maryland. He entered Dickinson College with the class of 1840 in the autumn of 1836. He was elected to the Belles Lettres Society and graduated with his class in the early summer of 1840. He returned to Cambridge and studied law, gaining admittance to the Maryland bar in 1842 and opened a successful practice.

His success and his local prominence brought him into politics and he served a term in the Maryland house of delegates between 1854 and 1856 and moved on to the state senate between 1856 and 1860. In 1856, having become involved with the American Party, he was a presidential elector, duly casting his ballot for Millard Fillmore. After the outbreak of the Civil War, he helped raise the First Maryland Volunteers (Eastern Shore) in August 1861 and took command as its colonel. The unit was intended to protect Union interests on the Eastern shore and elsewhere in Maryland but in July 1863, the First found itself at Gettysburg fighting on the third day of the battle around Culp's Hill. In the regiment's only day of pitched battle during its entire service, and with Wallace in command, it met and mauled the First Maryland Regiment of the Confederate States Army that contained many of their friends and neighbors from coastal Maryland. The regiment, and its colonel, ended its enlistment and mustered out two days before Christmas in 1863.

Wallace returned to Cambridge to resume his practice and also opened several large business concerns, including a large oyster steampacking plant on the docks and a fruit cannery with his son James. In December 1843, he had married Ann Elizabeth Phelps. The couple had five children. On February 12, 1887, James Wallace died while visiting his married daughter in Baltimore. He was sixty-eight years old.
John Osborne and James W. Gerencser, eds., “James Wallace,” Dickinson Chronicles, http://chronicles.dickinson.edu/encyclo/w/ed_wallaceJ.htm.
How to Cite This Page: "Wallace, James," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/6796.