James Wallace (Dickinson Chronicles)

John Osborne and James W. Gerencser, eds., “James Wallace,” Dickinson Chronicles, http://chronicles.dickinson.edu/encyclo/w/ed_wallaceJ.htm.
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.
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