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From private to General: Brigadier-General Robertson, a chief of artillery who helped the federals to win Gettysburg Twenty-three years before the war Brigadier-General James Madison Robertson (first on the left above) was a private in battery F of the Second United States Artillery. Between 1838 and 1848 he became corporal, then artificer, and finally quartermaster-sergeant. On June 28th of that year he was made second-lieutenant, and four years later first-lieutenant. It was not until May 14, 1861, that he attained his captaincy. Then came war, and with it rapid advancement. His quarter of a century of preparation stood him in good stead. In the next four years he was promoted as many times for gallant, brave, and distinguished services on the field, attaining finally the rank of brigadier-general. While Pleasonton's cavalry at Gettysburg was preventing Stuart from joining in Pickett's charge, Robertson led the horse artillery which seconded the efforts of Pleasonton's leaders, Gregg and Buford and Kilpatrick, whose exploits were not second to those of the infantry. For gallant and meritorious service in this campaign Robertson was promoted to lieutenant-colonel. He had been promoted to major for his gallantry at the battle of Gaines' Mill on the Peninsula. He was made colonel May 31, 1864, for gallant and meritorious service in the battle of Cold Harbor, and brigadier-general for distinguished service while chief of horse artillery attached to the Army of the Potomac during the campaign from May to August, 1864, including the battles of the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Hawes' Shop, and Trevilian Station. He died, a soldier “full of years and honors,” January 24, 1891.

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