KIMBALL, NATHAN
General Nathan Kimball (1822-1898). A doctor in civilian life and Brigadier General in the Civil War. He commanded a company in the Second Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the Mexican war, 1846-47, where he distinguished himself at Buena Vista by rallying his company, after the regimental break, and fighting through the rest of the day. Also by publicly refusing to recognize Colonel Bowles, and leading his company off the parade ground when the Colonel undertook to inspect them. He was arrested and tried for this, but was soon restored to office. Later he was a captain in the Indiana militia before the Civil War.

At the beginning of the Civil War, he gave up his medical practice and raised a company of volunteers. He was commissioned on 22 May 1861 as Colonel of the Fourteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. After taking the regiment to Indianapolis for training, he and the regiment were sent into West Virginia, where he served with distinction. He also served later at Antietam and Fredericksburg.

Early in the war he met Stonewall Jackson in an engagement near Winchester, VA, and gave that famous Confederate the only whipping he had received up to that time. The forces on each side were about the same and the military skill and gallantry shown by Colonel Kimball on that occasion had much to do with his promotion to Brigadier General on 15 April 1862 when the brigade commander was wounded. During this time the brigade became known as the “Gibraltar Brigade”.

In 1863 nominated for Lieutenant Governor by the Republican Party. In 1864 he was sent into Southern Indiana to break up the organization know as the Knights of the Golden Circle. His old commander in the 2nd Indiana, Colonel Bowles being a leader. After being wounded at Fredericksburg, he was moved west where he served as a brigade commander at Vicksburg and later in the Atlanta campaign he was a brigade commander in the Fourth Corps under General Sherman. He was mustered out in August 1865, as Brevet Major General.


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General Nathan Kimball To General Taylor

 KIMBALL, NATHAN
[ZACHARY TAYLOR]1848. Indiana. 4 pp. A outstanding letter of rarely seen content related to the Mexican-American War with fascinating content regarding "slanderous" comments made by General Taylor against the 2cd Indiana Regiment in the Taylor’s heroic and legendary Battle of Buena Vista, the victory which arguably gave him the Presidency:

"Fredericksburg Washington County Indiana August 17, 1848

General,
You will pardon the liberty I take in addressing you this, asking of you an answer in regard to a subject which you have already been troubled considerably about and which you have already answered satisfactorily to most whigs – to wit. The incorrectness of your report in relation to the conduct of the 2cd Ind. Regiment in the great battle of Buena Vista Feby 22nd & 25th. 1847.

You are aware that the leaders of the Cass party in Indiana are endeavering to injure your prospects in the state by Charging you with having slandered the 2cd Regt of Indiana and Vol. (Col Bowles) in your report, this charge is clearly and satisfactorily settled by your letters to Hon G.G. Dunn M.C. as also – the charge “that you neglect and refuse to correct said report having the proper Datta before you by which you can correct.” But the charge is still made against you ; & it is said by persons who contributed to those reports – that the proceedings of the Court of enquiry which was had for Genl Lane (?) & Col. Bowles & the supplemental report of Lane – were forwarded to you and that they contain the datta for a connection of your report of that battle – as relates to the conduct of that Regiment. But that you still refuse to correct.” Now General I am an humble one – a supporter of the “Taylor & Fillmore” ticket. I am an Indianan & I was in the Battle of Buena Vista & a member of the 2cd Ind Regt. I had the honor to command a company – being its Capt and I know the conduct of the regiment during that day having joined the Regt of Mississipians, under Col. Davis with a portion of my company after the retreat of our regt & I remained with Col. Davis commanded until our regt was rallied & brot back by Lt. Col Haddon & even then my Company continued next to the flank of Col. Davis regt. I do know that the Regt of Col Bowles – retreated by orders - & that it was rallied again – but Col Bowles neglected to join it & thus it was unrecognized – as a distinct regt. Altho it participated in every engagement but one – in which the Miss. Regt. Was engaged- It was in the engagement when the charge by the Lancus was made against Miss. & third Ind. Regt. & contributed in the glorious repulse of the Mexicans – But this is rather foreign to the purpose.

I am anxious to know whether or not you have officially received the supplemental report of General Lane of the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry – in the Cause of Lane & Bowles & also whether or not one or both of those documents don’t furnish sufficient evidence of the gallant bearing & good conduct of the 2cd Ind Regt. To cause you to make a supplemental or a corrective report to the Detailed report made by you in regard to that regt. in the battle of Buena Vista.

The Leaders of the Cass party are denouncing you on that account. They denounce & stigmatize all of us who support you – as cowards & slanderers – As I was in that battle and knew the conduct of that regt - & the causes that produced the misfortunes of our regt – and the cause of your making your detailed as you did – I have been called upon to take the stump by your friends & by my own desire to see your cause successful & the truth to triumph by lending my feeble aid – this I have done, but I have been assailed on all hands, by the papers and stump orators of the opposition. I have told the people that you were not to blame – that your report was made up from the reports of your subordinates. Wool, Lane & c. I have compared all of the reports and have shewn that yours is milder than any other. They say in answer that – now having all the proper & sufficient datta to go upon you refuse to correct. I point them to your letter to Dunn – they still say that you now have those proper documents & still you refuse – Genl Lane, Col Lane, are now making speeches in this state – in which you are barely slandered & denounced – because – as they say – you refuse to do Justice to Indianians who fought bravely at Buena Vista – because you don’t correct your detailed report of that glorious battle & they say you have the proper & sufficient official datta to enable you to correct that report.

General – you can immagine our feelings here when we hear all this – having been under you – having served under you in that battle & venerating you as I do- it goes hard to hear this, and I wish you to condescend to answer this that I may meet your enemies - & the enemies of my state – these barely fawning sycophants – I know that you are willing to do Justice to my brave associates in arms of the 2cd Regt. Ind. Volunteers & that you will do it in an individual capacity in answering this - & officially if you have the proper official datta to go upon – I enclose a paper notice ..one of my efforts in your behalf, and I do hope that you will pardon the (liberty) I have taken in thus addressing you that you will grant me an answer, for by it we will be able to defend you and ourselves.

Accept General appearances of high consideration & esteem and my wishes for your success & happiness and believe sir Respectfully Your Obt Servt Nathan Kimball
Late Capt. G. Comp. 2nd Ind Vol.

PS You will see on the first page of the paper and article over the signature of “Justice” which I wrote & also on 2nd page an editorial in relation to my effort on the stump. N Kimball.” On reverse: “Majr Genl Zachary Taylor Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Frederickburg, Ind August 17, 1848 Nathan Kimball Late Captain 2cd Ind Vol. In regard to the battle of B.V.
To be attended to Baton Rouge from Indiana Troops
" 4 pp. Integral address leaf. Included with the letter is the page from “The Salem News” (Salem Indiana, Tues. Aug 1, 1848) that General Kimball refers to, where he is anonymously published as “Justice.” A docketed postcript in Taylor's hand states “To be attended to Baton Rouge, from Indiana Troops”.
Extraordinary first-hand account of the Battle of Buena Vista and a fantastic demonstration of political support for the future president. Fine.
Catalog: # AM-0915
Condition: Fine
Topic: Presidents and First Ladies
Price: $4500.00