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Gettysburg Commander.  James Levan Selfridge was born on September 22, 1824 in Berks County, Pennsylvania, the son of a successful merchant and miller. Selfridge enrolled at Lafayette College at the age of 16, but left before graduating due to the death of his father. After reading law for a year, he came to Philadelphia as an agent of the Lehigh Valley Transportation Company. In 1850, he was living with his older brother, William, and worked for him as a commission merchant.Prior to the outbreak of the war, he established himself in the Bethlehem area. There, in April 1861, he quickly raised a militia company that became Company A of the 1st Pennsylvania Infantry (militia). Still enthused about carrying on the fight after the militia enlistment expired, he joined with Colonel Knipe in raising and organizing the 46th, and became its lieutenant colonel. In 1862, when Knipe rose to brigadier, Selfridge stepped up to colonel of the regiment.As such, he led the regiment from the early months of 1863 through the fall of Atlanta, missing only the Battle of Chancellorsville due to illness. In early 1862, he earned the nickname “Old Ironclad” for his good fortune in have so many bullets pass close or seemingly bounce off. Although always at the front, unlike Knipe who was wounded five times during the war, Selfridge was never hit.When Knipe left for Tennessee, Selfrige stepped up to command the brigade, now the First Brigade, First Division, Twentieth Corps. He led it from Atlanta to Savannah, and through the Carolinas, including at the battles of Montieth Swamp, Averasboro, and Bentonville. For his devoted service, he was given the honorary rank of brevet brigadier general on March 16, 1865, and was discharged along with the 46th on July 16, 1865.

Gardner CDV James L Selfridge 46th Pa Vols

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