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Collection Title: Loomis (John Mason) Letter

Collection Number: M107

Dates: July 20, 1863

Volume: 1 Letter

Provenance: Unknown

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

John Mason Loomis was born January 5, 1825, at Windsor, Connecticut, the son of James and Abagail S. Chaffe Loomis. After completing his education, Loomis hoped for military assignment but instead joined the China tea trade.

After time at sea, Loomis settled first in Milwaukee where he worked in a lumber yard and eventually became successful enough to purchase the stock. Loomis then moved the business to Chicago where the firm was said to be as prosperous as any before the Civil War.

Loomis commanded the 26th Illinois Infantry during the Civil War and held the rank of colonel for three years. During 1862 the regiment was attached to the 3rd Division and then the 2nd Division of the Army of the Mississippi. In 1863 the regiment formed a part of the 16th, then the 17th Corps of the Army of the Tennessee. For the remaining years of the War, the regiment was attached to the 15th Army Corps.

At the time of the Vicksburg Campaign, John Mason Loomis was in command of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division of the 16th Corps, consisting of the 26th Illinois, 90th Illinois, 12th Indiana, and the 100th Indiana. The 16th Corps was commanded by Major General William Tecumseh Sherman from Vicksburg to Jackson.

His lumber business in ruins after the war, Loomis began work as a commission merchant, was able to purchase forest land, and joined the Pere Marquette Land Company. In Chicago where he resided, Loomis was a large real estate holder and was known for his support of the city's Relief and Aid Society and veterans' organizations.

John Mason Loomis died in Chicago on August 2, 1900.

Scope and Content:

This collection consists of a letter from Union Civil War Colonel John Mason Loomis of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 16th Corps to Captain T. J. London, Assistant Adjutant General of the 1st Division, 16th Corps, July 20, 1863. In the letter he relates the movements of his unit from Oak Ridge, Mississippi, on July 4, 1863 to Jackson, Mississippi, on July 10, 1863 and the activities of his brigade to July 16, 1863. Included is a list of recommended promotions and a list of casualties which includes the individual's regiment, company, and rank.


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Revised: November 10, 2004