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|James Totten was born on September 11, 1818, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; he attended West Point and graduated in 1841. In the 1850s he was sent to the Kansas Territory to suppress the disturbances there and was stationed at Forts Riley and Leavenworth.|
In early 1861, then Captain Totten was in command of the Little Rock Arsenal. When the arsenal was surrounded by pro-secession militiamen in February 1861, Totten was forced to surrender the post and withdraw with his men to St. Louis.
Totten and his Battery F, 2nd U.S. Artillery served under General Nathaniel Lyon at the skirmish at Boonville and at the Battle of Wilson's Creek.
Following service as chief of artillery in the Department of the Missouri, Totten was promoted to brigadier general in the Missouri State Militia in February 1862 and led a division in the Army of the Frontier. He ended the war as commander of the siege train at the siege of Mobile, Alabama. Totten faced a court martial in 1870 for various charges, including neglect of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman. Found guilty, he was dismissed from the army and died on October 1, 1871, in Sedalia, Missouri.
Carte-de-Visite by J.A. Scholten, St. Louis, Mo
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