History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/James L. Geddes
JAMES L. GEDDES was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the 19th of March, 1827. He graduated at the British Military Academy at Calcutta, India, and served in the British army for seven years. He was awarded a medal for gallant service. In 1857 he settled on a farm in Benton County, Iowa. In August, 1861, he raised a company of volunteers for the Eighth Iowa Infantry of which he was chosen captain. When the regiment was organized he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel and in February, 1862 was promoted to colonel. At the Battle of Shiloh Colonel Geddes greatly distinguished himself and his regiment was handled with skill that won the admiration and warm commendation of the commanding General. In the Mobile campaign Colonel Geddes commanded a brigade and won additional honors in the battle which resulted in the capture of the Spanish Fort. He was promoted to Brigadier-General. In 1870 General Geddes was chosen cashier and steward of the State Agricultural College and in 1871 he was appointed professor of Military Tactics and Engineering and a few years later became vice-president of the college and treasurer of the institution. He was an exceedingly valuable officer of the college but was removed by a majority of a board of the trustees unfriendly to him, from the positions he had long filled with marked ability. His removal aroused a storm of indignation among the students, his associates on the faculty and the people of the State generally which soon resulted in his restoration to a number of the positions from which he had been displaced.