Brigadier General William H. Keim (USA)

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Brigadier General William High Keim (USA)

Keim was born near Reading, Pennsylvania on 13 June 1813. He attended Mount Airy Military School and attained the rank of major general in the Pennsylvania state militia. Keim served as mayor of Reading in 1848. He was elected as a Republican to the Thirty-fifth Congress to fill a short term vacancy caused by the resignation of J. Glancy Jones after his defeat in the election of 1858. He was surveyor general of Pennsylvania from 1860 to 1862.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Keim enlisted in the Union Army for a term of three months and, due primarily to his political ties to Governor Andrew Curtin, he was commissioned major general of Pennsylvania Volunteers on 20 April 1861. He commanded the Second Division in Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson's Department of Pennsylvania (Patterson's Command), however his men did not engage in the First Battle of Bull Run as Patterson failed in his mission to prevent Joseph E. Johnston to link up with P.G.T. Beauregard at Manassas.

His original term of enlistment having expired, he was honorably mustered out on 21 July 1861. As the war lengthened and it became evident that a quick victory was not in sight, Keim re-enlisted for a term of three years. Governor Curtin commissioned him a brigadier general of volunteers on 20 December 1861. Keim died of typhus five months later in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on 18 May 1862.

William H Keim standing.jpg

William H Keim standing comparison.jpg
 

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