Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GORMAN, Willis Arnold, soldier, born near Flemingsburg, Kentucky, 12 January 1814: died in St. Paul, Minnesota, 20 May, 1876. He was graduated at the law-school of the University of Indiana, was admitted to the bar, and began to practise in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1835. In 1837 and 1838 he was a clerk in the state senate, and was afterward several times elected to that body as a Democrat. He was appointed major of General Lane's regiment of Indiana volunteers in 1846, served in the Mexican war, and led an independent rifle battalion at the battle of Buena Vista, where he was severely wounded. In 1847 he was made colonel of the 4th Indiana regiment, which he commanded in several battles. In 1848 he was civil and military governor of Puebla. From 1849 till 1853 he was a representative to congress from Indiana, having been chosen as a Democrat. In 1852 he addressed large meetings in favor of General Pierce's election to the presidency. He was appointed governor of the territory of Minnesota in 1853, and ex-officio superintendent of Indians, which offices he held till 1857. In that year he was a delegate to the State constitutional convention. He represented St. Paul in the Minnesota legislature in 1858, and in 1860 was a candidate for presidential elector on the Douglas ticket. He practiced law in St. Paul till 1861, when he was made colonel of the 1st Minnesota regiment, and served in the battle of Bull Run. He was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers on 7 September, 1861, led a bayonet charge at Fair Oaks, and commanded a brigade at South Mountain and Antietam. He was at the head of the 2d division, 2d corps, till the reorganization of the army following General McClellan's removal. In 1864 he was mustered out of the service and resumed his law practice in St. Paul. He was elected City attorney in 1869, and held this office till his death.
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