Joshua James Guppey

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Joshua James Guppey (August 27, 1820 – December 8, 1893) was a military officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War, judge, school superintendent and politician.


Guppey was born on August 27, 1820 in Dover, New Hampshire.[1] He later graduated from Dartmouth College.[2] Guppey eventually moved to Columbus, Wisconsin and opened a law practice before moving to Portage, Wisconsin. Guppey died in Portage on December 8, 1893 and is interred at Pine Hill Cemetery (Dover, New Hampshire)

Military career[edit]

Guppey was commissioned an officer in the Union Army in 1861 and was assigned to the 10th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. In 1862, he was promoted to Colonel and assumed command of the 23rd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment at Camp Randall. The regiment, with Guppey in command, later took part in the Battle of Fort Hindman and the Battle of Champion Hill. His second-in-command during the Battle of Champion Hill was future U.S. Postmaster General and Secretary of Interior William Freeman Vilas. Guppey later contracted malaria and suffered a wound in battle that incapacitated him for a time. Afterwards, he took part in the Red River Campaign. In 1865, he participated in the Battle of Fort Blakely. Guppey was mustered out of the volunteers on July 4, 1865.[3] On January 13, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Guppey for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers to rank from March 13, 1865, and the United States Senate confirmed the appointment on March 12, 1866.[4] After the war, Guppey was active in the Wisconsin Army National Guard until retiring in 1893.

Political career[edit]

Guppey became a probate judge in Columbia County, Wisconsin in 1849. The following year, he was named a county judge and remained one until 1858. From 1858 to 1861 and again from 1866 to 1873, he was Superintendent of Portage Schools. In 1862, Guppey was the Democratic candidate for the United States House of Representatives from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district.[5] He lost to Ithamar Sloan. After the election, he changed his affiliation to the Republican Party.


  1. ^ "Guppey, Gen. Joshua J. (1820-1893)". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  2. ^ "Joshua James Guppey". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  3. ^ Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. p. 271.
  4. ^ Eicher, 2001, p. 747.
  5. ^ "WI District 2 1862 election". Our Retrieved 2012-02-19.