I. C. B. Suman, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of I. C. B. Suman

COL. I. C. B. SUMAN, Postmaster at Valparaiso, is a native of Frederick County, Md., and was born January 4, 1831, the next to the youngest of a family of seven children, six of whom are still living, born to Albert and Mary (Lantz) Suman, who were natives of the South, and of English-German descent. Albert Suman was born August 17, 1763, and served several years in the Revolutionary war under Gen. Marion. He was a tanner by trade, and made that his occupation until his death, March 16, 1842. Mrs. Mary Suman was born December 12, 1793, and died December 8, 1871. Col. I. C. B. Suman was reared in Maryland, and received a common school education. In May, 1846, he enlisted in the First United States Artillery for the Mexican war under Maj. Ringgold, of Maryland. He remained in the artillery service about two years, and was then transferred to the Second United States Dragoons, and served in the United States Army at that time a total of five years. He was under Gen. Taylor, and participated in the engagements of Palo Alto, Monterey, Buena Vista, and all the movements of Taylor's army after crossing the river at Brownsville until the capture of the City of Mexico. At close of the war, he returned to Maryland. His father had been a large slave-owner, but after his failure in business and his death, the family were left in reduced circumstances. Our subject, being strongly opposed to slavery, and thinking to make a better livelihood in a free country, started on foot for the Northwest in the fall of 1852, his total possessions at the time amounting to $8 in cash. At Wooster, Ohio, where he had an aunt living, he engaged at carpentering with a Mr. Daily, formerly of Valparaiso, Ind., and with him remained a year. He then started West, and, reaching Valparaiso, and liking the place and the people, concluded to make it his home. Here he resumed his trade, which he followed until the breaking-out of the war of the rebellion. The news of the fall of Sumter reached him while he was at work on a frame fence for T. B. Cole, when he instantly dropped his tools and went down town and enlisted for the war as a private in Company H, Ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, being the second to volunteer from Porter County. On the election for officer, Mr. Suman was chosen First Lieutenant. The day before going to the front, April 21, 1861, he was united in marriage to Miss Kate M. Goss, and, leaving his bride, took part in the three months' service, participating in the battles of Philippi, Laurel Hill and Carrick's Ford. The regiment was then mustered out, came home, and re-organized for three years, Mr. Suman being chosen as Captain of his Company - H. He received his commission August 29, 1861, and as a Captain served until August 20, 1862, when, by reason of vacancy, he was promoted Lieutenant colonel of the Ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. As such he served until, through the resignation of Col. Blake, he was promoted to the Colonelcy of his regiment April 17, 1863, and with this rank remained in active service throughout the war. March 13, 1865, he received from headquarters a document, a portion of which read as follows: "You are hereby informed that the President of the United States has appointed you, for gallant and meritorious services during the war, a Brigadier General of volunteers by brevet." The war being virtually over, Col. Suman declined this promotion, as he did not enter his country's service for the sake of honors, but in her defense. Of all Indiana's Colonels, he alone preserved and retained the field books. July 28, 1865, he was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Thirty-eighth Infantry, regular army, and this appointment he also declined. On being mustered out, he returned to his wife, and, purchasing a farm in Jackson Township, moved thereon and engaged in agricultural pursuits until April, 1881, when he moved to Valparaiso and received his appointment as Postmaster in April, 1882. On his farm, which comprises over 400 acres, the B. & O. R. R. Company have erected a station, which is named in his honor. Mr. Suman is a Republican in politics, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and Mrs. Suman is a member of the Presbyterian church. To them have been born four children - Ada May (now Mrs. Lawry, of Kansas), Alice Bell, Bessie E. and Frank T. Besides the battles already spoken of, Col. Suman took part in the following: Greenbrier, Buffalo Mountain, Shiloh, Perryville, Stone River (here he was twice wounded; one wound, by a minie ball passing through his body, being very severe), Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain (where he was slightly wounded), Missionary Ridge (and here he received another wound), Ringgold, Dalton, Resaca, Culp's Farm, Pine Top Mountain, Rough's Station, Peach Tree Creek, siege of Atlanta, Lovejoy's Station, Franklin, Nashville, and many other engagements and skirmishes. Col. Suman never curried favor with his superior officers, and all he is, and has been, came through his own self-reliance.

Source: Goodspeed, Weston A., and Charles Blanchard. 1882. Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana: Historical and Biographical, Illustrated. Chicago, Illinois: F. A. Battey & Company. 771 p.
Page(s) in Source: 272-274

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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