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  • Writer's pictureKirk Jenkins

James Brown Forman - He Was Probably the Youngest Colonel on Either Side During the Late War

From the Maysville Evening Bulletin, June 15, 1893

James B. Forman, Colonel of the Fifteenth Kentucky, was doubtless the youngest Colonel on either side during the late war. All the field officers of the regiment having been either killed or permanently disabled at the battle of Perryville, young Forman was promoted from a Captain to the Colonelcy of the command. He was killed, while leading a charge, at the great and bloody battle of Stone River, December 31, 1862, when only nineteen years of age. He was mounted n a coal-black horse, and being a target for the enemy’s bullets was importuned by his men to dismount, but, refusing, was shot in the forehead by a sharpshooter and dropped dead from his horse. He was brought back to Louisville, his home, and buried, and it was said at the time that his was the largest funeral procession that had ever entered Cave Hill Cemetery. He was a son of Thomas S. Forman, a native of his county, and long a prominent merchant of Louisville and New Orleans.

The following lines are part of the inscription on his monument:

‘But youth’s fair form though fallen is ever fair, and beautiful in death the boy appears; The hero boy that died in blooming years, In man’s regret he lives, and woman’s tears, More sacred than in life and lovelier far For having perished in the form of war.’

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