Open main menu

History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/William M. G. Torrence

WILLIAM M. G. TORRENCE was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, on the 1st of September, 1823. After receiving an education he went to Kentucky and engaged in teaching. During this time the Mexican War began and he enlisted and was elected first lieutenant in the First Kentucky Mounted Volunteers. He participated in the Battle of Buena Vista and served until the close of the war. In 1847 he came to Iowa and located at Keokuk where he was for several years superintendent of the city schools. In the spring of 1861 he enlisted in Company A, First Iowa Cavalry, and in June was commissioned major of the First Battalion of that regiment. After serving several months in Missouri he resigned. In the summer of 1862, Major Torrence was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the Thirtieth Infantry. He was in the Vicksburg campaign and, upon the death of Colonel Abbott was promoted to the command of the regiment. He was with Sherman's army on the march to Chattanooga and was shot from ambush and instantly killed near Cherokee Station on the 21st of October, 1862.