Polman, Påhlman, von Pohlmann family
Johan Magnus Påhlman had a long and illustrious career in the Swedish military, and was awarded the Royal Order of the Sword in 1779.
Johan Magnus Påhlman was born at Ugglansryd on 15 October 1741, the eighth child of Carl Gustaf Påhlman and Christina Elisabet Renner.1“Påhlman nr 501”, Adelsvapen-Wiki, https://www.adelsvapen.com/genealogi/Påhlman_nr_501, accessed: 17 March 2022 He was a year younger than his brother Anders Otto. In 1757, at the age of 16 – the same year that his father passed away – Johan Magnus was rustmästare2A former Swedish military rank; in charge of the armoury at the Kronoberg regiment. He was promoted to furir3A rank above corporal and below sergeant; literally responsible for the feed and fought in the Pomeranian War in 1758 during the Seven Years’ War.4A war between 1757 to 1762 fought in various parts of the world including Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific; the Pomeranian War was fought between Sweden and Prussia. According to Gunnar Åselius,
After the defeat in the Great Nordic War (1700–1721), regaining the lost Baltic empire had become a central theme in Swedish foreign policy. During the eighteenth century, these ambitions led to two ill-advised wars against Russia (in 1741 and in 1788), and they were also the main cause for Sweden’s intervention in the Seven Years’ War. The aim was to recover territories, which had been lost to Prussia after military setbacks in 1679 and 1720. Although the Seven Years’ War was a struggle of global dimensions, in Sweden it is generally referred to as the “Pomeranian War”, which underlines the regional character of Swedish involvement.5Gunnar Åselius, “Sweden and the Pomeranian War,” in The Seven Years’ War: Global Views, edited by Mark Danley and Patrick J. Speelman (Brill, 2012), 135
A year later, Sweden was forced to retreat and lost Demmin, Anklam and Peenemünde to the Prussian army. Johan Magnus was captured at Anklam, but managed to escape. During this war, “at least 30,000 Swedish soldiers had lost their lives – the overwhelming majority because of disease”.6Ibid., 136 Sweden did not gain much in terms of territory, and, on the contrary, the war drained the government’s finances.
Johan Magnus’ career, however, continued to advance; he was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1760, and was in the livdrabant (royal guard) in 1766. He became a lieutenant in the army (1770) and his previous regiment (1774), staff captain in 1775, and captain in 1777.
In 1779, Johan Magnus became a decorated officer, receiving the Royal Order of the Sword awarded for bravery and long service in the military. He married Margareta Helena Stålhammar, daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Jon Stålhammar7He also fought in the Pomeranian War and was taken prisoner; received the Royal Order of the Sword in 1759. “Stålhammar nr 496”, Adelsvapen-Wiki, https://www.adelsvapen.com/genealogi/St%C3%A5lhammar_nr_496, accessed: 9 June 2023 and Helena Sofia Krebs, in Salshult. They had ten children, of which nine lived to adulthood. The children were, in order of birth, Jon (1780-1833), Carl Gustaf (1781-1847), Elisabet Sofia (1782-1834), Johanna Margareta (b. 1783), Otto Fredrik (1785-1822), Johan Magnus (1786-1810), Erik Adolf (1787-1830), Göran Salomon (1789-1807), Henrik Adam (1792-93), and Axel Mauritz (1796-1831).
Between 1788-1790, Johan Magnus also commanded his home regiment during the aforementioned “ill-advised” Russo-Swedish War – a largely unproductive effort that ended with the Treaty of Värälä.
The most experienced were the captains Zacharias Segerheim and Johan Magnus Påhlman, both of whom had been company commanders for eleven years. On the whole, the commanders of the eight companies had longer experience in their posts than the officers as a whole.8Translated from Peter Kristensson, “Vid Kvarnamåla gästgivargård: Bemanning och utbildningsnivå vid Kronobergs regemente inför Gustav III:s ryska krig 1788-1790” (Linköpings Universitet, 1999)
Johan Magnus resigned in 1792, and died in 1797 at his home in Sunnerå, Ryssby.