Tag Archives: Union

Edmond Thompson James Serves the Confederacy

Edmond Thompson James
Edmond Thompson James, 1835-1920

The Civil War had begun to surround the old Virginia home that James Carter James once occupied at Plainview in Fauquier County before he died in 1842. His progeny occupied the place since.

Avoiding the war for the James family was impossible. On April 15, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln ordered 75,000 troops, authorizing the Union to launch an aggressive attack upon the Confederacy.

A series of assaults throughout January and February of 1862 culminated on February 25th in the capture of Nashville, the first Confederate capital to fall to the Union. Eight days later, Carter James youngest son, George Carter James, enlisted at age twenty in the army of the Confederate States of America. He joined Company A of the 9th Virginia Cavalry. His regiment was called Stafford’s Rangers.

George Carter James 1842-1890, brother of Sgt. Edmond Thompson James
George Carter James 1842-1890, brother of Sgt. Edmond Thompson James

In July of the previous year, the U. S. House of Representatives passed the Crittenden Resolution, declaring that the war’s objective was not to interfere with slavery. The resolution required the Union take no action against the South’s “peculiar institution.” The bill’s sponsor, John Jordan Crittenden of Frankfort, Kentucky wrote, the war’s objective was to “defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union.”

Two weeks later, Congress passed the First Confiscation Act which emancipated slaves who served the Union during the war. In August, Gen. John C. Fremont ordered the emancipation of slaves in Missouri though Lincoln requested Fremont alter his decree. The following month, black troops were recruited in Kansas. By December, the Secretary of War issued a report authorizing the use of former slaves by the Army. At the same time, bills were introduced to abolish slavery.

The day after George Carter James enlisted, Abraham Lincoln requested Congress to pass a joint resolution urging for compensated emancipation. On March 10, 1862, President Lincoln met with Border State congressmen about the matter.

George Carter James compared with his cousin Jesse Woodson James
George Carter James compared with his cousin Jesse Woodson James

That very day on March 10th, two older brothers of George Carter James enlisted in Stafford’s Rangers, together with their brother-in-law. Edmond Thompson James joined with his brother John W. James. With them enlisted Richard Mortimer Crittenden, the husband of their sister Lucy Ann. Another sister, Sarah, married William T. Crittenden Jr.

Edmond Thompson and John W. James served Quarter Master duty. By December, Edmond was made a Sargent. After serving little more than a year, John W. James died on March 23, 1863, of an “inflammation of the bowels.” Edmond was severely ill the same month, but survived. Shortly afterward, Crittenden was assigned to detached service as a wagon master, a role he fulfilled through the end of the war, when he was paroled on April 15, 1865.

Through their service, Edmond was absent in March and again April of 1864. In July, as Confederate General Jubal Early got within five miles of Washington D. C. but was repelled, and again in August as Sherman began his march on Atlanta, Edmond was absent again. In this time, his brother George had gone AWOL. Edmond may have been sent to return George to duty. Both returned in August. On February 5, 1865, George was paroled, as Sherman scorched Georgia and South Carolina, and Jefferson Davis sued for peace. As Richmond fell, Edmond was paroled on April 18th together with George Mortimer Crittenden.

They all returned to Plainview to rebuild their lives in Fauquier County. George Carter James lived to 1890. Roger Mortimer Crittenden died in 1894. Edmond Thompson James lived well into the 20th century, dying in 1920 in his 85th year. John W. James gave his life to the war and to the Confederacy while on duty with Stafford’s Rangers.

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STAFFORD’S RANGERS

The Ninth Virginia Cavalry – Company A
Stafford Rangers – Stafford County

JAMES, EDMOND THOMPSON: Enl. 3/10/62 in Co. A. Promoted to Sgt., 12/1/62. Absent sick, Dec. 1862. Absent on QM duty, March-April and July-Aug. 1864. Present at 10/6/64 final roll. Paroled at Blacks and Whites, 4/18/65.

JAMES, GEORGE C.: Enl. 3/5/62 in Co. A. AWOL, Nov.-Dec. 1863 and July-Aug. 1864. Present at 10/6/64 final roll. Reported to the Bureau of Conscription on 2/5/65 as being AWOL in Fauquier Co.

JAMES, JOHN W.: Enl. 3/10/62 in Co. A. On extra QM duty, Sept. 1862 thru Feb. 1863. Died of “Inflamation of the bowels,” 3/21/63.

CRITTENDEN, RICHARD MORTIMER: b. 9/30/1825. Enl. 3/10/62 in Co. A. On detached service as wagon master, March 1863 thru Aug. 1864. Present at 10/6/64 final roll. Paroled in Va., 4/15/65. d. 4/2/1894 in Stafford Co. bur. Grove Church, Fauquier Co.
(ed. Brother-in-law, spouse of Lucy James.

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PEDIGREE

John W. James 1824-1863                                                                              Edmond Thompson James 1835-1920                                                                 George Carter James 1842-1890
. James Carter James & Martha Lee Tiller
.. Capt. Joseph James & Clarissa Brown
… George James Sr. & Mary Wheeler
…. Thomas James & Sarah E. Mason
….. John James, the Immigrant & Unknown

HISTORIC TINTYPE of RHODA MAY-JAMES

Rhoda May-James

RHODA MAY (1806-1889) is the stalwart spouse of the “talented, but erratic” Rev. Joseph Martin James (1791-1848).

Rhoda withstood all transgressions, indignities, & social ostracism that her husband created with admirable Teutonic stoicism.

When acute alcoholism took Joe’s life at age fifty-seven, Rhoda became a forty-two year old widow, left alone to raise nine children.

For the next forty-one years of her life, Rhoda May James resolutely carried the social burden of her husband’s disgrace. She watched as the Civil War divided her children and tore apart her family. She never remarried.

Home of Rhoda May & Joseph Martin James, built circa 1854

Thanks to Gwen Smith-Gershwin, who is a fourth great granddaughter of Rev. Joseph Martin James & Martha  McAlister, Joe’s first wife, this tintype image of Rhoda May now can be appreciated.

The original tintype was handed down in the family through Rhoda Alice Owens-Cole-Dowell, Rhoda May’s granddaughter & namesake.

Rhoda May

Prior to the contribution of this tintype image to The James Preservation Trust, the only known image of Rhoda May was a framed oval colored photograph. This colored image still hangs in the home of Nelva Anne Herrin, a great granddaughter of Joe Martin & Rhoda May James. Nelva Anne’s contemporary home, built by her father Lem Garland Herrin, sits opposite the decayed ruin of the home built & occupied by her great grandparents Joseph Allen Herrin & Susan Harriet James on the original settlement lands of John M. James at Shopville in Pulaski County, Kentucky. Susan Harriet James is a daughter of Joe Martin James & Rhoda May.

SOME CHILDREN OF RHODA MAY-JAMES

Edward Perry James & his family. Namesake Rhoda May James sitting at her father's knee.

EDWARD PERRY JAMES (1847-1931) was only a year old when his father died. He grew up in his father’s stone house in Shopville, married Elizabeth Langford, & raised a family of nine children in the same house. His youngest child, he named Rhoda May James, after his beloved mother. Progressively selling off his land holdings in Shopville, he removed his family to a new home he built in Berea, Kentucky, where he died.

Susan Harriet James-Herrin

SUSAN HARRIET JAMES (1843-1920) was five years old when Joseph Martin James died. She was thirty years old when she married Joseph Allen Herrin, a Union veteran of the Civil War.

In a diary Herrin kept during the war, he noted the wounding of Susan Harriet’s brother, Andrew James.

Home of Susan Harriet James & Allen Custer Herrin

Herrin was returned from the war for almost a decade, when he and Susan Harriet married in the home of Rhoda May.

On the land of Susan Harriet’s grandfather, John M. James, in Shopville, the couple built themselves a new home. The home remained occupied by her descendants until about 1947, when the couple’s grandson, Lem Garland Herrin, built his bride, Thelma Hayes, a new home directly opposite the lane of the old home.

Mary Harriet James-Owens

MARY HARRIET JAMES (1842-1935), nicknamed Mary Jane, was age ten when her father died. Left alone with Rhoda May to defend the family home during the Battle of Mill Springs, she successfully retained hold of the single horse they owned against marauding soldiers, by claiming half her family fought on one side while the other half fought on the other. Shortly after the war, she married Union veteran Daniel J. Owens, who had been imprisoned during the conflict. She was mother to ten children.  At age ninety, she flew in an airplane for the first time. Flying over five states, she sang “Glory, Glory Halleluiah” and exited the airplane singing “Nearer My God to Thee.”

Rev. Martin Nall James

Rev. MARTIN NALL JAMES (1833-1911) was fifteen when Joe Martin James died. He became a Baptist preacher, but not one like his father. At twenty-five he married Susannah Elizabeth Matthews. The couple elected themselves Baptist missionaries & migrated into Missouri. During the war, he fought on the Confederate side. The couple bore eight children.

Rhoda Ann James, granddaughter & namesake of Rhoda May

CYRENIUS WAITE JAMES (1831-1911) was age seventeen at the time of his father’s death He was Rhoda’s second eldest child. Cy bore witness to much of the abuse suffered by his mother. He and his other siblings also suffered the social stigma brought upon their family by their father’s bigamous third marriage to the youthful Permelia Estepp. Though his half-siblings with Permelia lived in plain view across Flat Lick Creek, the two families remained completely estranged from each other. Cy fought for the Union in the war and was taken prisoner. In prison in Georgia, he awoke to a nightmare of his daughter dying, at the same time she choked to death on some corn In Illinois. Prior to the war he removed his family there. Afterward, he walked them to Texas, where his descendants live today. No picture of Cy is known to exist.  His daughter, Rhoda Ann James, named for his mother and shown here, operated his bank in Rhone, Texas.

A NEPHEW OF RHODA MAY-JAMES

John Smith May, nephew of Rhoda May. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society

JOHN SMITH MAY (1835-Aft. 1891) was a farmer and a teacher before the Civil War started. Shortly after joining the Confederate Army he was captured & imprisoned in Ohio. After the Battle of Chancellorsville, he was exchanged. He joined John Hunt Morgan in Sparta, Tennessee, but was captured later again with Morgan, David Hunt James, & Richard Skinner James. He was secondly incarcerated at Camp Douglas in Chicago, but later sent to Virginia. He surrendered with Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. Afterwards he returned to Kentucky to resume teaching. By Elizabeth McQueary he had ten children and by Sallie Thurmond two more. In Pulaski County, he became Superintendent of Schools, the Court Clerk for the county, and was elected to the lower house of the Kentucky State Legislature. He and Rhoda May-James died within a few years of one another.

Chris James says, I can touch, taste, & experience the Civil War

Chris James, Re-enactor

Chris James, born             Christopher David James, is a Civil War re-enactor with The “Tuckahoe Braves,”  27th North Carolina, Company D, Confederate States of America.

He appears in the photo galleries of the group’s web site.

Chris lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he is employed in the security office for Fort Bragg. A native of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Chris settled in North Carolina following his real military service as a sergeant with the 2/504 Infantry. PIR 82nd, Airborne Division, having served in Afghanistan from December, 2002, to August, 2003.

On the James side of his family, Chris proudly claims his cousins, Frank & Jesse James. He’s also a cousin to Walmart founder Sam Walton, his aunt Anne being a close family confidant to the Walton family. On his grandmother’s side, Christ also claims the aviatior-industrialist Howard Hughes as a cousin.

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Of his re-enactments, Chris says,  “I try my best at re-enactments and living history events to be accurately as possible to do some justice to what our ancestors endured.”

Recently Chris asked for an enumeration of who among his James relatives served in the Civil War. Specifically he asked, who was on which side.

For the first time, a list now has been compiled from the family’s genealogy and appears below.

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UNION

Allen Custer Herrin, husband of Susan Harriet James: Oct 12, 1864, Discharged 2nd KY Volunteers, Cavalry Co F, Union

Andrew James, Union. Not identified in the genealogy, only in the diary of Allen Custer Herrin who comments on the death of Andrew James in service.

Cyrenius Waite James: Union. Wounded & POW. Company B, 79th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

John Thomas James:  Pvt. Company B, 12th Kentucky Volunteers, Union

Rev. John James 1862-1917:  Co E. 54th Kentucky Infantry, Union.

William Henry Williams James: Graduate West Point 1868. Commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the 24th United States Infantry. Fort Concho, San Angelo TX 24th Infantry, Company  K

Thomas Hardin Williams James: Attempted to enroll in the U. S. Naval Academy, but he did not pass the examination. Union

Henry James Newton: Union. Assisted Civil War photographer Matthew Brady.

CSA

Joel M. James: CSA, brother of John Thomas James

William R. James: CSA

Joseph McAlister “Mack” James: sympathetic to the North. His son Francis Marion James Sr. was CSA.

Andrew Jackson “A.J.” James, served under Preston Leslie & Sterling Price, CSA

William H. “Will” James 1835-1896: Was reported by Herrin in-law that he rode briefly with Frank & Jesse James, but returned home, all shot up and badly crippled for the rest of his life.

John C. Breckenridge Griffin 1824-1907: In the fall of 1861 he joined the Missouri Guards, Company E, Third Missouri Regiment, South. He served under General JOHN B. CLARK until 1863. He was in the Battle of Lexington, Missouri, and other battles. (3rd Division under Sterling Price.)

James Vardeman Matson: Davis Mounted Rifles, commanded by Captain James V. Matson. CSA

Robert Allen Williams James: Attended West Point. Co E, 11th Tennessee Infantry Regulars CSA

Burton Allen James: CSA sympathizer

Henry A. James 1837-Oct 2-4,1862. CSA Killed at Battle of Corinth, MS

Thruston P. “Tommy” James 1846-May 16, 1863. CSA Killed at Champion’s Hill, MS

David Hunt James: CSA, Co A, Second Regiment, Kentcuky Volunteer Cavalry. Jul 19, 1863: Captured at Buffington’s Island with Morgan’s Raiders, imprisoned at Camp Douglas, near Chicago, IL., paroled Feb 1865. Member of the John C. Breckenridge Camp, Confederate  Veteran Association.

Richard Skinner James: Morgan’s Men’s Association: James, Richard. A private Co. P.O.W. Camp Douglas rec’d Aug. 18, 1863 transferred to Point Lookout, MD Feb. 24, 1865.

Henry Field James Jr. b.1799: CSA sympathizer. Author of the book “Abolitionism Unveiled”

Oscar Dunreath West: CSA, never returned home from the war.

Robert Woodson Hite: Quantrill Guerilla

Clarence Jeff Hite
: Quantrill Guerilla

Thomas Martin “T.M: James: CSA sympathizer. Close friend of Jefferson Davis.

William Wythe James: undocumented family member. Served under Quantrill.

Alexander Franklin James, aka Frank James. Partisan guerilla with William Clarke Quantrill

Jesse Woodson James, aka Jesse James. Partisan guerilla with William Clarke Quantrill

UNDETERMINED

John Henry Griffin, 1814-1864, Murdered by James Vonsin, a soldier.

WATCH FOR UPDATES TO THIS LIST.