James Stratton Post #82 GAR

Mullica Hill, New Jersey

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James Sherwin Stratton

12/11/1843 - 8/2/1864

James S. Stratton was the fourth and youngest child of Nathan T. and Sarah M. Stratton, born at Mullica Hill, N.J. on the 11th day of December 1843. At intervals, while his father was in congress from 1850 to 1854, he was at Washington and allowed the freedom of the floor, almost equal with the pages, and was thus afforded an opportunity of gaining a great deal of information as to public affairs and parliamentary proceedings, which stood him in great favor in the debating societies later on. Books were his delight. He was a very prominent member in the Literary and Debating society of the town, and on September 4, 1861, he entered the West Jersey Academy, at Bridgeton, N.J. where he advanced rapidly in all his studies and was looking anxiously forward to the time when he would enter Princeton College. His letters and essays while at the academy teemed with patriotism, and the tide kept rising so that actuated by a sense of duty and patriotism, he left all the endearments of home, gave up the opportunity of a classical education to take the position of a soldier enlisting in Company F, Twelfth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers, August 14, 1862, then organizing at Woodbury, N.J. 

He was a young man of great promise, possessing an amiable, gentle and forgiving disposition with a stern determination to uphold truth and the right. At 18 years of age, he was appointed fifth sergeant and made commissary of the company. The exposure and trials of camp life told upon many of our youths among them being James, who contracted a cold at Ellicott’s Mills that laid him off duty of several days. When the regiment left Washington to join the Army of the Potomac, James along with the other sick were left in the hospital. The doctors wanted to give him his discharge, but this James opposed and shortly thereafter rejoined his company, December 28, 1862.

He was with his company in action at Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863 and accompanied his captain (brother) from the Brick House Hospital to Potomac Creek Hospital and then rejoining his company was promoted to Second Lieutenant of Company F on June 3, 1863, vice Lieutenant Joseph Pierson killed at Chancellorsville. He was with is command on the chase after Lee to Pennsylvania and upon arrival at the Potomac on June 26th he took the benefit of a five day leave from the war Department to visit his brother (captain) who was lying critically ill in Washington. He rejoined his command at Falling Waters on July 14, 1863 and continued with it until January 21, 1864 when he was sent to New Jersey on recruiting service, which lasted until May 10, 1864.

He then proceeded to rejoin his regiment by way of Camp Distribution and was attached to the Sixth Provisional Brigade. After many days of hard marching some privations and dangers, he rejoined his regiment on June 6, 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA. He was promoted First Lieutenant Company K on February 4, 1864 and mustered as such on June 11, 1864.

He participated with credit to himself and company in all the marches and skirmishes of that long and trying siege of Petersburg up to the action at Reams Station on August 25, 1864. One of our guns was in the possession of the enemy. When the commanding officer inquired who would volunteer in the hazardous undertaking, Lieutenant Stratton stepped out and asked his men who would follow. His company promptly responded. The gun was taken, but the heroic Stratton paid for it with his life. He was shot and instantly killed bravely leading his men and was hastily buried on the field by his comrades of Company F. 

His father and brother obtained permission of the War Department and visited General grant at City Point in September 1864 with the hope of securing his remains but had to return without them as the ground was held by the enemy, but in the following summer (1865, and the war over, they again went down in company with Lieutenant James White (who was present at the hasty burial one year before) and found the grave and body just as it was left and with the remains fully identified by marks and clothing returned home. The funeral was largely attended by sympathetic friends and comrades who tenderly bore him to a soldier’s grave beside his loved mother in the Baptist Church yard at Mullica Hill. Farwell dutiful son! May you rest in peace and rise again to receive a Christian’s reward in the arms of a Heavenly Father!

“We tell thy doom with many tears,
How rose thy morning sun,
How quickly, too, alas! It set,
Thou noble warrior, work is done.”

“There’s a battle today and perchance I may happen to fall.
If I’m not at the call of the roll, you may say
A good-buy to the boys in my name, for I may
Have said ‘aye’ to an angel’s call!”

The love and estimation he bore in the regiment was shown by the many letters of condolence and sympathy received by his father, one of which, expressing the general feeling is given here.

Petersburg, Va., august 26, 1864

Dear Sir: - The mournful duty has fallen to me to inform you of the death of you son, Lieutenant James S. Stratton, of my regiment. He fell in action yesterday, 25th inst, while gallantly leading his company against the enemy. Our corps, which has pushed out to Reams Station on the line of the Weldon Railroad, for the purpose of more effectually destroying the track, was attacked about 3PM by the enemy in force. In the action which followed, and during a successful charge made by the regiment to retake some works in which the enemy had gained a foothold, Lieutenant Stratton was hit in the right side of the head by a ball that passed down into his body. He fell within a few yards of the works. Private Amos S. Burt, of his company, who carried him a little way to the rear, out of the thickest of the fight, tells me that he was in sensible from the first and died in a few minutes, he pointed out to me where the body lay and upon my sending word, Lieutenant C. D. Lipincott and other friends buried him on the filed. His grave is about one hundred and fifty yards northeast of the church, still standing at Reams Station on the right of the road leading to the Jerusalem Plank road which runs to Petersburg. The action did not close till after dark, and there was no way of transferring his body during that hasty night march of nine miles to our lines. Lieutenant Stratton was esteemed throughout the regiment as an efficient, conscientious and accomplished officer. His gentle, courteous disposition, with thorough knowledge of his duties, made him a favorite in his company, and his loss will be greatly felt in the whole regiment. The example of loyalty, of bravery, of an intelligent and dignified manhood witch he has left will not be forgotten. Sympathizing with you in this sad bereavement,

I remain very truly your friend,             William E. Potter, Captain 12 Regt., New Jersey.

Condensed from “The History of the men of Co. F with descriptions of the marches and battles of the 12th New Jersey Vols.” By William P. Haines, private Co. F 12 NJ Vol, Mickletown NJ 1897.

With inclusions from his obituary.
By: Dennis Clowney and Robert Wilhelm



Last Name 1st Name Mid. Regt. Birth Death Buried Rank Notes Addmiss. Address
Aggins William H.        /  /1896     roll of dead 1896    
Banning William             PC 1887, PPC listed as Bunning - PPC 1889, 92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 1900   Mullica Hill
Borton David   Co. F, 12 NJ   7/1/1914   Sgt. PPC 1886, 87, 89 - spelled Borton, listed as Borton PPC 1892 listed as Borton PPC 1893, 94, 95, 96,  1897 - 1910, 1911 through 1915   Mullica Hill
Borden David             1895    
Coles George H.           1889, 1898    
Finger Henry   Co A, 4 NJV   6/8/1913   Pvt.     Mullica Hill
French Thomas   Co. A, 3 NJ   6/8/1914   Pvt. 1915    
Folwell Robert C.           1894    
Iredel Samuel             PPC, 1893, 94, 95, 96, 1897 - 1910, 1911 through 1915   Mullica Hill
Ledden Phineas F. Co. G, 28 NJ   8/18/1912   Cpl. PC 1907, 1910, 1911, 1913    
Linesly Joshua   9 NJV     Mullica Hill Pvt. Death record 1893    
Lloyd Frank             1893, 1894    
Moore James W.           1910, 1911, 1913    
Moore Joseph W.           PPC, 1886, 1892,  1897 - 1910, 1914, 1915   Mullica Hill
Pimm John             1892, 1917, 1919    
Ridgway Frank B.           PC 1885, PPC 1886, 87, 89, 92, 93, 94, 95, 1896, 1897, 1898 through 1919   Mullica Hill
Schwebel John             1887    
Shute Charles P.        /  /1896     Roll of dead 1896    
Souder Elmer             PPC, PC 1892, PPC 1893, 94, 95, 96,  1897 - 1904   Mullica Hill
Stratton Edward L.           PC 1886, PPC 1887, 92, 93 - PC 1913 & 1914, PPC 1892, 93, 94, 95, 96, 1897 - 1910, 1911 through 1915   Mullica Hill
Tredell  Samuel             PPC 1906, 1907    
White Joseph L.           1889, PC 1903, 1893, PPC 94, 97, 98, 1900, 04, 05, 06, 07, 1910    
White James   12 NJ Inf.         PPC, 1886, 87, 92, 93 - PC 1889, PPC 1892, 93, 94, 95, 96, 1897 - 1910, 1911 through 1915   Mullica Hill
White Joseph L.           1889, PC 1903, PC 1893, PPC 1894, 1897 through 1915   Mullica Hill
Williamson Alex             1897    


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