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J.B. Perry
J.B. Perry

Federal (USV)


James B. Perry

(1834 - 1862)
Home State: New Hampshire
Command Billet: Commanding Company
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 5th New Hampshire Infantry


Before the Antietam Campaign:
From Lebanon, NH, he enrolled as Captain, Company C, 5th New Hampshire Infantry on 12 October 1861 at age 37.

In the Antietam Campaign:
He commanded Company C in Maryland.

The remainder of the War:
The day after the battle ...
… the Fifth New Hampshire formed the picket line along the edge of the cornfield, where Richardson's Division fought. The reserve was in one edge of the corn, and the pickets about middle way of the field, concealed in the corn, as the sharpshooters of the enemy fired on all who undertook to walk around on the battle-field at that locality. Early in the morning one of the wounded rebels, who laid just outside the pickets, called one of the New Hampshire men and handed him a little slip of paper, on which he had, evidently with great difficulty, succeeded in making some mystic signs in a circle, with a bit of stick wet in blood. The soldier was begged to hand the paper to some Freemason as soon as possible, and he took it to Colonel E. E. Cross of his regiment. The colonel was a Master Mason, but could not read the mystic token, it belonging to a higher degree. He, therefore, sent for Captain J. B. Perry, of the Fifth, who was a member of the 32nd degree of Freemasonry, and showed him the letter. Captain Perry at once said there was a brother Mason in great peril, and must be rescued. Colonel Cross instantly sent for several brother Masons in the regiment, told the story, and in a few moments four ‘brothers of the mystic tie’ were crawling stealthily through the corn, to find the brother in distress. He was found, placed on a blanket, and at great risk drawn out of range of the rebel rifles, and then carried to the Fifth New Hampshire hospital. He proved to be First Lieutenant Edon of the Alabama volunteers [John Oden of the 10th Alabama], badly wounded in the thigh and breast. A few hours and he would have perished …
He was charged, along with Captain James E. Larkin, with inciting mutiny on the march in November 1862, and court-martialled, but acquitted. Reinstated as commander of his Company on 10 December 1862. He was killed in action at Fredericksburg, VA on 13 December 1862 while carrying the colors.

References, Sources, and other notes:
Basic service information and the quote above from Child1. Perry was mentioned for leadership and "gallant conduct" in Maryland in Colonel Cross' after action Reports. His photo here from one of unknown provenance posted on Findagrave by David M Morin.

Birth Date: 04/06/1834    Place of Birth: Cabot, VT    
Death Date: 12/13/1862    Death Place: Fredericksburg, VA    Burial Place: School Street Cemetery, Lebanon, NH

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