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J.M. Guinn

J.M. Guinn

Federal (USV)


James Miller Guinn

(1834 - 1918)

Home State: Ohio

Education: Oberlin College, Class of 1861

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 7th Ohio Infantry

Before Antietam

Then a student (or recent graduate) at Oberlin, he enlisted on 20 April 1861 as a Private in Company C on the 7th Ohio Infantry for 3 months service. He reenlisted in the same Company for 3 years on 19 June 1861.

On the Campaign

He was present with his Company in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Corporal on 1 November 1862, and discharged on 12 January 1863 on a Surgeon's Certificate of Disability. He was offered a commission as Captain in a new Ohio regiment, but declined because of his health.

After the War

In November 1863 he traveled to California, via Panama, to recuperate. He went to Idaho looking for gold in 1864, but did not hit it rich, returning to California in 1867. He taught school in Alameda and was in the insurance business in San Francisco. In 1869 he went to Los Angeles County and was a school principal in Anaheim for 12 years. He was superintendent of the Los Angeles City Schools from 1881 - 1884, then was a civic official and wrote prolifically on California history [some online from the Internet Archive].

References & notes

Service information from Wilson1 and the Roster,2 as James M. Ginn and James M. Grim. Further details from a finding aid to his papers in the Huntington Library collection.

He was one of 14 Oberlin students who enlisted in Company C of the 7th Ohio.

He married one of his teachers, Dapsileia Marquis (1845-1929), in 1874 and they had 3 children.

His father was James Ginn (1800-1856) from County Fermanagh, Ireland and our man is seen as James M. Ginn to at least the 1860 US Census; he probably changed his name about 1868.

More on the Web

See much more about Guinn in a piece by Mike Barhorst for the Sidney Daily News from December 2018; he's also the source of the picture of him above, from a photograph - probably from his papers in the Huntington Library - thought to have been taken at Oberlin in 1861.


11/27/1834; Houston, OH


09/1918; Highland Park, CA; burial in Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA


1   Wilson, Lawrence, and the Historical Committee of the Regimental Association, Itinerary of the Seventh Ohio Infantry 1861-1864, New York: The Neale Publishing Co., 1907, pg. 431  [AotW citation 13094]

2   State of Ohio, Roster Commission, Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, 12 Volumes, Akron: The Werner Company, 1893-95, Vol. 1, pg. 139; Vol. 2, pg. 210  [AotW citation 26583]