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Federal (USV)


James Dennis Ludlam

(1833 - 1908)

Home State: Illinois

Branch of Service: Cavalry

Unit: 8th Illinois Cavalry

Before Antietam

In April 1860 Abraham Lincoln visited Evanston, IL, and stayed at the Julius White home. While there, as he apparently liked to do, Lincoln looked for the tallest man in the room, and found him in James' brother Watson. He compared their heights by standing back to back and agreed they were both 6 feet, 4 inches tall. For entertainment, at Mr. Lincoln's request, Miss Isabel Stewart played the piano and James Ludlam sang.

On 28 July 1862 James enlisted and was commissioned First Lieutenant of Company F, 8th Illinois Cavalry. He was promoted to Captain on 4 August.

On the Campaign

He commanded his Company and a squadron of the regiment in operations on the Maryland Campaign of 1862.

The rest of the War

He was promoted again, to Major of the Regiment on 1 March 1864. While they were stationed in Washington in early 1864 he was invited to the White House on at least two occasions, to visit and to sing, possibly the same songs as when he and the President first met in Evanston. He mustered out of service on 5 January 1865.

References & notes

Basic service information from the Adjutant General.1 His role and presence on the Campaign from a case in the MSHWR 2 of one of his troopers, Pvt. George H. Bowes. The Lincoln stories from Josiah Seymour Currey's Abraham Lincoln's Visit to Evanston in 1860 (1914) and Chicago: its History and its Builders (Vol. 2, 1918); Currey was president of the Evanston Historical Society. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Isabelle Stewart (1839-1899), his piano accompanist in Evanston, about April 1861 and they had 2 children.




10/26/1908; burial in Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum, Chicago, IL


1   State of Illinois, Adjutant General, and J.N Reece, Brig. Gen, Adjutant General, Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois (1861-66), 9 volumes, Springfield: Journal Company, Printers and Binders (State Printer), 1900-1902, Vol. VIII, pg. 125  [AotW citation 22173]

2   Barnes, Joseph K., and US Army, Office of the Surgeon General, The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 6 books, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1870, Volume 2, Part 2, pg. 46  [AotW citation 22174]