(1838 - 1910)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Education: Union College, Class of 1860
Branch of Service: Infantry
His father was born in Scotland and was Chief Engineer of the Delaware, Lackawana and Western (DL&W) Railroad from 1855. James, Jr. was a 24 year old assistant engineer on the DL&W when he enrolled in Scranton on 9 August 1862 in the 132nd Pennsylvania Infantry. He mustered as Captain of Company I on 15 August 1862 in Harrisburg.
On the Campaign
He commanded his Company at Antietam on 17 September 1862. Afterward, Adjutant Hitchcock of the 132nd remembered:
In company with Captain Archbald I went over the position occupied by our regiment and brigade, the famous "sunken road" ... It was literally filled with rebel dead, which in some places lay three and four bodies deep ... Those poor fellows were the Fifth [Sixth] Georgia regiment. This terrible work was mostly that of our regiment, and bore testimony to the effectiveness of the fire of our men.
The rest of the War
He was very ill in November and was left behind in a hotel in Warrenton with Adjutant Hitchcock when the Army moved toward Fredericksburg. Hitchcock later related ...
The next day came, the last of our troops were moving out, and our [sick] leaves had not come. Captain Archbald and I resolved that we must cut that "red tape" rather than take the chances of going to Richmond. This we did by securing suits of citizens clothes and making our way as citizens through the lines to Washington. From there we had no difficulty in reaching home in uniform. At Washington I wrote Colonel Albright of our dilemma and the way we had solved it, and asked that our leaves of absence be forwarded to us at Scranton. They came some two weeks later. Had we remained at Warrenton, they would never have reached us, unless in a rebel prison.He was discharged for disability on 7 January 1863.
After the War
He lived in Scranton for most of the rest of his life. He took his father's position as Chief Engineer about 1870 and was with the railroad until 1899. He then worked with coal railroads in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, surveyed a rail line in the Pacific Northwest, was briefly Chief Engineer of the Mississippi Central and Natchez and Eastern railroads, and finally retired in 1907. He died while on a 2 month European tour in 1910, in Venice, Italy at age 72.
References & notes
His service from Bates,1 Hitchcock,2 source also of the quotes above and his photograph, and the Card File.3 Bates and the Card File both have him as James Archibald. Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1850-1910, and his obituary in the Scranton Tribune of 6 October 1910. His gravesite is on Findagrave.
He married Hannah Maria Albright (1841-1915) in January 1865 and they had 7 children.
James' father was also the First Mayor of Carbondale, PA and the town of Archbald, PA was named for him.
More on the Web
He wrote a letter about Antietam to a friend in Scranton on 19 September 1862 which was printed in the Scranton Republican; thanks to E. Joseph Murphy to the pointer to that letter, as reprinted in the Carbondale Weekly Advance of 4 October 1862.
02/13/1838; Sand Lake, NY
10/04/1910; Venice, ITALY; burial in Dunmore Cemetery, Dunmore, PA
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871 [AotW citation 26218]
2 Hitchcock, Frederick Lyman, War from the Inside : the Story of the 132nd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry ... 1862-1863, Philadelphia: J.D. Lippincott Company, 1904, pp. 16, 107, 297 [AotW citation 26219]
3 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Adjutant-General, Pennsylvania Civil War Veterans' Card File, 1861-1866, Published <2005, first accessed 01 July 2005, <http://www.digitalarchives.state.pa.us/archive.asp?view=ArchiveIndexes&ArchiveID=17> [AotW citation 26220]