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Federal (USV)


James Madison Stone


(1841 - 1930)

Home State: Massachusetts

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 21st Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

A not-quite 20 year old farmer in Dana, MA, he enlisted at Worcester as a Private in Company K, 21st Massachusetts Infantry on 19 July 1861.

On the Campaign

He was with his Company on the Maryland Campaign of 1862. He later described two events of 17 September 1862 at Antietam:

The Confederate infantry [near Sharpsburg, above the Burnside Bridge] was behind a stone wall part way down the hill from the artillery. One of the Johnnies killed behind that wall had my knapsack on his back. He had found it in the little grove beside the road near the Henry House Hill on the Bull Run battlefield, and carried it into Maryland.

The knapsack was found and identified by the man who painted the initials of my name, company, regiment and state on the side of it. He was a Company K man who was detailed in the hospital department. He found it in going over the field gathering up the wounded and burying the dead after the battle ...

During the evening an incident occurred, the effect of which was to last a long time. It was after we had drank our coffee and had received our ammunition late in the evening. An army nurse asked some of the boys to go with her and assist in getting some wounded men who were near some houses outside our picket line up along the Sharpsburg Road. The boys went, brought in the wounded men and took them to a hospital nearby, no one getting hit, although they did draw the Rebel fire. The work being finished and having been done in so fine a spirit, the nurse wished to know who the men were, and where they came from. Learning they were Massachusetts men and from her own Worcester County, she was quite affected and revealed her own identity — Clara Barton of Oxford. A few moments of friendly handshaking and this first meeting ended, only for a time, however, for later on she visited us at Pleasant Valley and vowed eternal friendship. After the war she became a member of the regimental association, was a regular attendant at the annual reunions and ever declared herself a comrade of the boys of the regiment.

The rest of the War

He was detailed as a teamster from about April 1863 to the end of the year and reenlisted on 1 January 1864. He was promoted to Corporal on 23 April 1864 and was wounded by a gunshot through his left thigh on 29 July 1864 at Petersburg, VA. He spent most of the next year in hospitals, recovering, largely at the Emory General Hospital in Washington, DC. He declined a 2-week furlough home in November 1864. He had been administratively transferred to Company K, 36th Massachusetts Infantry on 21 October 1864, and to Company F of the 20th Regiment, Veteran Reserve Corps on 13 April 1865. In May he was released from the hospital and assigned as a clerk to the state Adjutant-General in Philadelphia, PA. He mustered out of service on 25 July 1865 and was sent home.

After the War

He was an art student in New York City and Munich, Germany, then had a career as a painter and teacher in Boston and later Greenwich, MA. He had a studio in Paris, France 1903-07, but returned home as his eyesight began to fail.

References & notes

His service from Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines1 and his Compiled Service Records,2 via fold3. Personal details from his own Personal Recollections of the Civil War (1918) and family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

His brother Vertulan Rich Stone (1830-1903) may also have been at Antietam, either as Hospital Steward, 18th Massachusetts or Assistant Surgeon, 19th Massachusetts; James mentions him in his Recollections.

More on the Web

His war memoir is online from the Internet Archives. See his best-known painting over on the blog.


07/30/1841; Dana, MA


10/23/1930; Beverly, MA; burial in Quabbin Park Cemetery, Ware, MA


1   Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Adjutant General, Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, 8 Vols, Norwood (MA): Norwood Press, 1931-35, Vol. 2, pg. 646; Vol. 3, pg. 767  [AotW citation 26510]

2   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers who served in US Volunteer organizations enlisted for service during the Civil War, Record Group No. 94 (Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 26511]