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J.L. Van Buren

J.L. Van Buren

Federal (USA)


James Lyman Van Buren

(1837 - 1866)

Home State: New York

Education: Free Academy (1856), City College of New York Law

Command Billet: Aide de Camp

Branch of Service: Staff

Unit: Ninth Army Corps

Before Antietam

A cousin of President Martin Van Buren, he studied the law and traveled and lived in Europe before the war. On 12 October 1861, then age 24, he enrolled in New York City in Company D, 53rd New York Infantry and was mustered as 2nd Lieutenant on 26 October 1861. He was appointed Major and Acting Aide-de-Camp, US Volunteers on 7 July 1862 and assigned to General Burnside in North Carolina. He served as Signal Office to General John Foster n Roanoke Island, was military secretary to the Provisional (US Federal) Governor of North Carolina Edward Stanly, and Judge Advocate on General Burnside's staff at New Bern.

On the Campaign

He rejoined General Burnside's staff as Aide-de-Camp on 18 September 1862 at Antietam.

The rest of the War

He was with General Burnside on the Tennessee and Virginia Campaigns of 1863-65 and was honored by brevets to Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel (1 August 1864), and Brigadier General (2 April 1865) for his gallant and meritorious service in action. He mustered out of the Volunteer service on 31 March 1866.

After the War

He died two weeks later in New York City from a hepatic (bacterial liver) abscess.

References & notes

Service dates and other information from Heitman1 and the Adjutant-General.2 Personal details in a bio sketch from Green-Wood Cemetery and from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a CDV offered for sale by Hindman Auctions in June 2022.


06/21/1837; Dunkirk, NY


04/13/1866; New York City, NY; burial in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 980  [AotW citation 27842]

2   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, For the Year 1900, Ser. No. 25, pg. 643  [AotW citation 27843]