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J.B. Brooks

J.B. Brooks

Federal (USV)


James Byron Brooks

(1839 - 1914)

Home State: Vermont

Education: Dartmouth College (BA 1869, MA 1886);
Albany Law School (LLB 1871)

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Signal Detachment, Army of the Potomac

Before Antietam

From Newbury, known by Byron, he enlisted on 2 May 1861 as a Private in Company D, First Vermont Infantry for 3 months service, and mustered out with them on 15 August. He enrolled again, and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Company H, 4th Vermont Infantry on 12 September 1861. He was promoted to First Lieutenant of Company I on 19 January 1862. He was commended by General Pope for his actions at Cedar Mountain in August 1862.

On the Campaign

By 10 September 1862 he was near Barnesville, MD with Captain Fisher, at Poolesville on the 11th, and near Sugarloaf Mountain on the 12th. He was on the battlefield of Antietam on 17 September 1862 with General Hooker on the Union right, at a signal station near the Hagerstown Pike. He was posted with General Sumner on Bolivar Heights near Harpers Ferry on the 20th, and was at Harpers Ferry to 28 October 1862.

The rest of the War

He was in action again at Fredericksburg in December and probably returned to his regiment after Chancellorsville in May 1863. He was commissioned Captain of Company H of the 4th Vermont on 19 April 1864 but was wounded in the Wilderness, VA on 5 May 1864 and discharged for disability from wounds on 5 August 1864.

After the War

He began to practice the law in Syracuse in 1872 and was partner in Ruger, Jenney, Brooks, and Marshall from 1874 to 1889. He was a founder and Dean of the College of Law of Syracuse University from 1895 to his death in 1914.

References & notes

His basic service from Peck,1 also as J. Byron Brooks, with details from Brown.2 Maryland Campaign events from Captain B.F. Fisher's Report. Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1880-1910, and his obituary in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine of December 1914. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a CDV in the Vermont Historical Society, shared online by Tom Ledoux on Vermont in the Civil War.

He married Caroline Lucelia Ward Jewell (1838-1934) in September 1873 and they had a daughter, Elizabeth (1874-).


06/27/1839; Rockingham, VT


06/17/1914; Syracuse, NY; burial in Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, NY


1   Peck, Theodore S., Adjutant General, and The Vermont Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, Revised Roster of Vermont Volunteers and Lists of Vermonters who Served in the Army and Navy of the United States During the War of the Rebellion 1861-66, Montpelier: Press of the Watchman Publishing Co., 1892, pp. 16, 132, 135  [AotW citation 28704]

2   Brown, J. Willard, The Signal Corps, U.S.A. in the War of the Rebellion, Boston: U.S. Veteran Signal Corps Association, 1896, before pg. 305; pp. 239, 332, 734  [AotW citation 28705]