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J.D. Van Valkenburgh

J.D. Van Valkenburgh

Confederate (CSV)


James Dunbar Van Valkenburgh

(1829 - 1864)

Home State: Georgia

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 61st Georgia Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

He'd come to Georgia with his parents and siblings about 1849 and by 1850 he was a merchant in his father's successful business in Macon. In 1860 was a 30 year old ambrotypist (photographer) and fire chief in Macon. At the direction of Governor Thompson he recruited and organized a company of troops called the Thompson Guards and they enrolled for Confederate service at Macon as Company I of the 61st Georgia Infantry on 24 September 1861, Van Valkenburgh their Captain.

On the Campaign

He assumed command of the regiment as next senior officer after Major McRae was killed at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862. He was himself wounded there.

The rest of the War

He was captured at Fredericksburg, VA on 13 December 1862 and paroled for exchange on 19 December, returning to duty about February 1863. He was elected Major on 1 (or 4) July 1863 at Gettysburg, PA and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 12 May 1864. On that date, in action in the Wilderness, VA, he led a detachment of about 40 men who bluffed that they had a Brigade behind them in the woods, and captured about 300 men of the 7th Pennsylvania Reserves. He was killed "instantly - struck in the head" at Monocacy Junction, MD on 9 July 1864.

After the War

His body was returned to Macon in 1866 by the efforts of his fire company - Young America No. 3 - and reinterred there.

References & notes

His service from Henderson1 and his Compiled Service Records,2 online from fold3; also as Van Valkenberg. Personal details from notes and a family tree by Wendy Hamand Venet, editor of Sam Richards's Civil War Diary (UGa, 2009), family genealogists, some of whom have him as Van Valkenburg, and the US Census of 1850 and 1860. His gravesite is on Findagrave; his headstone has him as Van Valkenburgh, most genealogists spell it without the h. Photographs of James and his wife Mary are in the collection of the Cannonball House Museum in Macon.

He married Mary E. K. Morgan (1836-) in August 1852 in Macon and they had 5 children; only one, James Edward, lived past 25 years.


07/28/1829; New York City, NY


07/09/1864; Monocacy Junction, MD; burial in Rose Hill Cemetery, Macon, GA


1   Fincham, Jr., Ray, Artillery, Cavalry, Infantry Regimental Histories - Georgia C.S.A., Published c. 2005, <>, Source page: /infantry/rosters/roster2/61st_inf_regt_rost_i.html  [AotW citation 13255]