Troy Times - Veteran - Company D, 12th Indiana V. I.

March 24, 1864

FRENCH, JAMES S. - James S. French, March 18th, in the 29th year of his age. The deceased was born in Miami County, Ohio where he was also educated, with the exception of one year's study at Dennison University, before emigrating west. In his 24th year he became the owner of a farm near Lafayette, Indiana, where he successfully carried on business until the second year of the great rebellion, when he, with many others of the noble youth of our country, entered the service of the United States, and on the 9th of Aug. 1862, became a member of Company D, 12th Indiana V. I., as a private soldier. Here he continued to serve his country until disease prostrated him. For two months he suffered bearing his afflictions almost without a murmur, and with that bravery and Christian fortitude that always characterizes a brave Christian soldier. He took part in the battle of Richmond, Ky., Aug. 1862; also in the campaign down the Mississippi, under Gen. Sherman and Grant in 1862 and 63, and assisted in the siege and capture of Vicksburg. He then marched to the relief of the Cumberland, under Gen. Sherman, and was at the battles of Mission Ridge and Lookout Mountain. Afterwards marched to the relief of Knoxville, and then to Scottsborough, Ala., where he was compelled to yield to disease, and remained in hospital until, at his own request, he was brought home and permitted to die under the parental roof, in the presence of an aged mother, and amid a large circle of friends. By the voluntary and universal testimony of officers and companions in arms, communicated to his brother who brought him home. James was a brave, faithful and conscientious soldier, a warm hearted, generous and true friend--esteemed and loved by all who knew him. Of him it was literally true, as expressed in the well known words--

"None knew him, but to love him,

None named him, but to praise."

They who knew him best, loved him most. His disposition was amiable; he was modest and retiring; always preferring to hear others rather than be heard himself. Brave, noble boy! He did what he could. He was a youth of few words, and never made a public profession of religion; but before leaving the parental roof, he became interested in that all absorbing subject, and made the Bible his constant companion. After moving west, he continued the study of the sacred Scriptures, and became the teacher of a Bible class, and remained such until he entered the army. When he was about to leave home for the tented field, the sister with whom he lived, presented him with a small copy of the Bible, which he received with emotion and thanks. This he carried with him during all his hard and long marches and through bloody battles. It was his companion in the field, the tent, the storm of battle and the hospital, and he brought that same precious Book back with him. And there is good reason to believe that it was a lamp to his feet and a light to his path, that has guided him safely through the dark valley of the shadow of death, to that rest which remaineth for the people of God. What a noble sacrifice, for a youth to leave his business, friends, society, the comforts and endearments of home, without the fallurements of office or gain of any kind, and in the face of all the hardships and perils of war, to lay himself on the altar of his country, prompted by pure patriotism alone. Surely he deserves to be honored, whether he falls by disease or in battle. James S. French was such a youth. He sought no office; but it was enough to serve, protect and defend that country and those blessings, won and established by the blood and toil of both his grandsires before him. It is hope that the noble, ransomed spirit of this pure minded youth, now rests from his labor in the paradise of God. J. P. A.  

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