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Folsom, James D.


Age: 34, credited to Wheelock, VT
Unit(s): 17th NH INF
Service: SURG, 17th NH INF

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 07/03/1828, Wheelock, VT
Death: 06/19/1907

Burial: Mount Pleasant Cemetery, St. Johnsbury, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Carolyn Adams
Findagrave Memorial #: 119729598


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 3/29/1897, VT; widow Flora L., 6/29/1907, VT
Portrait?: David Morin Collection
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None


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Mount Pleasant Cemetery, St. Johnsbury, VT

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.


David Morin Collection


St. Johnsbury Repubican, 26 Jun 1907


Doctor James D. Folsom

James D. Folsom, M. D.

Assistant surgeons.
Luther C. Bean, M. D., Horatio N. Small, M. D. (see 10 N. H. V.)


James D. Folsom, M. D.
St. Johnsbury, Vt.

Folsom, James D. F. and S.; b. Wheelock, Vt.; age 34; res. Lancaster; app. Surg. Nov. 4, '62; must, in Nov. 20, '62; must, out April 16, '63. P. O. ad., St. Johnsbury, Vt. (Record, Ayling's Register, 1895, p. 796.)

Surgeon Folsom was born in Wheelock, Vt., July 3, 1828, and was the son of James and Agnes (Sanborn) Folsom, a grandson of James Folsom. Received his preliminary education in the common schools of Vermont and supplemented it by an academic course at Lyndon Academy, Vermont. He commenced his professional education in Lyndon, Vt., in 1847, under the direction of Drs. Selim Newell of St. Johnsbury and Beniah Sanborn. He attended medical lectures at Woodstock, Vt., at Jefferson Medical College, Pennsylvania, and at the Medical Department of Dartmouth College, and was graduated from the latter in 1850. He commenced the practice
of medicine at Guildhall, Vt., where he remained two years, and then removed to Lancaster, N. H., where he remained for eighteen years. Then he removed to St. Johnsbury, where he has since been located.

Surgeon Folsom is a member of the White Mountain (N.H.) and Caledonia (Vt.) Medical Societies. While a resident of Lancaster he was appointed surgeon of the Seventeenth Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers November 4, 1862, and was mustered out of the service at Concord, April 16, 1863. The men who had enlisted in this regiment were assigned to fill up other regiments, and therefore the regiment as an organization was disbanded April 6, 1863.

Surgeon Folsom has been president of the White Mountain Medical Society of New Hampshire, also of the St. Johnsbury Medical and Surgical Club in Vermont, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being a Sir Knight in the North Star Commandery at Lancaster, N. H. While a resident of Lancaster he represented that town in the New Hampshire Legislature.

Married, in 1852, to Flora Newell.

Children, four: Alice Estelle, James Irving, Nellie E. and
Flora M.



"I was particularly fortunate," writes Colonel Kent in one of his sketches made twenty years ago, "in the organization of the staff. Doctor James D. Folsom, the surgeon, was a gentleman of agreeable address, great experience, and sound information." "Of agreeable address," not only to the colonel and his officers, but equally so to the poorest private or the most pitiable invalid of any sort that required his attention, or was met with in his visitations. His cheerful manner and pleasant words appeared to be as efficacious as his medicines, and the boys liked them ever
so much better. "Experience," too, he had in a large degree; and this, coupled with his "sound information," led every one from colonel down to feel that they were in the best of hands when sickness or bodily injury came, if only Folsom was there to look after them. The doctor is still in active practice in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. May he live long and prosper!

Source: 17th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry Regimental History

The Surgeon's Diagnosis.


In the gloomy days of 1862, when federal successes were at the minimum and even the most loyal of our people at times despaired, came the call of President Lincoln for 300,000 more troops. Coupled with this call was the proclamation of Governor Berry, asking the speedy
enlistment of New Hampshire's quota divided into three regiments corresponding to the three Congressional Districts. I was in the Third District, and the regiment assigned to us was the Seventeenth. Its commanding officer, Colonel Kent, was, and for many years had been, a warm personal friend of mine.

He urged me strongly to join his staff as surgeon, and I, from confidence in the colonel's ability and military prestige, as well as from a desire on my part to do whatever might be of service to the country in its perilous days, decided to accept the appointment and was accordingly mustered into the service shortly after the arrival of the regiment in Concord in the fall of 1862.
My assistant surgeons were Dr. L. C. Bean of Lebanon and Dr. H. N. Small of Lancaster. The large flat plateau, known as Concord Plains, upon which our regiment encamped, was from a sanitary standpoint all that could have been desired. The ground was dry, the air clear and bracing, and the drainage excellent. We had a snug little hospital building, fitted out with whatever was needful for possible sickness or accidents; but the surroundings were so healthful, and the stringent orders issued by the colonel for policing the quarters, and the observance of sanitary rules so rigorously enforced, we had but little sickness at any time during the winter, and only one death, that of a Portsmouth man belonging to Company B, resulting from
peritonitis caused by eating frozen apples which he obtained by running the guard at night. In view of the fact that we were in camp during the most inclement months of the year, that our men were quartered in barracks exposed to every wind and storm, by no means infrequent in their coming, it is a most commendable commentary upon the officers and discipline of the regiment, that such general good health prevailed.

Our hospital steward was A. L. Robinson of Lancaster, a fine old gentleman whose age did not impair his ability to perform military duty, except when engaged with his pipe and tobacco.
Of the circumstances which led to the final dissolution of the old Seventeenth as a regiment this history will elsewhere doubtless give full particulars, and place the responsibility where it properly belongs. We of the staff enlisted for service, and as it was our intention and expectation
to faithfully perform our duties in the field, it was with deepest regret and bitter disappointment that we were finally obliged to relinquish our good intentions, and submit to the final muster out. The regiment had every element to insure a brilliant and honorable future had it been permitted to go to the front. Its officers were men of more than ordinary ability and military experience, and its men were of the best material to be found in the Granite State.

When our men were taken to fill the ranks of the Second, which had come home to recruit, being badly decimated. Doctor Bean and I came home. Doctor Small was assigned surgeon of the Tenth Regiment and went to the front where he so distinguished himself in surgery that he
was detailed as special operator, serving until the close of the war. On his return home he located in Portland, Maine, where he had a large and successful practice until his death in
1886. Dr. Bean returned to Lebanon, but after a time drifted west, and is now in successful practice in Waukegan, Ill.

As for myself, I returned to Lancaster, and a few years later removed to St. Johnsbury, Vt., where I have since resided in the practice of my profession.

Source: 17th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry Regimental History

Photo, articles and notes courtesy of David Morin


Dr. James D. Folsom
A Physician Of Nearly Sixty years Of Service Passes Away

The death of Dr. James D. Folsom, one of the town's oldest physicians, occurred at his home on Cherry Street late Wednesday night. He had been in failing health for the past few years and confined to his home for a number of months. For the past eight weeks, he was unable to leave his bed, and his death was due to a general breaking down of a system that has been active for 60 years in an arduous and exacting profession.

Dr. Folsom was born in Wheelock July 3, 1828. When only a few years old his father moved to the Pope farm in Danville, where the family lived a few years, going there to the old farm, now occupied by Charles Folsom in Lyndonville. He was educated at Lyndon Academy, and was graduated from Dartmouth Medical College in 1849. Later he took a post-graduate at Girard College in Philadelphia. He first began practice in Guildhall, living there about two years, and moving from there to Lancaster, where he practiced about 19 years. In that town both Dr. and Mrs. Folsom were greatly interested in musical circles, both being members of the church choir of which Dr. Folsom was the leader.

When the Civil War broke out he enlisted as Surgeon in the 17th New Hampshire, but his regiment was never in active service.

It was in Lancaster that Dr. Gates B. Bullard studied with him, and when Dr. Folsom came to St. Johnsbury in 1872 he was associated for a few years in practice with Dr. Bullard. So for over 30 years, had gone in and out in our homes, bringing good cheer into the sick room by his genial presence, and health to his patients by his medical skills. Like the other country doctor, his calls were often far from home, but he obeyed the summons, and soon became one of the best known and successful physicians in this section. He was also active in the county and state medical societies, and kept up in his profession by constant reading and study.

He was married January 6, 1850, at East Burke to Miss Flora Newell, who survives him. Five children were born to them, one son dying when only a few months old, and Lelia, wife of Edgar L. Stanley, dying a few years ago. The others all live in St. Johnsbury;Irving, Nellie, wife of Fred G. Bundy, and Flora F., wife of Dr. Walter J. Aldrich. He also leaves one brother and one sister in Lyndonville, Charles and Amanda Folsom.

The funeral was held at his late residence Saturday afternoon, Rev. Edward T. Fairbanks officiating. Beautiful floral tributes were sent to the family including a pillow of roses and pinks from St. Johnsbury physicians, a crescent from Chamberlin Post, 1, G.A.R. of which he was a member, and from many friends here and elsewhere. The bearers were, H. E. Folsom of Lyndonville, Albert Stone of St. Johnsbury Centre, Fred G. Bundy, and W. J. Aldrich.

Dr. Folsom was also a pension examiner during the administration of Presidents Hayes, Garfield, and Arthur, a member of the White Mountain Medical Society, and one of the founders of the St. Johnsbury Medical and Surgical Club. He was active in the Masonic Order, having been Master of North Star Lodge, F. & A.M. of Lancaster, and a member of the North Star Commandery, Knight Templar. He was also a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity. In 1863 and '64 he represented Lancaster in the legislature, and was one time chairman of the Lancaster school board.

Source: St. Johnsbury Caledonian, June 26, 1907
Courtesy of Deanna French