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Warner, James Meech


Age: 26, credited to Middlebury, VT
Unit(s): 11th VT INF, USV
Service: USMA 60, comn COL, 11th VT INF, 8/15/62 (8/27/62), wdd, Spotsylvania Court House, 5/18/64, Bvt BG 8/1/64 for gallantry at Spotsylvania C.H. Winchester, Fishers Hill and Cedar Creek, pr BGen USV 5/8/65, m/o USV, 1/15/66; resgd, USA, 2/13/66 [College: USMA 60]

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 01/29/1836, Middlebury, VT
Death: 03/16/1897

Burial: West Cemetery, Middlebury, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone photographer: Heidi McColgan
Findagrave Memorial #: 22698


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Not Found
Portrait?: Gibson Collection, Italo Collection, VHS Collections, Guber Collection off-site
College?: USMA 60
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

Webmaster's Note: The 11th Vermont Infantry was also known as the 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery; the names were used interchangably for most of its career


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West Cemetery, Middlebury, VT

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


VHS - Reunion Society Collection



John Gibson Collection


Ed Italo Collection

James Meech Warner

Born: Jan 29 1836, Middlebury, VT
Died: Mar 16 1897, New York NY
Buried: Middlebury VT
Pre-War: West Point Class of 1860, frontier duty.
War Service: May 1861 1st Lt. in 10th US Infantry, commanded Fort Wise (later Fort Lyon) CO, Sep 1862 Colonel of 11th Vermont, defenses of Washington, reorganized 11th Vermont into a heavy artillery regiment, Wilderness, Spotsylvania (w), commanded 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 6th Corps in Shenandoah Valley, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, May 1865 appointed BG Vols.
Post War: Businessman, postmaster of New York City.

Cadet Military Academy, 1 Jul 55; Brevet 2nd Lieutenant, 10th Infantry, U.S.A., 1 Jul 60; 2nd Lieutenant, 8th Infantry, 28 Feb 61; 1st Lieutenant 30 May 61; Colonel, 11th VT, 1 Sep 62; Brigadier-General Volunteers, 8 May 65; mustered out of Vol. service 15 Jan 66; Captain, 8th Infantry, U.S.A., 8 Oct 64; Brevet Major, Lieutenant-Colonel and Colonel, 13 Mar 65, for gallant and meritorious service during the war; Brevet Brigadier-General, U.S. Volunteers, 1 Aug 64, for gallant and meritorious service at the battle of Spotsylvania Court House, and at the battle of Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek, Va., and Brevet Brigadier-General, U.S.A., 9 Apr 65, for gallant and meritorious services in the field during the war; resigned 13 Feb 66.
Sources: Revised Roster, pp 409, 410, 411, 682, 736, 749.


James Meech Warner, son of Joseph and Jane Anne (Meech) Warner, was born January 29, 1836, in Middlebury, Vermont. He graduated from Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, New Hampshire, in 1854, and attended Middlebury College, 1854-1855. He was accepted as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy July 1, 1855, graduated July 1, 1860, 40th in a class of 41, as a brevet 2nd Lieutenant. He was assigned to the 10th U.S. Infantry, and on February 28, 1861, was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and transferred to the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was subsequently promoted to 1st Lieutenant, May 30, 1861, while commanding Fort Wise (renamed Fort Lyon), Colorado.
Lieutenant Warner probably received a first-rate education in north-south politics while stationed at Fort Wise. Among the officers there at the start of the war were Major John Sedgwick, future commander of the Sixth Corps; William S. Walker, a Pennsylvanian who went with the Confederacy, probably because of his marriage to a Floridian; Richard Riddick, who would fall leading his 34th North Carolina at Gaines's Mills and William D. DeSaussure, who died at Gettysburg leading his 15th South Carolina at Gettysburg; Edward Newby, of Virginia and James McIntyre, of Tennessee, both of whom would stay with the Union; and the redoubtable James Ewell Brown 'Jeb' Stuart, who would become the bane of many a Union cavalry trooper.
The State of Vermont asked for his services to lead a volunteer regiment, and he appointed to command the 11th Vermont Volunteer Infantry and was promoted to Colonel of that regiment on September 1, 1862. Colonel Warner commanded the 11th Vermont Infantry (redesignated 1st Artillery, 11th Vermont Volunteers, December 10, 1862) until that unit was called from the defenses of Washington to join the First Vermont Brigade (Second Brigade, Second Division) in the Army of the Potomac in mid-May 1864. At the battle of Spotsylvania, his first battle, on May 18, 1864, he was severely wounded, but stayed in the field until the end of the day. Due to the severity of his wounds, he was sent home on convalescent leave.
On his return to duty July 8, 1864, he was assigned to command of the First Brigade, Hardin's division, XXII Corps, in the defenses of Washington, where he was during the battle of Fort Stevens several days later. Returning to his regiment later that month, he was assigned command of the First Brigade, Second Division, VI Corps from September 21, 1864 to May 1865, when it was disbanded.
He was brevetted to Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers, August 1, 1864, for gallant and meritorious service at the battle of Spotsylvania Court House, and at the battles of Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek. He was promoted to Captain (8th U.S. Infantry), U.S. Army, October 8, 1864, and received brevets as Major, Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel, U.S. Army, on March 13, 1865, for gallant and meritorious service during the war. He was further brevetted, to Brigadier General, U.S. Army, April 9, 1865 for gallant and meritorious services in the field during the war. He was promoted to Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers, May 8, 1865. He mustered out of voluntary service January 1, 1866, and resigned his regular army commission February 13, 1866.
After the war he removed to Albany, New York, where he engaged in paper manufacturing as president of the Albany Card and Paper Company. On December 19, 1889, he was appointed postmaster of Albany by President Harrison, in which position he served probably for the duration of Harrison's administration, until 1892.
James Warner married Matilda Elizabeth Allen, daughter of George Allen and Sophia Sargent, in early June 1863, while he was stationed in the northern defenses of Washington. James and Matilda had three children:

1) Mary Warner, born October 8, 1864, died April 11, 1869
2) James Allen Warner, born 1867, died February 1, 1927
3) Sophia Warner, born January 17, 1870, died December 14, 1936; married John Albert Fletcher.

He died in New York City, March 16, 1897. His remains were returned to Vermont and laid to rest in West cemetery, Middlebury.
See also Warner's reports on the battle of Winchester and Cedar Creek.

Albany, New York City Directories, 1889-91 Biographies of Notable Americans, 1904 [database online]. Orem, UT:, Inc., 1997. Original data: Johnson, Rossiter, ed. Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. Volumes I-X. Boston, MA: The Biographical Society, 1904.
Cullum, George W. "Notices of the Biographical Register of Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from its establishment, March 6, 1802, to the army reorganization of 1866-67, revised edition, with a supplement continuing the register of graduates to January 1, 1879." New York: James Miller, 1879.
Italo, Ed. 1st Vermont Brigade Photograph collection.
Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, N. H., "General Catalogue 1813-1930." Hanover: Dartmouth Press, 1930.
Ledoux, Thomas, editor. "Quite Ready to be Sent Somewhere: The Civil War Letters of Aldace Freeman Walker." Victoria, BC: Trafford, 2002.
Ness, George T. Jr. "The Regular Army on the Eve of The Civil War." Baltimore: Toomey Press, 1990.
Revised Roster
Robinson, Duane L. "General Catalogue of Middlebury College. Middlebury, Vt." Middlebury College Publications, 1950.
Sifakis, Stewart. "Who Was Who in the Union." New York: Facts on File, 1988.



The community was shocked to learn Wednesday morning of the sudden death of Gen. James M. Warner n New York the previous evening. He was here last week to attend the wedding of his son and appeared to be in excellent health. The interment will be in the family lot in the West cemetery here this (Friday) afternoon. The remains will arrive on the mail train at 3:10 o'clock. The only service in Middlebury will be that at the grave. Of the circumstances of his death the New York Sun of Wednesday says:

James M. Warner, president of the Albany Card and paper company, arrived in this city yesterday from Philadelphia, where he had been on business for the concern, and went to the Manhattan hotel at Forty-second street and Madison avenue, where his son is staying. After dinner his son invited him to go to Daly's theater to see "The Geisha." Mr. Warner would not let the young man call a cab to take them to the theater, saying that he felt in excellent health and wanted to walk. They took seats in the orchestra.

The curtain had been up about five minutes when Mr. Warner fell forward on the shoulders of a man sitting in front of him. He was carried by the ushers and his son into the lobby, and Dr. Rogers of the Manhattan Life attempted to restore him to consciousness. He died about twenty minutes after he was taken into the lobby and his body was removed to a waiting room.

The performance went on after the momentary excitement and curiosity caused by the incident had subsided. Coroner Hoeber gave a permit for the removal of the body to an undertaker, and young Mr. Warner notified his mother and sister of Mr. Warner's death.

The main facts of Mr. Warner's life are thus given by an exchange:

Gen. Warner was one of Albany's foremost citizens and was postmaster under President Harrison. He was born at Middlebury in 1836, and when 19 years old entered West Point in the class with Gen. Wilson, Gen. Merritt and Gen. Horace Porter.

Lieut. Warner at the outbreak of the civil war was called to the defense of Washington and was made colonel of the 11th Vermont volunteers.

The bravery and ability of the young officer soon attracted attention and he was made a brevet brigadier general of volunteers for gallant and meritorious service at Spotsylvania. During the Shenandoah campaign he won distinction and at the storming of Flint Hill, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek his leadership proved irresistible.

The government further recognized him by conferring upon him in succession the rank of brevet lieutenant colonel and colonel in the regular army. During Gen. Grant's siege of Petersburg Gen. Warner commanded a brilliant assault on the enemy's intrenchments on March 26 and again in April 30.

He took an active part in the battles of Virginia and took part in the battle of Sailor's Creek, one of the closing engagements of the war. He witnessed the surrender of Appomattox. At the close of the rebellion he was a brigadier general of volunteers.

In 1866 he resigned and from that time on had been a resident of Albany. Soon after his settlement there he purchased an interest in the Albany Card and paper company and became its president. He was also a director of the Commercial bank and the Mutual Life Insurance company of Springfield. He was a trustee of the Second Presbyterian church. His appointment as postmaster was a personal one by President Harrison, the two having been close friends. Gen. Warner is survived by a widow and two children.

Source: Middlebury Register, March 19, 1897.
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.