Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My 2nd Gr-Grandfather, James McCord

My maternal 2nd gr-grandfather, James McCord died in 1898 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. He is one of the reasons I've been working on the Woodlawn Cemetery Project for the past year and a half. 

This photo was taken in 1862 when he enlisted in the Civil War at age 24. He was assigned to Company C, 6th Regiment Heavy Artillery New York State Volunteers for a term of 3 years. Thurs. 3/17: Thank you, Barbara B. Your photoshop magic made a big difference!

He carried this small Bible throughout the war. It has his signature on the inside of both the front and back covers. There are also several Bible verses written by 'Eliza' and 'Martha' but I haven't been able to identify their relationship to him, if any.

The Muster Rolls of his service cover the period September 1862 to June 1865. When the Jan/Feb 1863 roll was taken James was "sick in quarters." Other bits of information gleaned from these records are: he paid a bounty of $25, still owing $75 at the time of discharge; he was last paid October 31, 1864 and had drawn $122 from his Clothing Account.

He was promoted to Full Sergeant Major in April 1865 and was mustered out two months later on June 28th in Petersburg, VA. I was curious about his uniform. Here's what I found: 

Hat: Enlisted man's hat of black felt; insignia of branch of service in brass with the number of the regiment and letter of company arranged over the insignia.

Sash: Sergeant Major--red worsted bullion fringe ends; to go twice around the waist, and to tie behind the left hip; "Officers of the Day" wear the sash across the body, scarf fashion, from the right shoulder to the left side, instead of around the waist as prescribed. 

James came home from the Civil War with this folded lithograph in his pocket. It is the Military Register of Company C where his name is listed under 'Sergeants' in the center section.

He was only 5'5" tall, with a light complexion, gray eyes, brown hair and a mustache. He is the short one in the back row (3rd from left). According to the 1870 & 1880 census records his occupation was 'carpenter.' At the time of his death he was a foreman.  

In 1880 the Order of United American Mechanics presented James with a Bible. Through the years births, marriages, and deaths were recorded by his wife, Maria Miller McCord, as well as his granddaughter, my great-aunt Leila. There were lots of photos, too, mostly of the Miller side of the family.

James was found dead on March 17, 1898 at 1399 Fulton St. in the Bronx. Cause of death was apoplexy, known today as a stroke. He was 58 years old.


He is buried in the NY Grand Army of the Republic's Oliver Tilden Post plot at Woodlawn Cemetery. There are 17 other civil war soldiers interred there, not all have markers:  Gottfried A Kretchmar, Henry Brooks, Thomas Ott, George A. Hafner, Adam Schwartz, John Steiner, Edward Brosche, Charles C. Stevens, William Price, Benjamin F. Demuth, William Spear, Valentine Felker, Peter Schneider, John. H. Wallace, William E. Raines, John W. Smith and George Gade. 

Aunt Leila was so proud when her grandfather's $12.00 government headstone was delivered by railroad and erected over his grave. She took these pictures many years ago:)

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer


  1. Great story. I love the fact that you still have items in the family. I believe that the bounty was paid to him as an incentive for enlisting, so the government still owed him $75. I hope he was able to collect!

  2. What a treasure your family has to know so much about your history and roots.

  3. Such rich family history. His blue Bible is so endearing. I received a white Bible from the United Auto Workers when my dad passed away. I haven't recorded family history in mine, but I have quite a collection of memorial cards - sadly - tucked into my Grandfathers Masonic Bible.
    I so admire your work with the Cemetery.