The Last Soldier Project: Waukesha County, Wis.|
James F. Jones
James F. Jones was born in Batavia, New York, in 1846. That same year, his parents moved to Oconomowoc. His father, Henry G. Jones, a tailor, was the city's first treasurer and served many years.
Jones enlisted in Company B, 39th Wisconsin Infantry on May 31, 1864, against the wishes of his parents, and served with the army in Tennessee. His brother, William, his elder by two years, was killed while on sentry duty in a surprise by Confederates at Memphis, Tennessee. William died in his brother's arms.
After he was mustered out on September 22, 1864, Jones returned to Oconomowoc, where he became a carpenter. In 1871, he worked in Chicago and in Peshtigo, repairing the damage done by disastrous fires there.
In 1878, Jones and another man set out in a horse and wagon for the gold rush in the Black Hills. They found no gold and the Indians stole their horse and wagon. Jones walked all the way back from South Dakota to his home in Oconomowoc. His boots wore out along the long trek and he came home barefoot.
Jones was always active in GAR affairs. He had not missed a single state or national convention of the organization. He was one of a handful of veterans, who attended the 75th annual GAR Nat. Encampment at Gettysburg in 1940. He was elected the Wisconsin GAR Department Commander in June 1942, at the Dept. Encampment in Waukesha.
From Milwaukee Journal, August 8, 1942
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Department of Wisconsin