James Justice Ferris, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of James Justice Ferris


It is with pleasure that any true-hearted person recounts the life history of one who has served our nation with devotion, and it is with reverence that we look upon the infirmities that have come upon these crippled veterans in our country's service. The old soldier of whom we write is well deserving of the pension which our generous government has accorded to him in common with others who fought for the old flag. He is one of the most disabled soldiers on account of wounds now living in Porter County, Indiana. His left arm is amputated at the shoulder and the fingers of his right hand have been shot away, leaving only the thumb. Mr. Ferris is a descendent of Irish ancestors, his grandfather, Justice Ferris, having been a native of the Emerald Isle, and has inherited all the admirable characteristics of that class of people. On coming to this country the grandfather settled in the Empire State, and there William Ferris, the father of our subject, was born. The latter grew to manhood in his native State and became a farmer, following that occupation there until he came to Indiana with his father. They located in Shelby County and there William Ferris was married to Miss Mercy Van Osdel, who bore him six children: Leander, James J., Martha, Sarah, John, and Silas. In 1836 Mr. Ferris moved with his family to LaPorte County, Indiana, but two years later moved to McHenry County, Illinois, where he remained until about 1848. He staid in Porter County, Indiana, till 1874. After that he moved to Missouri, where he passed the remainder of his days, dying when seventy years of age. He was a straight-forward, industrious man, and in politics was a stanch Republican. James J. Ferris, the original of this notice, was born in Shelby County, Indiana, June 17, 1834, and from an early age became familiar with the duties of a farm. He received a limited education, and when twenty-eight years of age enlisted at Michigan City, Indiana, in Company K, Seventy-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and was honorably discharged on account of wounds received at Day's Gap, Morgan County, Alabama, on Streight's raid, having been a prisoner four months and eleven days. During the above mentioned battle Mr. Ferris' company was commanded by Capt. I. D. Phelps, and our subject had been on the field but a short time when he was struck by either grape or canister shot. His left arm was shot off and the fingers of his right hand also taken off. Two horses were killed by the same shot. Mr. Ferris walked off the field with the help of a sergeant, to a field hospital, and lay under a tarpaulin all night. The wounded were left prisoners in the hands of Confederates and remained in the field hospital for six days and nights. The Confederate officers then ordered the Union citizens to take the wounded soldiers to their homes and care for them. Our subject was taken to the home of a Mr. Gibson, whose son was an orderly in Streight's raid, and received excellent care. He remained there four months, or until his wounds were healed, and then with a number of other wounded prisoners he rode in a farm wagon to Tuscumbia, Alabama, where he remained five weeks before he was paroled and taken to the Union lines. Reaching Indianapolis the last of September, 1863, he received a furlough of thirty days, and went home. There he remained until after the State election and voted the Republican ticket, when, on the 19th of November, 1863, he returned to Indianapolis and was honorably discharged on account of his wounds. Mr. Ferris married Miss Adeline Warnock, nee Hollis, and to them were born two children, Nettie and Daisy. On account of his wounds Mr. Ferris has been obliged to discontinue manual labor, and even requires assistance in taking his meals. He has held a number of official positions and was bailiff of the Circuit Court for twenty-one years. In 1873 he was made assistant sergeant-at-arms in the House, at Indianapolis, and he was assessor of Jackson Township for three years. Socially, he is an Odd Fellow.

Source: Goodspeed Brothers. 1894. Pictorial and Biographical Record of La Porte, Porter, Lake and Starke Counties, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Goodspeed Brothers. 569 p.
Page(s) in Source: 269-271

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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