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Civil War Soldiers - Van Alen

Van Alen, James H., brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born in the state of New York, and early in 1861 offered his services to the Federal government in the then pending crisis. On Aug. 28, 1861, he was commissioned colonel of the 3d N. Y. cavalry. He had received authority from the war department on July 26 to recruit this regiment, and it was commonly known as the "Van Alen cavalry" in honor of its organizer and first colonel. As fast as organized the several companies left the state and proceeded to Meridian hill, Washington, where the regiment was organized early in September and Col. Van Alen assumed command on Sept. 9. With his regiment he served in Bank's and Stone's divisions of the Army of the Potomac until the following spring, and on April 15, 1862, Col. Van Alen was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers. He served in this capacity until July 14, 1863, when he resigned from the service and returned to the pursuits of civil life. Gen. Van Alen lost his life by drowning on July 22, 1886.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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