James C. Kennicott – Private, United States Army

Posted Courtesy of

The Michigan Messenger, the Quarterly Newsletter of the Department of Michigan,
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Chartered June 24, 1884
Summer 2008 Issue
Department Historian Report

“A few years back while reading “MEMORIES” by Mrs. Sophia Bush, 1820-1908, I stumbled on a story about a local Civil War soldier.
It stated:

“When George Kennicott and his family left Gun Plain Township, Plainwell was in its infancy. Sadly did we miss them. Kalamazoo had reached some distinction in the way of school privileges and there they went to educate a son and daughter. The latter, Miss Clara Kennicott is well known here. James Kennicott, the son, enlisted and gave his life for his country; “he died in the Shenandoah Valley campaign, shot by Morgan’s men early in the siege. His father found his body and took it to Arlington, near Washington D.C. and he is interred there.”

“I started thinking about that statement about James Kennicott a few weeks back and decided to see if he was listed in any of the Civil War Soldiers gravesites online.   I checked all of the websites I knew of that listed the soldier’s graves and he was not in any of them, not even on our Department or our National website.

“It was then I contacted U.S. Senator Carl Levin’s Chief-of-Staff, Mr. David Lyles for help. He has helped me several times in past few years on Civil War related matters, and since Arlington National Cemetery was just across the river from Mr. Lyles I asked him if he would try find out if Private Kennicott was indeed buried in Arlington.

“Mr. Lyles contacted the Webmaster for Arlington National Cemetery with my question and in a couple days I not only had confirmation that Private James C. Kennicott was indeed interred in Arlington, but also pictures of his stone.

It turns out that the Arlington National Cemetery Webmaster, Mr. Michael Patterson is a Michigan native and he was excited about helping a Michigan Organization find a Michigan Soldier.

“I want to thank Mr. David Lyles, Mr. Michael Patterson and Ms. Holly (pictures) for helping us locate a forgotten and lost, Michigan Military Hero.

“The official listing at Arlington National reads:


  • DATE OF DEATH: 08/19/1864

“Brown Book (Thanks to Bro Bill Lowe, Austin Blair Camp No. 7)
Kennicott (Kennicut), James C., Kalamazoo. Enlisted in Company L, Fifth Cavalry, August 19, 1862, for 3 years, age 23. Mustered September 2, 1862. Killed by guerrillas at Berryville, Virginia, August 19, 1864. (exactly 2 years later). If Mrs. Sutherland, over 100 years ago, had not mentioned that statement about James Kennicott’s body being taken to Arlington, we wouldn’t have known where to look.

“You can learn by looking back, you just have to listen!

“In Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty:
John R. Keith
“General Benjamin Pritchard Camp 20, Department Historian”

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