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Biography of James C. Buchanan
of Tompkins Co., NY

Note: Many people, like Mr. Buchanan, migrated from Tompkins County west to Michigan and beyond. If your people migrated to Michigan, you might want to puruse the Michigan County Histories website, to see if you can locate a Bio about your ancestor.

History of Kent County, Michigan ; together with sketches of its cities,
villages and townships with biographies of representative citizens.

Published 1881
pages: 961-962


John C. Buchanan, dentist, was born at Ithaca, Tompkins Co., N. Y., May 15, 1824; he is son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Stewart) Buchanan. His father was born in Pennsylvania and was a gunsmith by trade, which business he pursued until his death; he came to Grand Rapids in 1842 and died in 1854. Dr. Buchanan's mother was a native of New York, of Scotch origin, of the old Presbyterian stock in the north part of Ireland. She died in Pennsylvania, in 1837. Dr. Buchanan was educated chiefly in Pennsylvania, but attended school in Grand Rapids, and taught one session in Plainfield.

He carried on the gunsmith business until 1861, when he entered the 8th Reg. M. V. I. He was mustered into the U. S. service in September, and commissioned First Lieutenant of Co. D, at Detroit, whence the regiment proceeded to Washington and Annapolis, where they had quarters in the naval school buildings. They embarked on the " Vanderbilt" in Sherman's Expedition to South Carolina. The regiment took part in the capture of Hilton Head, the first victory on the Atlantic coast. They were employed during the winter picketing the islands along the coast at Beaufort, Port Royal Island, and embarked June 1 for James Island, South Carolina. The history of the attack and the result to the 8th Michigan is recorded in history as one of the most disastrous of the war. The engagement took place June 16, 1862. The regiment then came north and joined the 9th Corps of Burnside's army, at Newport News. It proceeded up the Potomac, encamped at Fredericksburg, marched to Raccoon Ford, on the Rapidan; was two days in the fight at second Bull Run and reached Centerville at the next break of day (Sunday). On Monday it went into the fight at Chantilly, where General Stevens was killed, and General Kearney, later in the day. They then marched to Alexandria to join in the Maryland campaign, under General McClellan. Sept. 1, 1862, Dr. Buchanan was promoted to the position of Captain of Co. D; was at South Mountain and Antietam, where he was shot in the right arm just below the shoulder, and was sent home to recover. November 1 he rejoined his command and took part in the battle of Fredericksburg, returning to Newport News, whence the regiment was ordered to Green River, Ky. From Green River embarked for Vicksburg, in 1863. After the surrender it took part in the pursuit of General Johnston, and the siege of Jackson. August 6 it sailed for the North, landed at Cairo and went thence by rail to Newport, Kentucky, to engage in the campaign at East Tennessee; crossed Cumberland Gap and was at the siege of Knoxville by Longstreet. The regiment re-enlisted in the veteran service and returned home on furlough in the spring of 1864. It proceeded to Annapolis after a few weeks, and in May Dr. Buchanan was honorably discharged for disability.

He returned to Grand Rapids and soon after commenced the study of dentistry in Watertown, N.Y., and in 1866 began the practice of his profession. Dr. B. is a member of the Baptist Church, with which he united in 1843; was married in March, 1854, to Sophia H., daughter of Rev. Abel Bingham, a missionary who spent 33 years among the Indians. They have three sons and one daughter- Claude S. (recently graduated from the University of Michigan), Bingham S., Russel R. and Angie S. Mary Angie died at three, and Clara Angie at less than one year of age. Dr. Buchanan lives at 218 Fulton street, which has been his residence since 1844.

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