Major, Gen. McDowell's staff, June, 1861; Brig.. Gen. Vols., Aug. 9, 1861; died May 8, 1864, of a wound received at the battle of the Wilderness, May 6.
It has been well said that the people of the North were themselves the true heroes of the War for the Union. They were brave, generous, hopeful, and constant; while some, to whom they had a right to look for counsel and example, were cowardly, despondent, unstable, and selfish. An intelligent foreigner declared with great truth that General Wadsworth was ‘a noble incarnation of the American people.’ He certainly displayed throughout the same earnest, self-sacrificing, undismayed spirit which they collectively manifested. James Samuel Wadsworth was born at Geneseo, New York, October 30, 1807. He was the eldest son of James Wadsworth, who had emigrated from Durham, in Connecticut, and whose family was among the most ancient and respectable in that State. It is said that one of his ancestors was that sturdy Puritan, Joseph Wadsworth, the captain of train-bands who concealed in the famous oak at Hartford, in defiance of the authority of the tyrant Andros, the precious charter which Charles II. had given to the Colony; and who afterwards, when another intruding governor, Colonel Fletcher of New York, attempted to exercise illegal rule over the Connecticut