b. 21/11/1833 New Jersey. d. 21/10/1916 Portland, Oregon.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 20/08/1877 Camas Meadows, Idaho.
James Jackson was born in New Jersey on November 21, 1833. Sometime after graduating from Philadelphia High School, he went west to the frontier and eventually settled in Iowa. At the beginning of the Civil War, Jackson actively recruited volunteers for the 12th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He attained this position from Colonel William B. Allison, then an aide to Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood, who would go on to have a successful political career as a Congressman in Washington, DC. In 1862, he left Dubuque with the 12th Infantry to join the Army of the Potomac and saw action at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and Spotsylvania. Jackson was cited for "gallant service" in several major engagements throughout the war and twice brevetted at the Battle of North Anna and the Second Battle of the Weldon Railroad in August 1864.
Jackson joined the Regular Army after the war's end. In 1867, he was assigned to frontier duty in Nebraska, where he protected Union Pacific Railway workers during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Jackson continued to serve on the frontier throughout the 1870s and took part in campaigns against the Plains Indians. Under the overall command of General Oliver Otis Howard, his unit participated in the pursuit of Chief Joseph and the Nez Percé who attempted to escape to Canada and joined Howard near the end of the Battle of the Clearwater on July 10, 1877. A month later, Jackson's unit encountered Chief Joseph's warriors at Camas Meadows in the Idaho Territory on August 20, 1877.
After Camas Meadow, Jackson commanded several frontier posts in the Pacific Northwest, including Fort Klamath and Fort Walla Walla, as well as a recruiter for the U.S. Army in New York City, and later for the Oregon National Guard. He was also a professor of military science and tactics at Bishop Scott Academy in Portland, Oregon. Jackson retired from active service on November 21, 1897, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Dismounted from his horse in the face of a heavy fire from pursuing Indians, and with the assistance of 1 or 2 of the men of his command secured to a place of safety the body of his trumpeter, who had been shot and killed.
BURIAL LOCATION: RIVER VIEW CEMETERY, PORTLAND, OREGON.
Section 15, Lot 174, Grave 4
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