Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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VAN BUREN, James Lyman, soldier, born in Dunkirk, New York, 21 June, 1837; died in New York city, 13 April, 1866. He was graduated at the New York free academy in 1856, studied law, and travelled in Europe, returning shortly before the beginning of the civil war. He entered the National army as a lieutenant of New York volunteers, was detailed to learn the signal code, and acted as signal officer on General John G. Foster's staff at Roanoke island and at New Berne. After the taking of New Berne he served as judge-advocate of the department on the staff of General Ambrose E. Burnside, and subsequently as military secretary to Governor Edward Stanly. He rejoined General Burnside after the battle of Antietam, and was with him while he commanded the Army of the Potomac, and afterward in the East Tennessee campaign. In 1864 he served with credit, in General Grant's campaign against Richmond, receiving the brevet of lieutenant-colonel for his bravery, and subsequently that of colonel for his services in the Knoxville campaign. In the assault on the works at Petersburg he gained the brevet rank of brigadier-general.
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