from The Ladd Genealogy,
James enlisted, Oct 18, 1861, from Windsor, and Oct 29 entered Capt M J Smith's camp of instructions at Middlefield. He left Middlefield Dec 4 1861, passed medical examination at Worcester Dec 5 and joined the 15th Mass Regiment at Poolsville, MD, Dec 8 1861, and was assigned to Co I.
He participated in every skirmish and battle in which that regiment was engaged throughout the entire memorable Peninsula campaign, and at the second battle of Bull Run, South Mountain, and Antietam. He was wounded at Antietam, Sept 17, 1862, by a minni ball, and on Sept 19 suffered amputation of the right arm near the shoulder.
He was discharged from the service Jan 13, 1863, at Antietam Hospital, MD. He reentered the service from South Adams, with appointment as 2d Lt from the War Department, April 28, 1863; refused to enter the Invalid Corps, and was assigned to the 1st N C C Troops, afterwards designated the 35th U S C Troops, organized at Newbern, NC, and mustered into service June 30, 1863.
He engaged with the besieging forces at Charleston Harbor, SC in 1863, having charge of alternating details of troops in the erection of parallel fortifications facing the enemy's batteries on Morris Island, and in the construction of the famous "Swamp Angelr the fire of the enemy, for the bombardment of the city of Charleston.
He was promoted to 1st Lt Jan 12, 1864. In Feb 1864, his regiment joined the Federal forces at Jacksonville FL and he participated in the battle of Olustee FL, Feb 20, 1864, after a desperate and bloody engagement, the steamer being captured and hastily burned by the enemy, with the dead and many wounded on board.
He was confined in rebel prisons at Macon and Savannah, GA and Charleston and Columbia SC, being under fire of Federal forces from the "Swamp Angel" Sept 13 to Oct 5, in the jail yard at Charleston.
He made his escape from rebel prison at Columbia, SC Nov 4 1864 and was recaptured on Nov 9 having been run down by hounds. He was exchanged from the rebel steamer "Fly by Night" in harbor Dec 10, 1864, and taken to Annapolis, MD.
After a leave of absence, he was assigned to special duty by the War Dept at Annapolis, mustering paroled prisoners of war for commutations of rations. He rejoined his regiment at Branchville, SC in June 1865, and was detailed as acting assistant quartermaster and assistant commissary of subsistence until mustered from the service June 1 1866. He was promoted to captain March 1, 1866.