7th INDIANA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: September, 1861 Indianapolis, IN
Mustered In: 9/13/1861 Indianapolis, IN
Mustered Out: 9/20/1864
The 7th Indiana began its existence in April, 1861 as a three month infantry regiment. In August, 1861 that unit was mustered out of service and the 7th was re-organized as a three year regiment. The three year 7th’s tour of duty was in the eastern theater of the American Civil War (ACW).
The three year 7th left the state at once for western Virginia. There, it joined the command of Union Gen. Reynolds at Cheat Mountain. It was engaged in the battle of Grier Brier River (10/3/1861), and then moved into camp near Green Spring run.
During the Virginia Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1862 the 7th saw action at Winchester Heights (5/25), Port Republic (6/9) and Front Royal (5/23). That August it fought at Cedar Mountain (8/9) and Second Bull Run (8/28 - 30). In Maryland it saw action in the battle of Antietam (9/17). Back in Virginia, it ended the year at Fredericksburg (12/11 - 15).
1863 found the 7th engaged at Chancellorsville, VA (4/30 - 5/6) and at Gettysburg, PA (7/1 - 3). It lost heavily in both battles. In November it concluded the combat year with Mine Run campaign in Virginia (11/27 - 12/2).
In the spring of 1864 the 7th joined with the Army of The Potomac as it marched southward into Virginia. It was engaged with the enemy at The Wilderness (5/5 - 7), Spotsylvania (5/8 - 21), the North Anna River (5/23 - 26), and Cold Harbor (5/31 - 6/12). Again, during this period regimental losses were heavy.
On 6/17/1864 the regiment participated in the first Petersburg assault. The regiment then remained on siege duty until it was again engaged at the Weldon Railroad.
By late 1864 the ranks of the 7th were badly depleted. That resulted in the regiment being consolidated (9/20) with the 19th Indiana. This was the end of the 7th.
Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 8; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 2; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 108; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.:111.
Residence: Marion County, IN Age: 24.11 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 9/13/1861 Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 9/13/1861
Mustered Out: 9/20/1864
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Discharge: Pvt.
NOTE: The birth - to - death biographical profile of James Burcham was completed in June, 2022 near the end of the Covid-19 medical pandemic. It contains less depth of detail than many other biographies within this website because military service, pension and other veteran-related files housed in Washington, D.C.'s National Archives were not available. At a later time those documents may be obtained and the data contained therein added to the narrative which follows.
James Bucrham was born on 10/13/1836. His place of birth was within Hendricks County, Indiana.
Parents of James were William McCarty Burcham (b. 2/10/1807 Surry, NC - d. 2/21/1879 Hendricks County, IN) and Mary Elizabeth (nee Owens b. 7/16/1805 TN - d. 12/21/1869 Hendricks County, IN) Burcham.
In the 1850 U.S. Census William Burcham noted his occupation as "farm hand." Not known is whether he worked on his own or someone else's farm.
As best as can be determined William and Mary produced at least nine children. Of the nine, James was fourth. Older than he were John Burcham (b. 1831), Reuben Burcham (b. 1833) and Margaret Burcham (b. 1834). Younger siblings were Francis Burcham (b. 1839), Henry Burcham (b. 1844), Robert Burcham (b. 1845), Levi Burcham (b. 1846) and Mary Burcham (b. 1849).
James married on 9/13/1857 in Danville Hendricks County, IN. His bride was Lydia A. Faucett. Lydia had been born in Indiana sometime during 1837.
There is no documentation regarding how, when and where James and Lydia had met. However, it can be surmised that since both were Indiana-born, they may have known one another since childhood.
At the dawn of the twentieth century Lydia would tell census takers that she had birthed ten children of which five were then living. Available documents, however, disclose eleven names: Mary Alice Burcham (b. 7/3/1858 Danville Hendricks County, IN), Joseph "Joe" Franklin Burcham (b. 9/18/1860 Hendricks County, IN), Charlotte Burcham (11/21/1860 Hendricks County, IN - d. 10/17/1861 Hendricks County, IN), Carrie Ellen Burcham (b. 6/24/1865 Hendricks County, IN), Annie M. Burcham (b. 8/29/1867 Hickman Lancaster County, NB - d. 8/12/1868 NB), Janetta Burcham (b. 11/29/1869 Lancaster County, NB), Rebecca E. Burcham (b. 12/20/1871 Lancaster County, NB), Evie J. Burcham (b. 1873 Lancaster County, NB - d. 5/4/1874 Lancaster County, NB), Margaret "Maggie" Clarissa Burcham (b. 7/15/1877 Lancaster County, NB), Elmer Burcham (b. 1879 Lancaster County, NB) and James Ellsworth Burcham (b. 1/13/1884 NB).
Noting birth states of the Burcham children, after marrying James and Lydia settled in Hendricks County, IN. Their first child, Mary, was birthed in or near that county's community of Danville. Exactly where son, Joseph, was born is not known, but the U.S. Census for 1860 found the family in Washington Hendricks County. In 1860 James noted his occupation as "carpenter."
On 9/13/1861 James enlisted in the U.S. Army. His unit was the 7th Indiana Infantry. Without accessing his military service records all that can be said about Private Burcham's period of enlistment is that he survived and returned to his home and family.
The home and family James returned to in 1864 was in Indiana. They did not remain there long, however. Daughter Carrie was birthed on 6/24/1865 in Hendricks County, but her next youngest sister, Annie, was birthed on 8/29/1867 in Lancaster County, NB. What had drawn the Burchams to Nebraska and when, exactly, they arrived in Lancaster County, are unknowns.
1870. The Lancaster County, NB community address for the Burchams was Lincoln. There, James was once again, farming.
Censuses for 1880 and '85 found the family still in Lancaster County, NB but then in or near the community of South Pass. While in South Pass James, again, listed his occupation as carpenter.
1900. By the dawn of the twentieth century the Burcham's living location had changed dramatically. No longer was the family in Nebraska. They were now in Seattle King County, WA.
Exactly when the Burchams had arrived here is not specifically known, but it appears to have been sometime during 1899. Another unknown is what drew them to the Puget Sound region of the far Pacific Northwest. We can surmise, however, that the lure may have been the Great Seattle Fire of '89 which had destroyed most of the city. Carpenters were greatly needed!! The Burchams would live out their years in Seattle.
Lydia died on 2/4/1911. Details of her death are not available. She was/is buried in Seattle's Lake View Cemetery located near the north end of that city's Capitol Hill. James did not have many years left in him, either.
On 10/4/1899 while in Nebraska James had applied for and been granted a U.S. Government disability pension. The basis for the granting was rheumatism and cataract (infection) the origins of which traced back his days of Civil War soldiering.
On 5/21/1913 James' family began the paperwork to have the old soldier admitted to the Washington Veterans Home located in Retsil, Kitsap County, WA. At that time we catch a glimpse of James Burcham the physical being. At the age of 76.7 years he was described as being five feet nine inches in height and having a dark complexion.
It appears by the time admittance papers to the Veterans' Home were filed, James' only real asset was his thirty dollars per month pension stipend. Thus, it seems he likely did not own the 819 East 72nd St. Seattle home in which he had been living.
In all, the old soldier's life situation at the time he entered the soldiers' home was not good. He was diagnosed as suffering from "paralysis and valvular heart disease." The superintendent of the home commented as such on the application form: “I recommend the admission, as this old fellow is in bad shape. He is now in our Hospital. His friend, or people, shipped him over here and he is too feeble to send back and I would not know where to send him or what to do with him. He is in a very bad condition." Former Private James Burcham was admitted to the Home on 5/28/1913.
James Burcham died on 10/13/1913. He was/is buried in the Grand Army Of The Republic (G.A.R.) Cemetery located at the north end of Seattle's Capitol Hill.
* Surname appears as Burchum in American Civil War Research Database.
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