Biography - James Simpson

JAMES A. SIMPSON, tonsorial artist, Vienna, devoted the opening years of his manhood to the service of his country on the battlefields of the South during the war, and his courage and fidelity to the cause for which he fought are worthy of all honor. He is a native of Johnson County, born in Simpson Township July 12, 1841, and a son of William Simpson. An account of the Simpson family is embodied in the sketches of J. B. Kuykendall and F. M. Simpson.
When our subject was five weeks old he was left motherless, and his sister, Eliza Perkins, reared him, giving him a mother's care. He was brought up on a farm, and was educated in the local schools in his native county. He was engaged in agricultural pursuits when the rebellion broke out, and in the fall of that year he joined the brave boys in blue, becoming a member of Company D, in the famous regiment commanded by Col. John A. Logan, the Thirty-first Illinois Infantry. He took an active part in its campaigns until he was severely wounded in the right shoulder by a gunshot at the battle of Ft. Donelson, August 15, 1862. This disabled him for a time, and he was honorably discharged, but he was still unwavering in his devotion to the Old Flag, and he re-entered the army in December, 1863, enlisting in Company G, Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry. His good soldiership was well tested in the various skirmishes and engagements of his regiment with the enemy, and he accompanied it on the Stoneman raid, in Georgia. In an encounter with the rebels his captain was wounded, and Mr. Simpson was called to his assistance, and while helping him was captured. That was on the 3d of August, and on the 6th he was ushered into that dreadful prison stockade at Andersonville. He was confined there until the following October, and was then transferred to the Florence Prison, in South Carolina, where he remained until the close of the war. After being liberated from his terrible confinement, he was sent to Annapolis, Md., and thence to Benton Barracks, at St. Louis. There he was given leave of absence for twenty days, and at the expiration of that time returned to St. Louis, whence he was sent to Springfield, and at the Capitol City he received his discharge, in May, 1865.
A war-worn veteran, though still young in years, our subject returned to Vienna, and for two years was unable to do any labor. From that time he was variously employed until 1879, when he established himself in his present business, at which he is doing well, having a well-appointed shop and many patrons. He is a member of Vienna Post No. 221, G. A. R. In politics, he is a consistent Republican, voting as he fought.
Mr. Simpson was happily married in 1869 to Miss Lulu Arrison, and they are blessed with seven children: William J., Polk, Thomas, Fred, Fannie, Ruthie and George W.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 521-522.

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