Civil War & Reconstruction Civil War First Union Occupation Lt. James Nelson Decker

Lt. James Nelson Decker

Lt. James Nelson Decker, 2nd NY Cavalry, killed-in-action at Falmouth. Lieutenant James Nelson Decker, Company D, 2nd New York (Harris Light) Cavalry, was a 22 year-old from Orange County, NY.  In the skirmish at Falmouth he “fell at the head of his men, having reached the center of the rebel camp [sic].”  His men were inspired by his bold leadership and chastened by his rapid death by a pistol shot from a mounted 9th Virginia Cavalry officer. A comrade wrote: “Our first fallen! Our bravest. He shall ever be remembered in the roll-call of the brave-hearted and the true.” His mother (a widow) responding to his captain’s sympathy letter wrote:

“Had I another son to fill his place, and assist in preserving our glorious Union, I would give him to you with a mother’s blessing.”

Notice J. Nelson Decker’s name on recruit poster