James H. Misner was born on September 30, 1839, in Schuyler County, New York, the son of Abraham.
Abraham may have been living in Middletown, Delaware County in 1820.
By 1850 James was living with his father in Catherine, Chemung County, New York; also living with them was Hannah Whipple (b. 1818) and James Whipple (infant). James left New York, probably with his family, eventually settling in Michigan. By 1860 he was working as a farmer and living with Frederick Misner (b. 1835 in New York) and his wife and young son in Leonard, Mecosta County.
He stood 5’7” with dark hair and a dark complexion, and was 21 years old and probably still living in Mecosta County when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861, along with Robert Misner, who had also moved to Mecosta County.
James was admitted to the Union Hotel in Georgetown, DC, on July 31, 1861, suffering from debilitas and was returned to duty on August 27. He was serving with the ambulance corps from October of 1862 through February of 1863, in March he was with the 3rd Brigade wagon train, and with the ambulance corps from April through July, He was taken ill on September 18, 1863, reportedly suffering from gonorrhea, and returned to duty on September 21.
James was again sick at the regimental hospital on November 17 with an incised wound and returned to duty on December 7. James reenlisted as a Musician on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Walker, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment (but still on detached service) on or about the first of February.
James was reported with the ambulance corps from March of 1864 through May, and, although he was listed as transferred to Company I, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, in fact he remained detached with the ambulance corps through May of 1865. He was mustered out of service on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
After the war James eventually returned to western Michigan.
He married Michigan native Mary Ann (1841-1908) on January 5, 1866, in Big Rapids, Mecosta County; they had at least two children: Orval (1868-1946) and Fred (b. 1872).
By 1870 he was working as a lumberman and living with his wife (listed as Ann) and one son in Dayton, Newaygo County. He was living in Newaygo County by 1877, and by 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and two sons in Dayton, Newaygo County. He was living in Fremont, Newaygo County in 1890, in Dayton, Newaygo County 1894, and in Fremont in 1900 with his wife and son Guy. In 1910 James was a widower living in Lincoln, Newaygo County; his son Fred was living with him. By 1915 he was living in Big Prairie, Newaygo County.
He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, and of Grand Army of the Republic Dobson Post No. 182 in Fremont. In 1879 he applied for and received a pension (no. 225,596), drawing $30.00 per month by 1914 and $72.00 per month by 1923.
James was eventually admitted to the Michigan Soldier’s Home in Grand Rapids, and by 1921 he was nearly totally blind.
James was a widower when he died of arteriosclerosis at the Home on December 15, 1924, , and was buried in Lincoln cemetery, Newaygo County.