James Reynolds was born on April 3, 1840, in New York, the son of John (b. 1804) and Harriet (Lowe, b. 1809).
Both New York natives, John and Harriett were probably married in New York and settled in Michigan sometime after 1844. By 1860 James was living with his family in North Shade, Gratiot County, where his father worked as a laborer.
He was married to Elizabeth (David, 1841-1907).
James was 21 years old and possibly living in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He allegedly deserted as of July 21, 1861, at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia. (He had probably just gotten separated from his unit during the federal retreat from Bull Run.) In any case, he was eventually returned to the Regiment and was reported absent sick in the hospital from October of 1862 through January of 1863.
James apparently returned to duty and was wounded at Mine Run, Virginia, on November 27, 1863. He was subsequently hospitalized at Armory Square hospital, Washington, DC, probably through April of 1864, and rejoined the Regiment sometime before May 5 when he was shot in the left side of the head at the Wilderness, Virginia. He was again hospitalized in Armory Square hospital on May 25 and admitted on May 28 to Mt. Pleasant hospital, in Washington, DC, and mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit. (In May of 1864 his wife Elizabeth was reported to be living in Hubbardton, Ionia County.)
After his discharge James returned to western Michigan. (His parents were still living in North Shade, Gratiot County in 1870.) He worked for many years as a laborer in Grand Rapids.
James married his second wife, a woman named Phebe, and they had at least one child, a daughter.
James was living at 82 Conkling Avenue when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 6212) on February 16, 1912.
He was a Protestant. In 1885 he applied for and received pension no. 310,423, drawing $15.00 in 1912.
James died of aortic heart disease at the Home at 10:20 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 1914, and the funeral service was held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon March 19, at the Home chapel, his widow and a daughter attending.
He was buried in the Home cemetery: section 7 row 1 grave 5. (there is one James Reynolds who reportedly served in Company D, Third Michigan infantry, who was reburied in Carson City cemetery in Montcalm County on May 8, 1886.)
In October of 1916 his widow applied for a pension (no. 1080588).