James G. Spring was born in 1843 in Eaton County, Michigan.
In 1850 James Spring was living with Rix Robinson and his family in Ada, Kent County. (In 1860 there was a 14-year-old named Margaret Spring, born in Michigan, working as a domestic for the Robinson family.)
James stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer living in Eaton County or Grand Rapids when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company E on May 13, 1861. He was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and subsequently hospitalized through July. He eventually returned to duty and was reported missing in action on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. James was again hospitalized and, according to Andrew Kilpatrick, also of Company E, he returned from the hospital on October 8, 1863.
James returned to the Regiment by December 23 at Brandy Station, Virginia where he reenlisted, crediting Wyoming, Kent County. He went home on veterans furlough in January of 1864 but apparently failed to return to the Regiment by early February when he was listed as AWOL.
He soon rejoined the Regiment, however, and was wounded on May 6 at the Wilderness, Virginia. He was subsequently sent to the general hospital at Annapolis, Maryland, and was still absent in the hospital when he was transferred to Company E, 5th Michigan Infantry in June of 1864. James remained absent wounded, probably in Annapolis, and on October 12, 1864, he was admitted as a “convalescent” to Patterson Park hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He remained listed as absent sick or wounded from March of 1865 through April, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
It is unknown if James returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army.
In 1870 he applied for and received a pension (no. 141644).
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