2021 Voice From The Stone Honoree

2021 Veteran Honoree

Lieutenant Colonel James A. Curry


            James A. Curry was born near Belfast, Ireland on January 29, 1752.  He came to America with is parents and four other siblings in 1762.  An outbreak of disease on the ship took the lives of his brothers and sisters.  He and his parents settled in Rockingham County, Virginia.  As he grew up, James worked on the family farm.

            In his early 20’s, James became a member of the Virginia Militia.  In 1774, the governor of Virginia called up the militia and sent them into the western part of the state to stop Indian raids on the local communities.  During a battle between the militia and Indians at Point Pleasant (now in West Virginia) on the Kanawa River, James was severely wounded.  He recovered just as the American Revolution broke out.

            James enlisted in the Virginia Line, as the infantry regiments were called at that time.  He quickly rose in rank, and was soon commissioned as a Lieutenant.  He eventually rose to the rank of Captain in the Virginia Line of the Continental/U.S. Army.  Because of his education, he was moved to staff duty.

            Most of his duty was with General Washington and the main Continental Army, where he saw action in the major battles of the war, including Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine Creek, Germantown and Monmouth Courthouse.  He was also present at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-78, when Major General (Baron) Friedrich von Steuben helped create a real American Army.

            In 1780, after some duty in Virginia as a recruiting officer, he joined the Virginia troops headed to South Carolina to reinforce General Benjamin Lincoln around Charleston.  Unfortunately, the American Army in South Carolina was captured in May of 1780, and Captain Curry was one of the prisoners of war.  He was exchanged for a British officer, and continued serving with Gen. Washington, being present at the capture of Yorktown in late 1781.  By the end of the war he was a brevet Major.

            After the war he returned to Virginia and married, and in 1798, he moved his family to the Ohio territory.  His first residences were in Ross and Highland counties.  In 1811, he moved his family again, to a part of Delaware county that would eventually become a section of Union County.  While in Highland County, he served two terms as a state legislator, and eventually served two terms from the new Union County also.  It was through his efforts that Union County came to be established, with the official date being April 1, 1820.

            While in Highland County, he became Lieutenant Colonel James Curry, serving as the regimental commander of the 2nd Ohio Regiment, and also as an inspector of state troops.  He retired from service prior to the War of 1812.  His oldest son, also called James A. Curry served during that war, both in the infantry and cavalry.

            During the Civil War, Lt. Col. Curry’s sons David and William W., and his grandson’s James, James A., Otway and William L. Curry all served with the Union Army.  Otway was a captain with Company C, 121st Ohio Infantry; and William L. was a captain with Company K, 1st Ohio Cavalry.  His grandson James A. died during the war while in the service.

            Lt. Col. Curry died in Jerome Township, Union County on February 15, 1855, and never saw how his service in the War for Independence led to a tradition of military service by his grandchildren.  He no doubt would have been proud of them.

Veteran First NameJames
Veteran Last NameCurry
Date of Birth01/29/1752
Highest RankColonel
Unit(s)Virginia Line
Revolutionary WarYes
Township of residence entering serviceJerome
CemeteryJerome Twp: Curry
Date of Death07/05/1834
Source 1Beers, Record 428 and Chapter IV, Jerome Township, Biographical Sketches (291); Ohio Vital Records; D.A.R., p.98; Union County Engineer survey records
Notes 1father to Capt. James A. Curry, War of 1812; grandfather to Adison, James, and William Curry, Civil War; served in Ohio State Legislature, 1813-1820; served as Associate Judge, 1822-1828
Notes 2given military warrant for 1,000 acres in Jerome Township in 1807 (Survey 1440) settled there in 1811
Record AuthenticatedYes