Union Army Captain James W Lingenfelter, an attorney from Jacksonville, Oregon, becomes the first Oregonian to die in the Civil War on September 21, 1861. The Oregon Civil War 150th Commission held a wreath-laying and taps ceremony today to honor Captain Lingenfelter at the Civil War memorial in Portland's Lone Fir Cemetery.
Lingenfelter was only 24 when he followed Oregon Senator Edward Dickinson Baker onto the Civil War battlefield over 150 years ago. Born in 1836 in Fonda, Montgomery County, in the state of New York; Lingenfelter graduated with a degree in law from New York University and moved across the country to start a law practice in Jacksonville, Oregon. After the fall of Ft Sumter, he enlisted in the army on May 21, 1861 at the rank of Captain in the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry (re-designated from Oregon's US Senator Edward D. Baker's 1st California Regiment).
Four months later, while serving in the defense of Washington, D.C., Captain Lingenfelter was killed by a Confederate sniper while on picket duty at Fortress Monroe in Virginia. A promising attorney and a well-respected political orator in Oregon; Lingenfelter left behind his mother, Martha Lingenfelter.