James was a private in the 37th Regiment Indiana Infantry Company H. He enlisted on September 18, 1861 at Lawrenceburg, Dearborn County, Indiana. On January 26, 1864 he reenlisted as a veteran volunteer at Chattanooga, Tennessee. James was killed in action at Dallas, Paulding County, Georgia on May 27, 1864. The description of his death was that he was shot twice, once in the eye and once in the neck at Battle of Pumpkin Vine (Battle of Pickett’s Mill) near Dallas, Georgia. He was first buried at New Hope Church and later reinterred at Marietta National Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia.