James Milton Pipes was born in Dotysburg, Greene Co., Pennsylvania on November 10, 1840. Dotysburg was later incorporated into the town of Morrisville and so some records indicate both locations as being the home of James Pipes and his family. His father was Washington Pipes, a son of John Pipes and Eleanor Slater. John Pipes being a son of Revolutionary War soldier Captain John Pipes Jr. and his first wife Jemima Harriman.
James M. Pipes enlisted in the Civil War in the town of Jacksonville, Pa. On August 18th, 1862. He was mustered in during the first days of September in Pittsburgh and became a member of Company “A” of the 140th Infantry Regiment Volunteers. He received a bounty of $25.00 and a bonus of $2.00
His description at the time of his enlistment follows:
5′ 10″ tall
Age 21 Yrs.
James had been promoted or elected to the position of 1st Sergeant of Company “A” of the 140th sometime shortly after his enlistment, and on July 30th of 1863 while in the hospital, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. Later, while his unit was in Petersburg, Virginia in June of 1864 he was again promoted, this time to Captain, after the death of the acting Captain of his unit.
James was wounded again on August 25th, 1864 while in action near Reams Station, Virginia. While scouting the enemy flank and again while coming to the aid of a comrade, he took a Musket ball in the upper right arm. His right arm was amputated at the shoulder at Emory Hospital in Washington, D.C. sometime between the original wound in August, and November of 1864, when he was reported still in the hospital. James submitted a letter of resignation in February of 1865 because of his disability and his resignation was accepted on February 17th of 1865. His pension papers show that he was fitted with an artificial arm in December of 1869.
The Medal Of Honor
His medal of Honor was awarded on March 22nd of 1898 for most distinguished gallantry in action both at Gettysburg and at Reams station, Virginia. The actual citation reads as follows:
Rank and organization: Captain, Company A, 140th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Gettysburg, Pa., 2 July 1863; At Reams Station, Va., 25 August 1864. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Green County, Pa., Date of issue: 5 April 1898. Citation: While a sergeant and retiring with his company before the rapid advance of the enemy at Gettysburg, he and a companion stopped and carried to a place of safety a wounded and helpless comrade; in this act both he and his companion were severely wounded. A year later, at Reams Station, Va., while commanding a skirmish line, voluntarily assisted in checking a flank movement of the enemy, and while so doing was severely wounded, suffering the loss of an arm.
James was awarded an additional pension in May of 1916 because of a special act of Congress which created the Army and Navy Medal of Honor Role and the pension funds to support it.1
Letters of James Milton Pipes: