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James Martinus Schoonmaker, Sr.
[[Image:File:Schoonmaker 3640763915 7d57c10ebd o.jpg|center|200px|border]]James Martinus Schoonmaker circa 1913
Personal Information
Born: June 30, 1842(1842-06-30)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: October 11, 1927 (aged 85)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Colonel
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Battles: American Civil War
Awards: Medal of Honor
*Third Battle of Winchester
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

James Martinus Schoonmaker, Sr. (June 30, 1842 - October 11, 1927), was a Colonel in the Union Army in the American Civil War and a vice-president of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry at the Third Battle of Winchester on September 19, 1864.


He was born in Pittsburgh on June 30, 1842 to James Schoonmaker and Mark Clark Stockton. James was a student at the Western University of Pennsylvania when the American Civil War began and enlisted in a local company of recruits which was assigned to the 1st Maryland Cavalry. During the next thirteen months, he proved himself repeatedly in battle and in command of his troops.[1]

Schoonmaker rose in the ranks until he commanded a cavalry brigade in the Army of the Shenandoah under the commander of Phillip Sheridan. At the Third Battle of Winchester, September 19, 1864, Schoonmaker led his troops in a dismounted charge against Confederate artillery in Fort Alabama (Star Fort). It was for this action he received the Medal of Honor on May 19, 1899. The Medal of Honor citation reads: "During the Battle of Star Fort, Virginia, at a critical period, gallantly led a cavalry charge against the left of the enemy's line of battle, drove the enemy out of his works, and captured many prisoners."[2]

He was on the board of directors at Mellon Bank. He married Rachel Cook and had three children: Gretchen Schoonmaker, William Schoonmaker, and James Martinus Schoonmaker, Jr.[3] He died on October 11, 1927 in Pittsburgh.[4] He is buried in Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh.

See also[]


  1. Frank C. Harper (1896). Pittsburgh of Today.;cc=pitttext;q1=schoonmaker;rgn=full%20text;idno=05agf0269m;didno=05agf0269m;view=image;seq=0438. 
  2. "Civil War (M-Z); Schoonmaker, James M. entry". Medal of Honor recipients. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2010. 
  3. Harrington Emerson. Col. J.M. Schoonmaker and the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad. 
  4. "Col. J.M. Schoonmaker. Chairman of Board of Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Road Dies.". New York Times. October 12, 1927. Retrieved 2009-07-24. "Colonel James M. Schoonmaker, Chairman of the Board of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, died tonight. He was 86 years old.Colonel Schoonmaker ..." 

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