That’s Lieutenant Colonel James MacThompson of the 107th Pennsylvania Infantry in the back row, hand in his jacket. The photograph is of a group of officers – General Abner Doubleday, right-center front – of the Philadelphia Courts-Martial Commission in February 1865. It was was sold by Heritage Auctions in 2009.

In September 1862 he was the Captain of Company D but led the regiment at Turner’s Gap on South Mountain and at Antietam in the absence of all the more senior officers. He was promoted to Major in October and Lieutenant Colonel in January 1863, and again commanded the regiment in action, at Gettysburg in July 1863. He was wounded there but returned to duty, was honored by brevets to Colonel and Brigadier General for gallantry at Gettysburg and for his war service, and mustered out in July 1865.

His name is a puzzle. He signed his official Report after Antietam as James MacThomson, and that’s generally how he appears in military records – suggesting he used that name himself. I’ve chosen that option on AotW. He was probably born James McLean Thomson, and it’s likely that was his legal name.

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