James Forsyth moved across the River Tweed from his birthplace, Coldstream, Scotland, to Berwick-on-Tweed in England with his family as a small child in about 1842, and was a student there into the 1850s.

In 1861, by then a painter in Providence, RI, he enlisted in the 12th Massachusetts Infantry in Boston. He received a serious wound to his hand at Antietam and spent the next 9 months in Army hospitals and another year in the Veteran Reserve Corps before going home.

He was a painter to age 47, when he was killed in a railroad accident near his home in Lynn, Massachusetts, leaving a widow Isabella and 12 year old daughter Helen Eveline, the lone survivor of their 5 children.

The photograph here of part of the “old bridge” (built 1611-1634) into Berwick is from a promotional brochure [PDF] produced by English Heritage.

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