James Wren led Company B of the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry on South Mountain and at Antietam in September 1862 and was promoted to Major of the regiment soon after. Here he is from Bosbyshell’s regimental history (1895):

Born into an iron working family in Scotland, he and his older brothers operated the Washington Iron Works in Pottsville, PA before the war. Here’s a page from Daddow and Bannan’s trade book Coal, Iron, and Oil (1866).

James was also pre-war Captain of a militia unit – the Washington Artillery – which was one of the First Defenders of Washington, DC in April 1861. Famously, his orderly, 65 year old former slave Nicholas Biddle (c. 1795-1876), was injured by a mob in Baltimore enroute to Washington on 18 April 1861, perhaps the first man wounded in the war.

Here’s Biddle in a photograph he sold in quantity to raise funds in 1864; this copy from the Library of Congress. See much more about him and that picture from Elizabeth Nosari, archivist at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.

Wren is probably best remembered by Civil War historians today for a diary he kept between February and December 1862. John Michael Priest and his South Hagerstown High School students published it as Captain James Wren’s Civil War Diary: From New Bern to Fredericksburg in 1990.

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