James Henry Van Alen (1819-1886)
Brigadier-General James H. Van Alen, of the Union Cavalry
He was the son of a wealthy merchant whose family were a notable one in Kinderhook, New York, with connections to President Martin Van Buren (1782-1862). He was educated by private tutors and travelled in Europe. His wealth was such that he managed it, but it was not necessary for him to play an active role in the business of it. On the outbreak of Civil War, he raised and equipped the 3rd New York Cavalry Regiment. He served as their Colonel until his promotion in 1863 to Brigadier-General. After the war, he gave a famous speech to the Republican Reform Club detailing what he observed in the Presidential Elections of 1876, when Democrats used fraud and intimidation over blacks to gain votes in Louisiana. He married and left one son.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 15/03/2019 and last updated on 12/11/2019.