James H. Latham (1834-1895) was a farm laborer when he enlisted in the 2nd Connecticut Infantry in May, 1861, serving for three months alongside his younger brother William. When Connecticut Governor William E. Buckingham called for more volunteers in the summer of 1862, the brothers enlisted once again and James was commissioned as Captain of Company C, 21st Connecticut Infantry. He married Sarah E. Sisson just prior to joining the new regiment in September and suffered a terrible tragedy when she died just two months later.
Latham served with the 21st Connecticut throughout the war. In May, 1865, he was approved for leave from a transport in Fort Monroe only to return twelve hours later to find the transport gone. Latham immediately reported at a camp where the regiment’s sick were convalescing and took command. He rejoined the regiment when it returned to the area, but received a court martial for his absence on May 22, 1865. Sadly, he was dismissed from the Army on June 14, 1865, the day before the 21st Connecticut Infantry mustered out.
In the postwar years, Latham married Anna Burdick and had four children. He worked in the maritime industry as a ship carpenter and fisherman in Connecticut. He died on October 1, 1895 and was buried in Naonk Valley Cemetery in Connecticut.
In December 1899, Connecticut State Senator Joseph R. Hawley, a veteran of the Civil War, introduced a bill to remove charges against Connecticut soldiers who served during the war, including James H. Latham. The bill passed in May, 1900, revoking Latham’s dismissal and granting him an honorable discharge.