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PVT: JAMES ALFRED McCANDLESS of the Illinois Light Artillery. Civil War Veteran of Monterey County.

James A. McCandless was born in Butler County, Pennsylvania on March 11, 1827. During the Civil War he enlisted with a Illinois Light Artillery unit, the company and regiment number is unknown at this time, on January 1st, 1864 and was mustered out on June 30th 1865 in Springfield, Illinois. Before the war he married N.G. Lanterman in 1855. In 1869 they located themselves to the Salinas Valley. J.A. McCandless was a Judge for Salinas City for a number of years; James Alfred McCandless died in Salinas on February 23, 1876 and is buried in the IOOF Cemetery in Salinas, Ca.

The Following is a transcription from the “Salinas Daily Index” from issue March 3, 1876.

McCANDLESS, JAMES A (1827-1876) SALINAS IOOF Cemetery. 
(Salinas City Index March 3, 1876) 
In Memoriam

James Alfred McCandless, twice elected to the important office of Police Judge of Salinas City, died the evening of the 23d of February, 1876, after a short period of intense physical suffering. The deceased was born March 11th, 1827, in Butler county, Penn., and consequently wanted but a few days to have completed fifty nine years of active and useful life. The Poet Wordsworth has written these eloquent words: “The good die first,” and it is because we consider that our late City Judge’s demise was premature and because, in our opinion he has deserved well of his country, that we offer a few brief tributary words in recognition of his merit. The subject of this memorial notice commenced his career at Springfield, where he married Miss N.G. Lanterman, June 24, 1855. The father of his bride was one of the earliest and most esteemed citizens of that city. Judge McCandless carried on the wholesale grocery business until the years 1863, when he offered his services to his country, and served faithfully until the close of the war. Having contracted n the service a painful malady, he migrated to California in quest of a milder climate, and in the year 1869 located in Salinas Valley. The manner in which Judge McCandless fulfilled the onerous duties of Police Judge is patent to all, and the best commentary in the offering of his services is that he secured a triumphant majority of votes on his re-election, despite the claims of very meritorious opponents. Judge McCandless was the father of seven children, of which five survive to bewail the premature loss of a most worthy parent. an upright Judge is one of the rarest and worthiest of human creatures; we may most assuredly say that the deceased obtained and deserved the respect of all classes of men; and that his re-election was owing to the general conviction that he was the right man in the right place. He died n harness, having devoted his latest hours to the services of his country. He leaves behind him affectionate recollections, and while we condole much with his bereaved family, we congratulate them on the bright career of the departed.

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Compiled and Submitted: by Tim P. Reese, PCC  
Camp Abe Lincoln #10 based out of Santa Cruz, Ca  
Dept. of Calif. and Pacific  
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War  
Sep 2009