Oscar A. Janes - Civil War Veteran
Soon after O.A. Janes enrolled at Hillsdale College in 1863 he withdrew to enlist in the 4th Michigan Volunteer Infantry.
Less than three months after his enlistment, the regiment was involved in one of the most horrific battles of the war, which later became known as the Battle of the Wilderness. During this series of battles, Hillsdale attorney George Lumbard (aka Lombard), “highly respected and loved by his command,” was mortally wounded and died. Lumbard had assumed command of the regiment after Colonel Jefferds was killed at Gettysburg by a rebel bayonet.
The next month, during the Siege of Petersburg, O.A. was wounded at the taking of the Welden Railroad, resulting in the amputation of his left arm. The following November he was discharged, returning to Hillsdale to complete his studies at the college.
O.A. then studied law with fellow veteran Christopher Dickerson. After being admitted to the Bar of Hillsdale County, he served as City Attorney, Circuit Court commissioner and eventually Probate Judge.
Immersing himself in politics, Janes became State Senator, creating the bill that made it a law for schools to display the American flag. O.A. helped found the Dickerson Post of the G.A.R. and was active in advocating federal pensions for veterans. His highest public office was as pension agent in Detroit under President William McKinley, another veteran of the Civil War.
Carol A. Lackey