James Henry Van Alen
James Henry Van Alen was born in 1819, in Kinderhook, New York, to an affluent merchant. His education was through private tutors and he never devoted himself to business besides managing his wealth. At the beginning of the Civil War, Van Alen recruited and equipped the 3rd New York Cavalry. He became the unit's colonel on August 28, 1861, when the unit was stationed in defending Washington, D.C. He was promoted to brigadier general on April 15, 1862. During the Battle of Chancellorsville, Van Alen served as the aide-de-camp of General Joseph Hooker. Later he was assigned to Aquia Creek, Virginia, however he resigned in July 14, 1863. After the war, he traveled frequently. On a voyage returning from England with three grandchildren, Van Alen either jumped or fell off the RMS Umbria on July 22, 1886; his body was not recovered.