Lewis William Van BlarcomBirth: 19 Jul 1835 · Sparta, Sussex, New Jersey
Death: 20 Feb 1904 · Newton, Sussex, New Jersey
Lewis, first son of William, was born in Sparta Township. His early education was obtained at the common school in Sparta under the private instruction of Edward A. Stiles, a well-known teacher of Wantage. Outside of school Lewis was mostly at home becoming familiar with the family trade-farm work. After reaching the proper age, he taught for 4 terms.
On August 17, 1871, Lewis married Mary Thompson, daughter of Dr. Alexander Thompson. They had 3 children: Katherine, born December 21, 1875, who married Judge Henry Thomas Kays of Newton; Andrew, born November 12, 1880, who studied law like his father and became a prominent lawyer in Newark, NJ; and Lewis, born April 29, 1883, who also studied law and became a member of the Sussex County Bar Association. During the first World War, Lewis was a captain of Company E, 4th Battalion, New Jersey State Militia.
In 1958 Lewis began to read law with M.R. Kimble of Hamburg and after 1 year entered the law office of John Linn of Newton.
On August 25, 1862, he enlisted as first lieutenant, Company D, Fifteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers (The Fighting Fifteenth). As a result of gallantry in action at Salem Church Virginia on May 1, 1863, Lewis was promoted to Captain of Company C after its commander's death during the same battle.
Captain Van Blarcom was involved in the following military engagements; Fredericksburg - December 1862, Second Fredericksburg at Salem Heights - May 1863, Gettysburg - July 1863, Rappahannock Station - November 1863, Spotsylvania - May 8, 1864.
Captain Van Blarcom was wounded in action on May 8, 1864, in the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House at Laurell Hill on the opening day of battle, and was subsequently taken prisoner. Lewis's leg was amputated by a Confederate surgeon at Libby Prison and he was paroled in December 1864.
He then "read" the law with a Newton, NJ attorney and was admitted to the bar in 1865. He then served as the Sussex County prosecutor and was a leading figure in Sussex County Republican politics as well as in Veterans Affairs. He was the featured speaker at the dedication of the Veterans Monument in Newton in 1891.
From Brigadier General John De Pue, December 2011:
"I attended the auction of the Judge Kays estate in 1965 (I think). Judge Kays' wife was Captain Van Blarcom's daughter. There, I purchased his leather campaign chest and his copy of the photo of the company grade officers taken during the unit's winter encampment at Brandy Station in April 1864. I learned from my father, that Mr. Thomas Inslee, a relative had the painting to which you refer in his possession as well as Captain Van Blarcom's artificial leg. I paid him a visit and saw the painting (but not the leg). He also had a very large copy of the regimental group picture, which Captain Van Blarcom had apparently annotated with the names and ranks of all the officers who were depicted in it. From it I was able to determine the identities of all the officers on my original copy. I do not know the whereabouts of his sword. I do recall, however, that in his description of his capture, that a Confederate officer took the sword he was then carrying and used it as his own.
I have a copy of a post-war letter of reference that Capt. Van Blarcom wrote for a Surgeon's orderly who was also a prisoner at Libby and cared for him. Capt. Van Blarcom credited him for saving his life, as a result of his ministrations. It may be that the Orderly was seeking an appointment in the Regular Army as an Asst. Surgeon."
Captain Lewis Van Blarcom died on February 20, 1904 and is buried in a large Van Blarcom plot in Newton cemetery.