In 2013 the County of Union commemorated both Julian A. Scott and James Madison Drake along with other Union County residents on a memorial stone located outside the Union County Courthouse. Union County also donated Scott's and Drake's biography boards to the Historical Society of Plainfield. The boards texts follow below.
JULIAN A. SCOTT
February 14, 1846 - July 4, 1901
Drummer, Company E, 3rd Vermont Infantry United States Army
Medal of Honor issued February 1865 for actions at the Battle of Lee's Mills, Virginia
On June 1, 1861, at age 15, Julian Scott lied about his age and enlisted in the 3rd Vermont Infantry, Company E. Being physically too small to be a soldier, he became a drummer. Soon after enlisting, he experienced a bloody battle in what was the Union's first major offensive to capture Richmond, Virginia, capital of the Confederacy. The attack failed and on April 16, 1862, during the Battle of Lee's Mills, Union forces were ordered to withdraw. Under enemy fire, Julian Scott repeatedly crossed a bloody stream to rescue at least nine wounded soldiers. In February of 1865, Julian Scott received the Medal of Honor for his heroism in battle. He was 16 years old.
At the end of the Civil War, Scott enrolled in the National Academy of Design in New York City, and continued to study art until 1868 under Emmanue lLeutze, a German-American artist. Leutze is known for his 1851 painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware". This painting depicts General Washington's attack on the Hessians at Trenton, New Jersey, December 25, 1776. This painting, featured on New Jersey's state quarter, hangs today in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Drawing on his experiences during the war, and, like Leutze, painting in great detail, Julian Scott became one of the pre-eminent Civil War artist of the 19th century. Many of his works realistically depict the life of the Civil War soldier while others are large battle scenes. Scotts's 1872 master work, "The Battle of Cedar Creek", is located in the Vermont State House illustrating the contributions of his home state in the Civil War. Scotts's study of this painting may be viewed locally at the Drake House Museum in Plainfield, New Jersey, headquarters of Historical Society of Plainfied. One of Scott's most famous works, also at the Drake House Museu, is "The Death of General Sedgwick". It depicts the momemt Union General John Sedgwick was killed by a sharp shooter in May 1864. This painting is often reproduced in modern day Civil War books. Scott is also known for his paintings of Native American Indians done during his participation in the nation's eleventh census.
In 1870, Scott married Mary E. Burns, whose father owned the New York Post. In 1875, Scott, his wife and daughter, Bessie, moved from New York City to Plainfield, NJ, where he established an art studio/gallery on West Front Street. He died in Plainfield's Muhlenberg Hospital on July, 1901, and is buried at Hillside cemetery, Scotch Plains, NJ.
JAMES MADISON DRAKE
March 25, 1837 - November 28, 1915
Second Lieutenant, Company D, 9th New Jersey Infantry, U.S. Army Brevetted Brigadier General by special act of the New Jersey Legislature
Medal of Honor issued March 3, 1873 for extraordinary heroism on 6 May 1864, while serving with Company D, 9th New Jersey Infantry, in action at Bermuda Hundred, Virginia
By recommendation of Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, James Madison Drake was presented with the Medal of Honor issued March 3, 1873 for extraordinary heroism on 6 May 1864, at Bermuda Hundred, Virginia. His citation notes that throughout the day, Second Lieutenant James Madison Drake "commanded the skirmish line in advance (of Union troops) and held his position all day and during the night".
In 1861 James Madison Drake organized the first company of volunteers raised in New Jersey and declined to be its captain. After serving three months he re-enlisted with the 9th New Jersey Volunteers and remained with his regiment until the war's end in 1865. He was promoted through the ranks to captain.
When the Army of the Potomac crossed into Virginia on March 24, 1861, Drake unfurled the first flag on Confederate soil. He was taken prisoner on May 16, 1864 when Company D, 9th NJ Infantry was surrounded by Confederate soldiers. Drake, along with three other officers, jumped from a fast moving train that was moving 600 prisoners from Charleston to Columbia, South Carolina. Drake and his comrades made their way through three Confederate states and, one thousand miles later, returned safely to Union lines in Tennessee.
In January 1867, under Commander James Madison Drake, veterans of the Civil War were organized into the Veteran Zouaves of Elizabeth. They became a company of the National Guard of New Jersey and were active in the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic). They were the most traveled military unit of their time making cross country tours to San Francisco in 1886 and to New Orleans in 1890. The Veteran Zouaves of Elizabeth, under Drake, were part of the General (later President), Ulysses S. Grant's funeral procession in New York on August 8, 1885.
According to his obituary published in The New York Times on November 29, 1913, Commander Drake died in his home at 116 Jefferson Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ. He was the publisher of "The Elizabeth Daily Monitor" from 1861-1881; "Elizabeth Sunday Leader", 1882-1887; and, "The Elizabeth Daily Leader" from 1887-1900. He authored "Fast and Loose in Dixie"; "Across the Continent in Red Breeches"; "Historical Sketches of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars"; and, "New Jersey in the War for the Union". He was also the historian for the Ninth New Jersey Volunteers and the Medal of Honor Legion for both the Army and Navy.
James Madison Drake is a direct descendent of Nathaniel Drake of Plainfield. During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington strategized with his officers in the Drake House during the Battle of Short Hills in 1777. Today, the Drake House, located in West Front Street, is the home to the Historical Society of Plainfield.
In 1901, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders made Drake Supervisor of Soldiers Monuments. His recommendation to mark soldiers' graves in carried on today by Union County's Office of Veteran's Services. Flags are placed on veterans' graves annually for Memorial Day. James Madison Drake is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ.