He was etching out a living as a blacksmith when the Civil War was in high gear many miles to his south, and the day would come when he would travel many miles east to Detroit and would sign up for service... still close to the water. He signed up with the US Navy for a one year stint on the USS Marmora and ended up doing almost 2 years.
In early March of 1864 this vessel and several others raced up the Yazoo River in Mississippi to come to the aid of Union forces on land at the city of the same name. The USS Cairo in the lead was blown up and sank in minutes after stiking an underwater mine but all were saved. (It's commander was T.O. Selfridge, a later rear Admiral. And his nephew would many years later work with Alexander Graham Bell in Canada. He would still later die in the first ever North American airplane crash and his co-pilot would be injured. THat man's name was Orville Wright.)
On arrival the crew of the Marmora would find that the land the Union forces had recently captured was about to be overrun by Southern forces. In fact the Union men were about to be drive back into the waters of the Yazoo River. This is the report of the event by the commander of the USS Malmora the day of the battle, and therein you will see the beginnings of a recomendation for the Medal of Honor for three of the sailors... including Janes Stoddard....
Stoddard was shot in the neck during the above battle but pulled through and a few months later waa transferred to another vessel and would leave end his military carrer by leaving that vessel in May of 1865.
Like so many other MOH recipients he seems to have completely disappeared after that date. There are no records found yet about where he went after the war, or what he did or where he died and lies buried
But his name lives in memory with the US Navy. Over the years the US Government has named over 1,000 war vessels of all types after brave sailors and marines. Both Stoddard and Lafferty in the above battle would be so honoured.
In 1944 there was a naval warship chistened the USS James Stoddard, and it would do most honourable service during WW11 and also in Veitnam and Korea. Former sailors and others wanting to preserve the history of the vessel would later create a website that is still in existance and is most worthy of a visit. Plan to stay awhile as it is most interesting and can be found at www.ussstoddard.org. There you can read about the efforts still ongoing to have another warship christened and named in honour of this Ontario hero.
Please check it out.
By the way Stoddard's General Order was dated 149 years ago today.