Born in Pennsylvania in 1841, James Corbin, the son of Vincent and Mariah (Hines) Corbin, lived in Ohio by the time of the 1860 census. James lived in Napoleon, Henry County, with his widowed mother, Maria. (His father had died in 1857.) His siblings, William, 22, Susan, 20, James, 17, David, 13, and John, 9 completed the family. To help support the family, William and James worked at day laborers and Susan worked as a domestic.
When he was 22, James enlisted for a 100 day term on May 12, 1864, into the 163rd Regiment, Company G. This unit was made up of four National Guard units in the area. James was probably already a member of the 72nd Ohio National Guard of Henry County.
On May 13, 1864, the 163rd headed for Washington, D. C. to Fort Reno where it stayed until early June when ordered to the front. James' group did reconnaisance on the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad. Two hundred fifty men in the 163rd were in a severe skirmish on June 15; it is not known if James Corbin was among them. By August 29th, they were relieved of duty and proceeded back to Columbus, Ohio, where they mustered out on September 10, James having served four months and eight days.
On March 31, 1866, James married Frances E. Kashner in Henry County, Ohio. In the 1870 census of Highland Township, James and Frances and their two children, Carley, 2, and Emma, 4 months, lived with Daniel and Sarah Carmer and their six chldren, as well as two other boarders, William and Martha Austin. It must have been quite crowded. James worked as a carpenter. Eventually the couple would have six children together.
The couple settled at 272 Corwin Street at some point and James was hired as a wagonmaker. By 1910, when James was 67 and Frances 64, they had two single daughters left at home: Corbit, 35, who worked from home as a dressmaker, and Margery, 29, who listed no occupation. James had retired from work.
James Corbin died in January, 1918, at his Corwin Street home at the age of 76 years, 10 months, and 13 days. The funeral was held at the home and at the Baptist Church.
Four years later, Mrs. James Corbin passed away in March, 1928. Her obituary appeared in the Defiance Crescent-News on March 12, 1928, page 1. Her pall bearers were A. E. Gearing, John Billinger, A. C. Helf and Martin Desgrange.
Both James and Frances were buried in Riverside Cemetery, Section 26, Soldiers' Circle.
(This is part of a series on Civil War veterans of Defiance County who were part of the G.A.R., Bishop Post, that headquartered in the city. Formed in 1879, the post was named after a local man, Captain William Bishop, Company D, 100th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army who died as a result of wounds received in battle. The veterans' photos are part of a composite photo of members that has survived. If you have other information or corrections to add to the soldiers' stories, please add to the comments!)