James Caldwell, an American clergyman, born in Charlotte co., Va., in April, 1734, killed at Elizabethtown, N. J., Nov. 24, 1781. He graduated at the college of New Jersey in 1759, and in 1762 became pastor of the Presbyterian church in Elizabethtown. He zealously espoused the revolutionary cause, and did much to incite and sustain the spirit of resistance. He was appointed chaplain in the New Jersey brigade, and became the special object of hatred to the tories in that state. In 1780 his church and residence were burned by a marauding party of British troops and tories. Later in the same year, during an incursion of British forces from Staten Island, the village of Connecticut Farms, where his family were temporarily residing, was overrun and pillaged, and his wife was killed by a musket shot tired into a room where she was praying with her two children. Mr. Caldwell was at this time in Washington's camp at Morristown. He was afterward very active in the defence of Springfield, which was attacked by about 5,000 troops, and is said to have distributed the hymn books from a Presbyterian church among his soldiers for wadding, with the exhortation, "Now put Watts into them, boys." He was shot by James Morgan, an American sentinel, stationed at Elizabethtown Point, during an altercation about a bundle which the sentinel thought it his duty to examine.
Much excitement was caused by his death, and the soldier was delivered to the civil authorities, convicted of murder, and hanged, Jan. 29,1782. A costly monument to the memory of Caldwell and his wife was dedicated at Elizabethtown on the 64th anniversary of the death of the " soldier parson".