James Fridley was born in 1843 in the small hamlet of Augusta Springs, Virginia, and was the fourth child to his parents Frederick (Fritz) and Mary C. (Gilliam) Fridley. By the time the Civil War began in 1861, there were four more children born in the Fridley household, making a total of nine children, and James had lost his mother to death. On March 16, 1862, he went off to war to do his duty to save the honor of Virginia, the "Mother State," and to "Whip them damn Yankees!" James became a member of the group called "Mountain Guards," which were organized on May 1, 1858, and he was very proud to be one of the "Guards". This organization was a part of the Stonewall Brigade out of Lexington, Virginia. Old Stonewall Jackson himself led the brigade. He was doing okay for about five months, and then he could not take it anymore. He was a.w.o.l. for the Muster Roll of Setember 13, 1862. James eventually returned to the army but had to forfeit his pay for the time he had been absent. On either the 13th or 14th of June in 1863, the Stonewall Brigade and other brigades engaged the Yankees just outside of Winchester, a small town nestled in the mountains of northern Virginia. After a long, hard struggle, the Confederates won the battle, but in the process, James lost his life. What a waste war is!