James City got its name from Captain Horace James, a former Yankee army chaplain, who established a camp across the river from New Bern, where many freed slaves settled. When asked to leave by the owner of the land, James A. Bryan, they refused, claiming the area was under martial law when they settled there. Bryan and his descendants battled in the courts for ownership of the land and finally won their case in 1893. By order of Governor Elias Carr, state troops moved into New Bern, prepared to evict the residents. The governor averted an outright war by offering the 557 families living in James City a chance to sign a lease, under which they would pay the Bryan family for the land. The only casualty of the â€œJames City Warâ€ was Lt. Col. David Bogart, who was thrown from his horse and killed during a parade for the troops.