James A. Ritch was born on October 14, 1877 in Greenwich, Connecticut. He enlisted on April 26, 1897 as a Private in Company K (Stamford) of the 3rd Connecticut Infantry during the Spanish-American War. He was promoted to Corporal on January 14, 1899. Sometime during his service it was noted that he was "sick in [the] 1st divison hospital, Camp Meade, PA and [a] Red Cross hospital". After his service, he was a blacksmith living in Sandy Hook, CT.
He died on May 8, 1963.
Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps of the United States in the Spanish-American War, Philippine Insurrection and China Relief Expedition from April 21, 1898 to July 4, 1904, page #145.