Bliss enlisted to fight in the American Revolution on May 15, 1782, and he served as a Connecticut Ranger in 1779; he served in Captain Dana’s Company; in Brigadier General Waterbury’s Regiment in 1781 to defend the post at Horseneck (now Greenwich, Connecticut); and in July, the Regiment joined General Washington in camp at Phillipsburg (now Tarrytown, New York); and then in Captain Elijah Hopkins’ Company’s 3rd Regiment. He was discharged December 5, 1782.

Bliss married Mehitable Johnson in Norwich, Connecticut, on March 26, 1789, and they lived in Lebanon and Middleton, Connecticut. They had seven children: Mehitable (Carter), James, Parley, Reuben, Hannah (Walker), Mary (Martin) and Charles.

James Bliss died on August 2, 1831, in Harrison County, Indiana, and is buried in Applegate Cemetery, also located in Harrison County, Indiana.