James Culhan

James Culhan, also known as “Cullen”, was born around 1843, probably in Ireland.

James was 18 years old when he enlisted in the Regimental Band on June 10, 1861.

He was discharged at Detroit on June 13, 1861, on a writ of habeas corpus, reason unknown, but possibly as a consequence of being a minor who had enlisted with the consent of a parent or guardian (or Justice of the Peace).

James' Third Michigan service record notes that he did subsequently serve in the Band of the First Michigan Cavalry, and in fact, he did reenter the service in the Band, First Michigan cavalry on September 23, 1861, while it was being organized at Detroit, giving his age as 29 (!). The regiment left Michigan for Washington on September 29 and was subsequently attached to the Cavalry Brigade, Army of the Potomac to December of 1861. James was honorably discharged on September 4, 1862 at Ball’s Crossroads, Virginia (presumably subsequent to the elimination of the Regimental bands in the Army of the Potomac).

James eventually returned to Michigan after he left the army, and eventually settled in Detroit.

He was married to Michigan native Mary E. (b. 1845), and they had at least one child: Margaret (b. 1880). Mary had been married before to one Mr. Edwards and had four children from her previous marriage: Mary (b. 1864), Annie (b. 1868), John (b. 1871) and Lottie (b. 1874).

By 1880 James was working as a musician and living with his wife and stepchildren on Abbott Street in Detroit.

James was probably the same James Culhan who was a civil war veteran residing in Detroit’s Eighth ward in 1894.

James probably died before 1901, possibly in Michigan. It is reported that one James Culhan, who served in Unassigned, Third Michigan infantry during the war, was buried in Elmwood cemetery, Detroit.

In any case, his widow was living in Michigan in 1901 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 513,551).