James Gunnegal

James Gunnegal was born 1837 in Michigan.

In 1860 there was a 28-year-old laborer named James McGunigle, born in Michigan, living in Owosso’s Third Ward, Shiawassee County, with his wife Jane (b. 1838); neither of them could read or write. Next door lived a brewer named Henry Rubelman who would join Company C, Third Michigan infantry.

In any case, James stood 5’10” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 24-year-old farmer probably living in Shiawassee County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was wounded accidentally in the hand on May 5, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. The wound was not serious and he recovered sufficiently enough to rejoin the regiment. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grattan, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

James was wounded slightly in the right cheek in early May, probably during one of the various actions at the Wilderness, Virginia, and was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was taken prisoner October 27, 1864, at Boydton Plank road, near Petersburg, Virginia, and first confined near Petersburg, Virginia. He was then moved to Richmond, Virginia on October 28. On November 4, he was sent to the prison in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he was admitted to the prison hospital on December 9 or 10, 1864, suffering from diarrhea and dyspepsia.

James was released from the prison hospital on December 21, readmitted to the hospital on January 10, and died on January 27 or 28, 1865 of pneumonia. He was buried in Salisbury National Cemetery: no. 1360.

According to another member of the Old Third who was also serving with the Fifth Michigan when he was captured on October 27, Lieutenant Edward P. Davidson, in describing the final hours of Chauncey Smith at Salisbury, he lived “in a tent with some 15 of his own regt. . . . He was buried the same as they buried all of our dead men there in trenches outside of the prison.”

No pension seems to be available.