James Lavelle was born in 1836 in Ireland, the son of Thomas (d. 1850) and Catharine.
Sometime before the war broke out, James immigrated to America, and he eventually settled in Muskegon County, Michigan where by 1860 he was living at the Joseph Hackley mill boarding house in Muskegon.
James was 25 years old and probably still living in Muskegon, perhaps working in the mills, when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)
He was killed in action on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and buried in Seven Pines National Cemetery: section A, grave 153.
In January of 1882 James’ mother, then living in Achill Sound, Westport, County Mayo, Ireland, applied for and received a pension (no. 209127).