James O’Donahue was born in 1838 in Ireland.
James immigrated to America and settled in western Michigan by 1860 when he was a clerk living with and/or working for Patrick Davoll, also from Ireland, and a farmer in Big Prairie, Newaygo County.
He stood 5’9” with blue eyes, auburn hair and a light complexion and was 23 years old and residing in Newaygo County when he enlisted as First Corporal in Company K on May 13, 1861. He had been promoted to Sergeant by the time he was shot in the right thigh on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and subsequently hospitalized at Fort McHenry, Maryland in September. He remained absent sick in a general hospital until he was discharged on February 26, 1863, at Columbian College hospital, Washington, DC, for a “gunshot wound at the junction of upper and middle third of right thigh, injuring sciatic nerve and causing wasting of muscles with partial loss of motion.”
It is not known if James returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army.
No pension seems to be available.