Capt James E Caldwell

Photo added by Cheryl

Capt James E Caldwell

  • Birth unknown County Donegal, Ireland
  • Death 18 Sep 1847 Chapultepec, Chapultepec Municipality, México, Mexico
  • Burial Newton Hamilton, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Memorial ID 41406154

James Caldwell was born in County Donegal, Ireland, but after coming to America with his parents located in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania he owned and operated a large charcoal furnace for the manufacture of iron for numerous years. He also became one of the prominent contractors of the state, he built the first railroad across the Alleghany mountains, from Hollidaysburg to Johnstown, and was also one of the contractors of the Pennsylvania canal.

James married Jane Matilda Drake, daughter of James Drake, the owner of Drake's Ferry, across the Juniata river. Jane Drake came from notable ancestry who was a member of the family of Sir Francis Drake the explorer, and a lineal descendant of Sir Thomas Drake of England. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. James Caldwell. Sen. Alexander Caldwell, Franklin Caldwell, Elizabeth Drake Caldwell Dunmire, and Mary Matilda Caldwell Mellon. Mrs. Jane Caldwell died in 1842 of consumption. She had contracted tuberculosis from her family, as the disease ran rampant through her family and took the young lives of all of her immediate family. Mrs. Caldwell was 32 years old at the time of her death.

When the Mexican-American War broke out in 1846, James Caldwell at his own expense raised a militia company and offered the same to the president. He was appointed as the Captain of Company M, Second Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. His company was assigned to the Second Pennsylvania volunteers, which served under General Winfield Scott. It was while the company was at Pittsburgh that Alexander, James' son, came and convinced James to let his 16 year old son enlist into the army. He joined Company M as a private serving under his father, James. President Polk sent the army under General Winfield Scott, which was transported to the port of Veracruz by sea, to begin an invasion of the Mexican heartland. Company M fought in numerous battles in National Bridge, Puebla, Contreras, Churubusco, Chapultepec, Monterey, and the skirmishes around the city of Mexico.

It was during the attack on Chapultepec Castle near Mexico City that Captain Caldwell was mortally wounded on September 13, 1847. Captain Caldwell died within the week, he left behind not only his son, Alexander, in the war but also several other children back in Pennsylvania who were now without any parents. Captain Caldwell's remains were sent back to Pennsylvania and he was buried next to his wife, Jane, in the Newton Hamilton United Methodist Cemetery.


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  • Created by: Nick Powell
  • Added: 31 Aug 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 41406154
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Capt James E Caldwell (unknown–18 Sep 1847), Find A Grave Memorial no. 41406154, citing Newton Hamilton United Methodist Cemetery, Newton Hamilton, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Nick Powell (contributor 47054939) .