James McCahon was a member of the Jefferson College Class of 1863 when he enrolled as a private in Company D, 10th Pennsylvania Reserves on April 27, 1861. He was 20 years old at the time with dark hair, a light complexion, gray eyes and stood at 5’10” tall. He did meritorious service during the Seven Days Campaign and was promoted to corporal on July 7, 1863. He was killed at the Battle of Wilderness on May 8, 1864. His body was never recovered. Family story relates that his mother was so grieved over his death that she kept a lighted candle in her window until her own passing. James is also recognized on the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg, PA.
He was the son of John and Sarah (Ballentine) McCahon.