Callan, James

Place of Birth: Glasgow

Date of enlistment: 11 March 1876

Age given at enlistment: 27

Rank: Private

Company: B

Location on 25 June 1876: Powder River Depot



For details of his army service please consult: (i) ‘Military Register of Custer’s Last Command,’ Roger L. Williams, The Arthur H. Clark Company, Norman, Oklahoma, 2009, p. 63.  (ii) ‘Men With Custer – Biographies of the 7th Cavalry,’ Edited by Ronald H. Nichols with Daniel I. Bird, CBHMA Inc., 2010, p. 58.

A Two-time Deserter under Two Different Surnames

Glasgow City Chambers, George Square (c.1900).


  • James Callan claimed to have been born in Glasgow, Scotland. He enlisted in Baltimore, Maryland, on 11 March 1876 and had grey eyes,  dark hair,  a fair complexion,  was 5′ 7″ tall, previous occupation, a shoemaker.
  • He joined Company B on 27 April 1876 at St. Paul, Minnesota. Was on detached service at the Powder River Depot at the time of the battle.
  • On 4 February 1878, Callan, who apparently had deserted the 7th Cavalry on 2 February 1877 at Fort Abraham Lincoln, enlisted in Company H, 23rd Infantry, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, under the name of James Doyle, only to desert that regiment on 16 May 1878. Apprehended 10 January 1880, as James Callan, deserter from 7th Cavalry. Discharged 13 April 1880 at Fort Wayne, Missouri, and sentenced to two years confinement at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Apprehended 24 October 1882 as a deserter from the 23rd Infantry. Released from confinement on 7 March 1883 (Men With Custer, p.58).
  • His fate remains unknown to this writer.
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