US GenWeb

This biography is from HEROES OF ALBANY, by Rufus W. Clark, D. D.

David McCulloch
of Coeymans

David McCulloch was the son of William C. and Mary A. McCulloch, and was born May 3, 1841. He was a kind boy, a dutiful son, and a generous and noble hearted brother.

While the traitors at the South were preparing to enter upon their treasonable work, David often remarked that he was resolved to leave his home and fight for his country, whenever the Government should require his services. Accordingly, on the 1st of August, 1861, he enlisted in Company D, Forty-fourth New York Regiment. He fought bravely in the battles at Hanover Court House, Malvern Hill, Gaines' Mills, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Petersburg, second Bull Run, Gettysburg, and in fact, in every battle in which this gallant regiment was engaged, up to the battle of Mine Run, when he was for the second time taken prisoner.

He was first made a prisoner by the enemy about the 1st of July, 1862, while lighting in the battles before Richmond. After six days hard fighting he scorned to turn his back upon a foe that was seeking the life of his nation. His regiment having suffered severely was ordered to fall back. But either he did not hear the order, or not heeding it, he continued to fight, until he was surrounded and seized by the enemy. The first salutation that he received was "Lay down that gun," accompanied by an oath, and an opprobrious epithet, usually indulged in by the southern chivalry on such occasions. He laid down one end of his gun, and placing his foot upon the center of the barrel he bent it, so that it could be of no use to the rebels. He then delivered the useless weapon to them.

Mr. McCulloch was kept in prison thirty days, and had he not had money with him to purchase food, he would probably have starved to death. How he escaped from the foe, we are not informed.

The second time that he was captured was about the beginning of the year 1864. Then he had sixty dollars in his pocket, of which the rebels at once robbed him. He was then carried to some prison, and now for over two years his friends have not heard directly from him. They suppose that he, like multitudes of others, died from neglect and starvation.

His officers and comrades award to him the highest praise for his uniform good conduct; his cheerfulness under privations and sufferings, and his noble bravery upon the battle field. No danger seemed ever to intimidate him, and no amount of suffering cooled the intense ardor of his patriotism. He loved his country with an undying devotion. Just before leaving home, he remarked to his mother, that he would fight the enemies of his nation, while there was a drop of blood in his veins. It is sad, indeed, to think of such a hero passing from the light and happiness of his early home into the darkness and horrors of a southern prison, there to have his life worn away by the slow tortures of disease and starvation, and no friend to minister to him in the last hour! But his history is that of thousands, whom American slavery has claimed for its victims.

Send comments or suggestions to:
Debby Masterson

Go Back to Albany County Biographies
Go Back to Home Page