b. 11/05/1836 Pembroke, New Hampshire. d. 12/04/1908 Ypsilanti, Michigan.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 10/05/1863 Horseshoe Bend, Kentucky.
Cutcheon was born in Pembroke, New Hampshire May 11, 1836 but his parents died and he became an orphan at a young age. He worked in a cotton mill in Pembroke to earn money so he could attend school and at the age of 13, he began attending Pembroke Academy. At the age of 17, he was a teacher in the same school but in 1855, he moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan, continuing to study and teach. In 1857, he was invited to take charge of Birmingham Academy in Oakland County as principal, though he intended only to remain long enough to secure means to further progress in his own education. The following spring, he entered the University of Michigan and in the fall of 1859, he worked as principal of the Oak Grove Academy, in Lenawee County in order to support himself. As soon as he had acquired sufficient means, he again entered the university, and graduated in 1861. Before graduating he had become the principal and was a professor of ancient languages, higher mathematics and mental and moral philosophy in the Ypsilanti High School, 1861 and 1862.
He resigned his school post to enlist in the Union Army following the outbreak of the American Civil War and raised a company for the Twentieth Regiment, Michigan Infantry who mustered him into service as a Second Lieutenant. On July 29, 1862, he was made captain of his company and on October 14, 1862, he was made major of the Twentieth Regiment. On November 16, 1863, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and by order of the U.S. War Department, he was made colonel on November 21, 1863.
He was transferred and made Colonel of the Twenty-seventh Michigan Infantry, November 12, 1864. He was mustered into the United States service as colonel, December 19, 1864, and was brevetted colonel of U. S. Volunteers, August 18, 1864, for gallant services at the battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania Court House.
He was elected to the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan in 1875 and served until 1883. He was the city attorney of Manistee, 1870–1873; prosecuting attorney of Manistee County in 1873 and 1874; and postmaster of Manistee, 1877-1883.
In 1882, Cutcheon was elected as a Republican from Michigan’s 9th congressional district to the 49th Congress. He was re-elected to the three succeeding Congresses, serving from March 4, 1883 to March 3, 1891. He served as chairman, Committee on Military Affairs in the 51st Congress. In 1890, Cutcheon lost to Democrat Harrison H. Wheeler in the general election.
Distinguished gallantry in leading his regiment in a charge on a house occupied by the enemy.
BURIAL LOCATION: HIGHLAND CEMETERY, YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN.
SECTION 100, LOT 42
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NATIONAL ARCHIVES & RECORDS ADMINISTRATION, WASHINGTON DC.