James Quilbert Chenoweth was a graduate of Asbury University, now DePauw University, in 1860. A law student studying in Montgomery, Alabama after graduation from DePauw, he soon after enlisted as a Lieutenant in the 1st Kentucky Cavalry of the Kentucky State Guard. His adeptness in cavalry tactics being recognized, he was assigned as Drillmaster for the 7th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion. Period documents show that he was with the 7th Battalion at Shiloh, though he is shown as serving in different capacities. He was wounded in the left wrist at the Battle of Shiloh, one of three wounds he would sustain during the war, also being wounded at Murfreesboro, Tennessee and Chickamauga, Georgia. Chenoweth later rose to the rank of Colonel.