U.S. Military Pensioners in 19th Century Ireland: A Listing and Appeal

I have been spending an increasing amount of time looking at the records of U.S. military pensioners who lived in Ireland. Of the c. 170,000 Irish who fought in the American Civil War, only a relative handful ever returned to the country of their birth. The 1883 List of Pensioners on the Roll records a total of 220 people who were receiving money in Ireland as a result of services rendered to the United States military. Some were veterans, but the majority were widows, dependent mothers and dependent fathers. There is something remarkable about the image of men who had lost limbs in great battles such as Chancellorsville returning to live out their lives in rural Ireland, travelling to their local Post Office each month to collect their pension, or elderly parents depending on their children’s sacrifice across the Atlantic for support.

Civil War Pensioner O.D. Kinsman in 1920, who Worked in the Pension Bureau (Library of Congress)

Civil War Pensioner O.D. Kinsman in 1920, who Worked in the Pension Bureau (Library of Congress)

Not all of the pensions on the 1883 Roll relate to the Civil War- some of them were given for service before or after that conflict. I have spent a considerable amount of time attempting to identify the name of the associated veteran (where the recipient of the pension was not the soldier or sailor) and the unit in which they served. The table below is based on this work, which derives the names of the pensioners and the reason for the pension from the 1883 Roll. Of course this list does not represent all of the pensions being received in 19th century Ireland for service to the United States. Confederate veterans are not included, and many Union veterans and veterans of conflicts such as the Plains Wars had either not returned to Ireland by 1883 or were not claiming pensions at that point.

I have already delved into the extraordinary personal stories of many of those listed below and I have many more to explore. It is my intention to attempt to develop these stories into book format. However, I am keen to include others, not on this list, who may have been receiving a U.S. military pension for 19th century service or were U.S. military veterans who had returned to Ireland. As a result I want to appeal to readers- if you are aware of anyone who you think might fit this bill I would be very eager to hear from you, and about the pensioner/veteran in question. In the meantime I will be placing the below list on the Resources section of the site in the coming days where it will be available for future reference.

Pensioner Name Veteran Name Unit Reason for Pension
Allen, Catherine Allen, Michael 10th Tennessee Infantry Widow
Bane, Bridget Bane, Patrick 10th Kentucky Infantry Widow
Baxter, Christiana Baxter, Robert 11th New York Infantry Widow
Beatty, Thomas Beatty, Thomas 4th New York Heavy Artillery Loss of Left Leg
Beaty, Michael Beaty, Michael 149th New York Infantry Loss of Right Leg
Bennet, Alice Bennett, John 4th New York Heavy Artillery Widow
Boyle, Hugh Boyle, Hugh 16th United States Infantry Disability to Lungs
Brady, Peter Brady, Peter 3rd United States Artillery Paralysis to Right Side
Bransfield, John J. Bransfield, John J. U.S.S. Brooklyn Navy
Brien, Eliza Brien, John J. 69th New York Infantry Dependent Mother
Brooks, Richard Brooks, Richard 72nd New York Infantry Loss of Right Thumb
Brown, Mary A. Brown, John J. 73rd New York Infantry Dependent Mother
Brush, Susan Brush, Crane Hospital Steward U.S.A. Widow
Buckley, Timothy Buckley, Timothy ? Wound Left Ankle and Hand
Buird, Michael Baird, Michael 161st New York Infantry Total Loss of Sight
Burns, Bridget Burns, John 116th Pennsylvania Infantry Dependent Mother
Burns, Mary Burns, Owen C. 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry Widow
Butler, Mary (Walshe) Butler, James 12th New York Cavalry Widow
Byrne, Andrew J. Byrne, Andrew J. 42nd New York Infantry Wound to Left Arm
Byrne, Martin Byrne, Martin 4th United States Infantry Wound to Chin
Cain, James Cain, James 10th Veteran Reserve Corps Wound to Left Shoulder
Cannavan, Mary Canavan, Thomas 5th United States Cavalry Dependent Mother
Cannon, Ann Cannon, James U.S.S. Oneida Widow
Carey, Mary Carey, Stephen 2nd Delaware Infantry Widow
Carins, Ann Cairns, Colin 2nd New Hampshire Infantry Widow
Carlin, Anna ? ? Widow
Chestnut, Richard Chestnut, Richard 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry Paralysis to Right Side
Church, George Church, George 17th New York Infantry Loss of Left Arm
Clancy, Bernard Clancy, Bernard 1st United States Artillery Disability Lungs and Heart
Clark, Margaret Clark, Edward 30th Massachusetts Infantry Dependent Mother
Cleary, Honora (Browne) Cleary, Francis M. 10th United States Infantry Widow
Cochburn, William Cockburn, William 2nd New Jersey Cavalry Loss of Left Leg
Cochran, Sarah J. Cochran, Richard 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry Widow
Collins, Peter Collins, Peter U.S.S. Worcester Disability to Lungs
Connelly, Margaret Conneely, John 10th Tennessee Infantry Widow
Conner, Ellen ? ? Dependent Mother
Connolly, Patrick Connolly, Patrick 70th New York Infantry Loss of Left Foot
Connor, Bridget Connor, Patrick 2nd New York Heavy Artillery Widow
Connor, Patrick Connor, Patrick 21st United States Infantry Wound to Left Arm, Disability Brain
Connor, William Connor, William 6th New York Heavy Artillery Loss of Left Arm
Corrigan, Philip Corrigan, Philip 16th United States Infantry Wound to Left Leg
Costello, Eliza Costello, James 69th Pennsylvania Infantry Widow
Costello, Mary Costello, Kyran 6th United States Cavalry Dependent Mother
Courtney, Mary Courtney, John C. 7th Missouri Infanftry Dependent Mother
Coyne, Ellen Coyne, Michael 7th United States Infantry Widow
Coyne, John Coyne, John 104th Illinois Infantry Wound to Right Knee and Disability Lungs
Cranston, Ellen Cranston, William C. 63rd New York Infantry Widow
Crawford, James Crawford, James U.S.S. Saugus and U.S.S. Powhatan Navy
Crowe, Sarah (McDonagh) Crow, John 155th New York Infantry Widow
Crowley, Catherine Crowley, Jeremiah 88th New York Infantry Dependent Mother
Crowley, Patrick Crowley, Dennis 23rd United States Infantry Dependent Father
Cruise, Mary ? ? Dependent Mother
Cuniff, James Cuniff, James 35th New Jersey Infantry Loss of Left Leg
Cunningham, Phaley Cunningham, Phaley 83rd Ohio Infantry Loss of Left Arm
Curran, Margaret Curran, Thomas 5th Indiana Cavalry Widow
Daily, William Daily, William 18th United States Infantry Paralysis
Daly, Mary Daly, John (Alias John Ryan) 51st New York Infantry Widow
Delany, Annie Delany, Patrick 61st Ohio Infantry Widow
Devine, Owen Devine, Owen 37th New York Infantry Varicose Veins Left Leg
Donnelly, John A. Donnelly, John A. 3rd New York Cavalry Disability
Donohoe, Bridget Donohoe, John 1st United States Artillery Dependent Mother
Dooley, Mathew Dooley, Mathew 2nd New York Heavy Artillery Wound to Right Leg
Doran, Ellen ? ? Widow
Dorn, Mary T. Dorin, Lawrence J. U.S.S. Powhatan Widow
Dowd, Joseph Dowd, Joseph ? Wound to Left Leg
Dowdy, James Dowd, James (Alias James Dowdy) 6th United States Infantry Wound to Left Hand
Dowling, Catherine Dowling, Dennis 15th Connecticut Infantry Widow
Dowling, Simon Dowling, Simon 164th New York Infantry Injury to Abdomen
Dreak, Ellen Dreak, David 3rd United States Infantry Dependent Mother
Druitt, Edward alias John Moran Druitt, Edward (Alias John Moran) 12th New Jersey Infantry Wound Left Hand and Lower Jaw
Duffy, Thomas Duffy, Thomas (Alias Thomas Ryan) 2nd New Jersey Cavalry Loss of Right Arm
Durick, Timothy Durick, Jeremiah 88th New York Infantry Dependent Father
Edgeworth, Annie Edgeworth, Robert L. 7th United States Infantry Dependent Mother
Farrell, Anne Farrell, John 173rd New York Infantry Widow
Flynn, James Flynn, James 30th United States Infantry Asthma
Flynn, Mary Flynn, Patrick 11th? Kansas Cavalry Widow
Forrester, Patrick Forrester, Patrick 99th Pennsylvaniva Infantry Loss of Left Leg
Fox, Eliza Fox, John 7th Massachusetts Infantry Widow
Fry, Sarah Fry, Robert 8th Indiana Infantry Widow
Gallagher, Mary Gallagher, Peter 5th United States Infantry Widow
Galvin, Catherine Galvin, Willian 11th United States Infantry Dependent Mother
Gartland, Ann Gartland, Patrick 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry Dependent Mother
Gavin, Catherine Gavin, Cornelius 52nd New York Infantry Dependent Mother
Gilroy, Patrick Gilroy, Patrick 77th New York Infantry Dependent Father
Gosselin, Alice M. Gosselin, Francis J. 7th United States Cavalry Widow
Graney, Eliza Graney, Charles 9th Massachusetts Infantry Dependent Mother
Grogan, Henry Grogan, Henry 5th New York Heavy Artillery Wound to Left Shoulder
Groogan, Mary Groogan, Bernard 90th Pennsylvania Infantry Widow
Guiltinane, Catherine Guiltinane, Michael 16th New York Heavy Artillery Widow
Hanlon, Francis ? ? Dependent Father
Harrington, Mary Harrington, Owen 30th Indiana Infantry Dependent Mother
Harvey, James Harvey, James 59th New York Infantry Wound to Head
Hasler, Nellie Hasler, Jacob 53rd Kentucky Infantry Widow
Hayde, William Hayde, William Heavy Artillery Paralyisis of Left Hand
Hazlett, Mary J. ? ? Widow
Henry, Catherine Henry, Mathew 72nd New York Infantry Dependent Mother
Herks, James Herks, James 24th Massachusetts Infantry Wound to Left Arm
Hickey, Michael Hickey, Michael 14th United States Infantry Disability Lungs and Heart
Hoare, David ? 1st United States Infantry Disability to Lungs and c.
Horan, Mary Horan, Dennis 8th United States Cavalry Dependent Mother
Houston, Archie Houston, Archie 66th Ohio Infantry Diarhorrea and c.
Humphrey, David H. Humphrey, David H. 2nd New York Heavy Artillery Wound Left Hand
Hunter, Frederick Hunter, Frederick 66th New York Infantry Rheumatism
Hurd, Kate Hurd, Charles H. U.S.S. Itasca Widow
Johnston, Sarah (Acres?) Johnston, Charles 139th New York Infantry Widow
Jones, Margaret ? ? Widow
Jordan, Mary A. Jordan, Charles H. 69th New York Infantry Widow
Kean, John Kean, Simon 15th New Jersey Infantry Dependent Father
Keane, Edward Keane, Edward 1st United States Engineers Disability to Lungs and c.
Keefe, Peter Keefe, Peter U.S. Brig Perry Exempt Navy
Keily [Kelly], Jane (McAllister) Kelley, Daniel 141st New York Infantry Widow
Keily, William Keily, William 22nd United States Infantry Fractured Right Leg
Kelly, Margaret ? ? Dependent Mother
Kelly, Mary A. Kelly, John U.S.S. Santiago de Cuba Widow
Kelly, Thomas Kelly, Thomas 69th New York Infantry Loss of Left Arm
Kennedy, Mary Kennedy, Michael 32nd New York Infantry Dependent Mother
Kennedy, Mary Kennedy, John 146th New York Infantry Dependent Mother
Kennelly, Mary Kennelly, Maurice 24th United States Infantry Dependent Mother
Kenny, Sarah Kenny, Felix 4th United States Cavalry Widow
King, Richard King, Richard 7th Maine Infantry Wound to Left Leg
Kinney, Bridget Kenney, Michael 42nd New York Infantry Dependent Mother
Kinney, Michael Kinney, Michael ? Loss of Right Leg
Larkin, Catherine ? ? Widow
Lawler, Michael Lawler, Michael 22nd Massachusetts Infantry Injury to Abdomen
Leonard, Patrick Leonard, Patrick 75th New York Infantry Injury to Left Side and Injury to Abdomen
Loughland, William Laughlan, William 74th New York Infantry Wound to Right Shoulder
Mack, Maurice Mack, Maurice ? Wound to Left Leg and ulcers
Maloney, Ellen Maloney, James 15th Wisconsin Infantry Widow
Martin, Eliza Martin, Samuel 113th New York Infantry Dependent Mother
Martin, Ellen (Baker) Martin, Patrick 182nd New York Infantry Widow
McAuley, Patrick McAuley, Patrick 3rd United States Artillery Disability of Abdominal Viscera
McCabe, Catherine McCabe, Michael 170th New York Infantry Widow
McCann, Patrick McCann, Patrick 145th Pennsylvania Infantry Loss of Left Arm
McCarthy, Catherine McCarthy, Thomas U.S.S. Housatonic Widow
McCarthy, Daniel McCarthy, Daniel ? Rheumatism
McCausland, Mary McCausland, William U.S.S. Yantic Widow
McCloskey, Frances ? ? Dependent Mother
McConneghy, Alice McConneghy, William J. U.S.S. Albatross Dependent Mother
McDermott, Edward McDermott, Edward 8th United States Cavalry Injury to Right Side
McDermott, Margaret McDermott, George 7th United States Cavalry Dependent Mother
McDermott, Patrick McDermott, Patrick U.S.S. Omaha Navy
McDonnell, Maria ? 5th New York Artillery Widow
McElroy, Henry McElroy, Henry 34th Massachsetts Infantry Wound left Leg
McGarity, Bridget McGarity, Francis 88th New York Infantry Widow
McGlynn, John McGlynn, John 11th Massachusetts Infantry Loss of Right Arm
McGrath, Catherine McGrath, John (Alias John Brown) 179th New York Infantry Dependent Mother
McGrath, Henry McGrath, Henry 96th Pennsylvania Infantry Rheumatism
McGready, Edward McGready, Edward ? Loss of Finger in Left Hand
McGrory, Bridget McGrory, John Jr. 82nd Pennsylvania Infantry Widow
McHugh, Annie McHugh, Joseph 69th Pennylvania Infantry Dependent Mother
McKenna, Mary A. ? ? Widow
McKinney, John McKenny, John 5th Connecticut Infantry Loss of Right Arm
McLaughlin, John McLaughlin, John 88th Illinois Infantry Injury to Abdomen
McMahon, Peter McMahon, Peter 2nd United States Cavalry Wound to Left Leg
McNale, Mary (McHale) McHale, Matthew 6th Missouri Infantry Dependent Mother
McNamara, Bridget McNamara, Patrick 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery Widow
McNaull, Mathew McNaul, Mathew U.S.S. Suwanee Exempt Navy
Mitchell, Catherine A. Mitchell, Benjamin 1st New York Cavalry Widow
Moon, Ann Moon, William 20th Wisconsin Infantry Widow
Mooney, Esther ? ? Widow
Mooney, John Mooney, John U.S.S. Saugus Navy
Morris, Patrick Morris, Patrick 7th Michigan Infantry Wound to Head
Mulberry, John Mulberry, John 145th Pennsylvania Infantry Loss of Right Arm
Murphy, Patrick Murphy, Patrick 36th New York Infantry Wound to Left Wrist
Murray, Barbah Murray, John D. 99th New York Infantry Widow
Neary, Mary Neary, Nicholas (Alias Edward Neary) 9th New Jersey Infantry Widow
Nolan, Ann Nolan, Peter Artillery Detail Dependent Mother
Noonan, John Noonan, John 88th New York Infantry Wound to Right Shoulder
O’Brien, Honora O’Brien, Patrick U.S.S. Clifton and Mississippi Dependent Mother
O’Brien, Hugh O’Brien, Hugh 170th New York Infantry Loss of Left Leg
O’Brien, William O’Brien, William ? Disability to Eyes
O’Connor, Ann O’Connor, Michael 5th New York Infantry Widow
O’Leary, John O’Leary, John 8th United States Infantry Loss of Left Leg
O’Maley, Bridget O’Maley, John 53rd Illinois Infantry Dependent Mother
O’Mara, Alice O’Mara, Peter (Alias Peter Morrow) 2nd Wisconsin Infantry Dependent Mother
O’Neill, Dennis O’Neill, Dennis 10th United States Infantry Injury to Right Eye
O’Shaughnesey, Edward O’Shuaghnessey, Edward 69th New York Infantry Wound to Right Arm
Owens, Mary ? ? Widow
Path, Alvin Path, Alvin ? Rheumatism
Pelein, Eliza Pelein, Alexander 25th Iowa Infantry Widow
Pight, John Pigot, John 42nd New York Infantry Wound to Right Thigh
Quigley, Bridget Quigley, Patrick 51st New York Infantry Widow
Reardon, Catherine (McGuigan) Reardon, Thomas 107th New York Infantry Widow
Riddle, James Riddle, James 8th United States Infantry Disability of Abdominal Viscera
Ridgway, Maria (McDonald) Ridgway, George 1st United States Cavalry Widow
Rignay, Bryan Rignay, Brian 13th United States Infantry Disability
Riley, James Riley, James 4th United States Cavalry Injury to Head
Russell, Fannie Russell, Patrick 3rd New Jersey Infantry Dependent Mother
Ruth, Moses Ruth, Moses ? Strain in Back
Ryan, Mary Ryan, Patrick 5th Rhode Island Infantry Widow
Ryan, Mary ? ? Dependent Mother
Seaver, Michael ? ? Dependent Father
Sheehan, Jane (McClintock) Sheehan, Michael 150th Pennsylvania Infantry Widow
Sowery, Ellen M. Sowery, Louis 42nd New York Infantry Widow
Stafford, Jasper Stafford, Jasper 170th New York Infantry Loss of Right Arm
Stewart, Mary (Johnston) Stewart, James 19th Wisconsin Infanftry Widow
Strawbridge, Margaret Strawbridge, John 69th New York Infantry Widow
Sulivan, Cornelius Sullivan, Cornelius 69th New York Infantry Wound to Left Leg and Paralysis
Sullivan, Bridget ? ? Widow
Sullivan, Jeremiah Sullivan, Jeremiah 69th New York Infantry Wound to Left Foot
Sullivan, Mary Sullivan, Michael 69th New York Infantry Widow
Sullivan, Thomas Sullivan, Thomas ? Wound to Left Foot
Tierney, Edward Tierney, John U.S.S. Huron Dependent Father
Tinan, John Finan, Patrick U.S.S. Wabash Dependent Father
Toomey, Mary Toomey, Robert 176th New York Infantry Widow
Torrens, Isabella Torrens, Joseph 78th New York Infantry Widow
Voss, William Voss, William ? Disability Heart
Walls, Bridget (Crilly) Walls, John 116th Pennsylvania Infantry Widow
Walsh, Ellen Walsh, Patrick 22nd Illinois Infantry Widow
Ward, Ellen ? ? Widow
Waters, William Walters, William 52nd Illinois Infantry Wound to Head
Webb, Abby Webb, Thomas Jr. 59th Massachusetts Infanftry Dependent Mother
Welsh, John Welsh, John 5th United States Cavalry Loss of part of Finger
Whelan, Maria Wheelan, Patrick 1st New York Infantry Widow
Whelan, Mary Whelan, Dennis 82nd Pennsylvania Infantry Widow
White, Ann White, John 7th Wisconsin Infantry Dependent Mother
White, Mary White, Edward 4th U.nited States Cavalry Widow
Wilson, Archibald Wilsdn, Archibald 25th New York Cavalry Varicose Veins Left Leg
Wilson, Louis Wilson, Louis 17th New York Infantry Loss of Right Thigh
Wilson, Margaret Wilson, Edward 29th Pennsylvania Infantry Widow

Table 1. Complete table of Pensioners in Ireland from ‘List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883′ with names of veterans and units added where known.

References 

Government Printing Office 1883. List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883. Volume 5

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Categories: General, Irish in the American Civil War, Research

Author:Damian Shiels

I am an archaeologist based in Ireland, specialising in conflict archaeology.

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4 Comments on “U.S. Military Pensioners in 19th Century Ireland: A Listing and Appeal”

  1. eileen watson
    December 20, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    My grandfather served in the 19th Infantry during the Indian Wars (1875-1890) but did not receive a pension until about 1930. His name was Francis McCann and he returned to Ireland in the late 1890’s.

    • December 28, 2013 at 9:34 am #

      Hi Eileen,

      Many thanks for this I appreciate you letting me know- I will look into him and let you know what I find out!

      Kind Regards,

      Damian.

      • February 13, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

        Hi Damien, Greetings from Belfast!
        I research the 69th Pa Infantry.Here are three who I know for sure came back. James McPeake, James Forbes and Charles Gallager…look at my website at http://www.69thPa.co.uk and you will see details. You mention Costello and McHugh if I recall both died in America…..what would interest me a lot where there came from in Ireland? Any idea…there is another guy from the 69th New York buried in Newtownards ..again see website Hope helps =Michael Higgins http://www.69thPa.co.uk

        McPeake and Forbes pension at Magherafelt and Gallagher in Carrigart

      • February 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

        Hi Michael,

        May thanks for this! Your site is fantastic, I have linked in on the links page, you are done some really fantastic work. It is a small world- my mother’s side of the family are Gallaghers from Carrigart, I am very familiar with all the areas where Charlie lived, including Glen. Unfortunately he wouldn’t be one of ‘my’ Gallaghers as they were living in a different part of the county at that time, but even so a fascinating link. I will send you a direct message to have a further discussion!

        Kind Regards,

        Damian.

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