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 NameVeteran NameUnitReason for Pension
Allen, CatherineAllen, Michael10th Tennessee InfantryWidow
Bane, BridgetBane, Patrick10th Kentucky InfantryWidow
Baxter, ChristianaBaxter, Robert11th New York InfantryWidow
Beatty, ThomasBeatty, Thomas4th New York Heavy ArtilleryLoss of Left Leg
Beaty, MichaelBeaty, Michael149th New York InfantryLoss of Right Leg
Bennet, AliceBennett, John4th New York Heavy ArtilleryWidow
Boyle, HughBoyle, Hugh16th United States InfantryDisability to Lungs
Brady, PeterBrady, Peter3rd United States ArtilleryParalysis to Right Side
Bransfield, John J.Bransfield, John J.U.S.S. BrooklynNavy
Brien, ElizaBrien, John J.69th New York InfantryDependent Mother
Brooks, RichardBrooks, Richard72nd New York InfantryLoss of Right Thumb
Brown, Mary A.Brown, John J.73rd New York InfantryDependent Mother
Brush, SusanBrush, CraneHospital Steward U.S.A.Widow
Buckley, TimothyBuckley, Timothy?Wound Left Ankle and Hand
Buird, MichaelBaird, Michael161st New York InfantryTotal Loss of Sight
Burns, BridgetBurns, John116th Pennsylvania InfantryDependent Mother
Burns, MaryBurns, Owen C.13th Pennsylvania CavalryWidow
Butler, Mary (Walshe)Butler, James12th New York CavalryWidow
Byrne, Andrew J.Byrne, Andrew J.42nd New York InfantryWound to Left Arm
Byrne, MartinByrne, Martin4th United States InfantryWound to Chin
Cain, JamesCain, James10th Veteran Reserve CorpsWound to Left Shoulder
Cannavan, MaryCanavan, Thomas5th United States CavalryDependent Mother
Cannon, AnnCannon, JamesU.S.S. OneidaWidow
Carey, MaryCarey, Stephen2nd Delaware InfantryWidow
Carins, AnnCairns, Colin2nd New Hampshire InfantryWidow
Carlin, Anna??Widow
Chestnut, RichardChestnut, Richard3rd Wisconsin CavalryParalysis to Right Side
Church, GeorgeChurch, George17th New York InfantryLoss of Left Arm
Clancy, BernardClancy, Bernard1st United States ArtilleryDisability Lungs and Heart
Clark, MargaretClark, Edward30th Massachusetts InfantryDependent Mother
Cleary, Honora (Browne)Cleary, Francis M.10th United States InfantryWidow
Cochburn, WilliamCockburn, William2nd New Jersey CavalryLoss of Left Leg
Cochran, Sarah J.Cochran, Richard63rd Pennsylvania InfantryWidow
Collins, PeterCollins, PeterU.S.S. WorcesterDisability to Lungs
Connelly, MargaretConneely, John10th Tennessee InfantryWidow
Conner, Ellen??Dependent Mother
Connolly, PatrickConnolly, Patrick70th New York InfantryLoss of Left Foot
Connor, BridgetConnor, Patrick2nd New York Heavy ArtilleryWidow
Connor, PatrickConnor, Patrick21st United States InfantryWound to Left Arm, Disability Brain
Connor, WilliamConnor, William6th New York Heavy ArtilleryLoss of Left Arm
Corrigan, PhilipCorrigan, Philip16th United States InfantryWound to Left Leg
Costello, ElizaCostello, James69th Pennsylvania InfantryWidow
Costello, MaryCostello, Kyran6th United States CavalryDependent Mother
Courtney, MaryCourtney, John C.7th Missouri InfanftryDependent Mother
Coyne, EllenCoyne, Michael7th United States InfantryWidow
Coyne, JohnCoyne, John104th Illinois InfantryWound to Right Knee and Disability Lungs
Cranston, EllenCranston, William C.63rd New York InfantryWidow
Crawford, JamesCrawford, JamesU.S.S. Saugus and U.S.S. PowhatanNavy
Crowe, Sarah (McDonagh)Crow, John155th New York InfantryWidow
Crowley, CatherineCrowley, Jeremiah88th New York InfantryDependent Mother
Crowley, PatrickCrowley, Dennis23rd United States InfantryDependent Father
Cruise, Mary??Dependent Mother
Cuniff, JamesCuniff, James35th New Jersey InfantryLoss of Left Leg
Cunningham, PhaleyCunningham, Phaley83rd Ohio InfantryLoss of Left Arm
Curran, MargaretCurran, Thomas5th Indiana CavalryWidow
Daily, WilliamDaily, William18th United States InfantryParalysis
Daly, MaryDaly, John (Alias John Ryan)51st New York InfantryWidow
Delany, AnnieDelany, Patrick61st Ohio InfantryWidow
Devine, OwenDevine, Owen37th New York InfantryVaricose Veins Left Leg
Donnelly, John A.Donnelly, John A.3rd New York CavalryDisability
Donohoe, BridgetDonohoe, John1st United States ArtilleryDependent Mother
Dooley, MathewDooley, Mathew2nd New York Heavy ArtilleryWound to Right Leg
Doran, Ellen??Widow
Dorn, Mary T.Dorin, Lawrence J.U.S.S. PowhatanWidow
Dowd, JosephDowd, Joseph?Wound to Left Leg
Dowdy, JamesDowd, James (Alias James Dowdy)6th United States InfantryWound to Left Hand
Dowling, CatherineDowling, Dennis15th Connecticut InfantryWidow
Dowling, SimonDowling, Simon164th New York InfantryInjury to Abdomen
Dreak, EllenDreak, David3rd United States InfantryDependent Mother
Druitt, Edward alias John MoranDruitt, Edward (Alias John Moran)12th New Jersey InfantryWound Left Hand and Lower Jaw
Duffy, ThomasDuffy, Thomas (Alias Thomas Ryan)2nd New Jersey CavalryLoss of Right Arm
Durick, TimothyDurick, Jeremiah88th New York InfantryDependent Father
Edgeworth, AnnieEdgeworth, Robert L.7th United States InfantryDependent Mother
Farrell, AnneFarrell, John173rd New York InfantryWidow
Flynn, JamesFlynn, James30th United States InfantryAsthma
Flynn, MaryFlynn, Patrick11th? Kansas CavalryWidow
Forrester, PatrickForrester, Patrick99th Pennsylvaniva InfantryLoss of Left Leg
Fox, ElizaFox, John7th Massachusetts InfantryWidow
Fry, SarahFry, Robert8th Indiana InfantryWidow
Gallagher, MaryGallagher, Peter5th United States InfantryWidow
Galvin, CatherineGalvin, Willian11th United States InfantryDependent Mother
Gartland, AnnGartland, Patrick5th Pennsylvania CavalryDependent Mother
Gavin, CatherineGavin, Cornelius52nd New York InfantryDependent Mother
Gilroy, PatrickGilroy, Patrick77th New York InfantryDependent Father
Gosselin, Alice M.Gosselin, Francis J.7th United States CavalryWidow
Graney, ElizaGraney, Charles9th Massachusetts InfantryDependent Mother
Grogan, HenryGrogan, Henry5th New York Heavy ArtilleryWound to Left Shoulder
Groogan, MaryGroogan, Bernard90th Pennsylvania InfantryWidow
Guiltinane, CatherineGuiltinane, Michael16th New York Heavy ArtilleryWidow
Hanlon, Francis??Dependent Father
Harrington, MaryHarrington, Owen30th Indiana InfantryDependent Mother
Harvey, JamesHarvey, James59th New York InfantryWound to Head
Hasler, NellieHasler, Jacob53rd Kentucky InfantryWidow
Hayde, WilliamHayde, WilliamHeavy ArtilleryParalyisis of Left Hand
Hazlett, Mary J.??Widow
Henry, CatherineHenry, Mathew72nd New York InfantryDependent Mother
Herks, JamesHerks, James24th Massachusetts InfantryWound to Left Arm
Hickey, MichaelHickey, Michael14th United States InfantryDisability Lungs and Heart
Hoare, David?1st United States InfantryDisability to Lungs and c.
Horan, MaryHoran, Dennis8th United States CavalryDependent Mother
Houston, ArchieHouston, Archie66th Ohio InfantryDiarhorrea and c.
Humphrey, David H.Humphrey, David H.2nd New York Heavy ArtilleryWound Left Hand
Hunter, FrederickHunter, Frederick66th New York InfantryRheumatism
Hurd, KateHurd, Charles H.U.S.S. ItascaWidow
Johnston, Sarah (Acres?)Johnston, Charles139th New York InfantryWidow
Jones, Margaret??Widow
Jordan, Mary A.Jordan, Charles H.69th New York InfantryWidow
Kean, JohnKean, Simon15th New Jersey InfantryDependent Father
Keane, EdwardKeane, Edward1st United States EngineersDisability to Lungs and c.
Keefe, PeterKeefe, PeterU.S. Brig PerryExempt Navy
Keily [Kelly], Jane (McAllister)Kelley, Daniel141st New York InfantryWidow
Keily, WilliamKeily, William22nd United States InfantryFractured Right Leg
Kelly, Margaret??Dependent Mother
Kelly, Mary A.Kelly, JohnU.S.S. Santiago de CubaWidow
Kelly, ThomasKelly, Thomas69th New York InfantryLoss of Left Arm
Kennedy, MaryKennedy, Michael32nd New York InfantryDependent Mother
Kennedy, MaryKennedy, John146th New York InfantryDependent Mother
Kennelly, MaryKennelly, Maurice24th United States InfantryDependent Mother
Kenny, SarahKenny, Felix4th United States CavalryWidow
King, RichardKing, Richard7th Maine InfantryWound to Left Leg
Kinney, BridgetKenney, Michael42nd New York InfantryDependent Mother
Kinney, MichaelKinney, Michael?Loss of Right Leg
Larkin, Catherine??Widow
Lawler, MichaelLawler, Michael22nd Massachusetts InfantryInjury to Abdomen
Leonard, PatrickLeonard, Patrick75th New York InfantryInjury to Left Side and Injury to Abdomen
Loughland, WilliamLaughlan, William74th New York InfantryWound to Right Shoulder
Mack, MauriceMack, Maurice?Wound to Left Leg and ulcers
Maloney, EllenMaloney, James15th Wisconsin InfantryWidow
Martin, ElizaMartin, Samuel113th New York InfantryDependent Mother
Martin, Ellen (Baker)Martin, Patrick182nd New York InfantryWidow
McAuley, PatrickMcAuley, Patrick3rd United States ArtilleryDisability of Abdominal Viscera
McCabe, CatherineMcCabe, Michael170th New York InfantryWidow
McCann, PatrickMcCann, Patrick145th Pennsylvania InfantryLoss of Left Arm
McCarthy, CatherineMcCarthy, ThomasU.S.S. HousatonicWidow
McCarthy, DanielMcCarthy, Daniel?Rheumatism
McCausland, MaryMcCausland, WilliamU.S.S. YanticWidow
McCloskey, Frances??Dependent Mother
McConneghy, AliceMcConneghy, William J.U.S.S. AlbatrossDependent Mother
McDermott, EdwardMcDermott, Edward8th United States CavalryInjury to Right Side
McDermott, MargaretMcDermott, George7th United States CavalryDependent Mother
McDermott, PatrickMcDermott, PatrickU.S.S. OmahaNavy
McDonnell, Maria?5th New York ArtilleryWidow
McElroy, HenryMcElroy, Henry34th Massachsetts InfantryWound left Leg
McGarity, BridgetMcGarity, Francis88th New York InfantryWidow
McGlynn, JohnMcGlynn, John11th Massachusetts InfantryLoss of Right Arm
McGrath, CatherineMcGrath, John (Alias John Brown)179th New York InfantryDependent Mother
McGrath, HenryMcGrath, Henry96th Pennsylvania InfantryRheumatism
McGready, EdwardMcGready, Edward?Loss of Finger in Left Hand
McGrory, BridgetMcGrory, John Jr.82nd Pennsylvania InfantryWidow
McHugh, AnnieMcHugh, Joseph69th Pennylvania InfantryDependent Mother
McKenna, Mary A.??Widow
McKinney, JohnMcKenny, John5th Connecticut InfantryLoss of Right Arm
McLaughlin, JohnMcLaughlin, John88th Illinois InfantryInjury to Abdomen
McMahon, PeterMcMahon, Peter2nd United States CavalryWound to Left Leg
McNale, Mary (McHale)McHale, Matthew6th Missouri InfantryDependent Mother
McNamara, BridgetMcNamara, Patrick1st Pennsylvania Light ArtilleryWidow
McNaull, MathewMcNaul, MathewU.S.S. SuwaneeExempt Navy
Mitchell, Catherine A.Mitchell, Benjamin1st New York CavalryWidow
Moon, AnnMoon, William20th Wisconsin InfantryWidow
Mooney, Esther??Widow
Mooney, JohnMooney, JohnU.S.S. SaugusNavy
Morris, PatrickMorris, Patrick7th Michigan InfantryWound to Head
Mulberry, JohnMulberry, John145th Pennsylvania InfantryLoss of Right Arm
Murphy, PatrickMurphy, Patrick36th New York InfantryWound to Left Wrist
Murray, BarbahMurray, John D.99th New York InfantryWidow
Neary, MaryNeary, Nicholas (Alias Edward Neary)9th New Jersey InfantryWidow
Nolan, AnnNolan, PeterArtillery DetailDependent Mother
Noonan, JohnNoonan, John88th New York InfantryWound to Right Shoulder
O’Brien, HonoraO’Brien, PatrickU.S.S. Clifton and MississippiDependent Mother
O’Brien, HughO’Brien, Hugh170th New York InfantryLoss of Left Leg
O’Brien, WilliamO’Brien, William?Disability to Eyes
O’Connor, AnnO’Connor, Michael5th New York InfantryWidow
O’Leary, JohnO’Leary, John8th United States InfantryLoss of Left Leg
O’Maley, BridgetO’Maley, John53rd Illinois InfantryDependent Mother
O’Mara, AliceO’Mara, Peter (Alias Peter Morrow)2nd Wisconsin InfantryDependent Mother
O’Neill, DennisO’Neill, Dennis10th United States InfantryInjury to Right Eye
O’Shaughnesey, EdwardO’Shuaghnessey, Edward69th New York InfantryWound to Right Arm
Owens, Mary??Widow
Path, AlvinPath, Alvin?Rheumatism
Pelein, ElizaPelein, Alexander25th Iowa InfantryWidow
Pight, JohnPigot, John42nd New York InfantryWound to Right Thigh
Quigley, BridgetQuigley, Patrick51st New York InfantryWidow
Reardon, Catherine (McGuigan)Reardon, Thomas107th New York InfantryWidow
Riddle, JamesRiddle, James8th United States InfantryDisability of Abdominal Viscera
Ridgway, Maria (McDonald)Ridgway, George1st United States CavalryWidow
Rignay, BryanRignay, Brian13th United States InfantryDisability
Riley, JamesRiley, James4th United States CavalryInjury to Head
Russell, FannieRussell, Patrick3rd New Jersey InfantryDependent Mother
Ruth, MosesRuth, Moses?Strain in Back
Ryan, MaryRyan, Patrick5th Rhode Island InfantryWidow
Ryan, Mary??Dependent Mother
Seaver, Michael??Dependent Father
Sheehan, Jane (McClintock)Sheehan, Michael150th Pennsylvania InfantryWidow
Sowery, Ellen M.Sowery, Louis42nd New York InfantryWidow
Stafford, JasperStafford, Jasper170th New York InfantryLoss of Right Arm
Stewart, Mary (Johnston)Stewart, James19th Wisconsin InfanftryWidow
Strawbridge, MargaretStrawbridge, John69th New York InfantryWidow
Sulivan, CorneliusSullivan, Cornelius69th New York InfantryWound to Left Leg and Paralysis
Sullivan, Bridget??Widow
Sullivan, JeremiahSullivan, Jeremiah69th New York InfantryWound to Left Foot
Sullivan, MarySullivan, Michael69th New York InfantryWidow
Sullivan, ThomasSullivan, Thomas?Wound to Left Foot
Tierney, EdwardTierney, JohnU.S.S. HuronDependent Father
Tinan, JohnFinan, PatrickU.S.S. WabashDependent Father
Toomey, MaryToomey, Robert176th New York InfantryWidow
Torrens, IsabellaTorrens, Joseph78th New York InfantryWidow
Voss, WilliamVoss, William?Disability Heart
Walls, Bridget (Crilly)Walls, John116th Pennsylvania InfantryWidow
Walsh, EllenWalsh, Patrick22nd Illinois InfantryWidow
Ward, Ellen??Widow
Waters, WilliamWalters, William52nd Illinois InfantryWound to Head
Webb, AbbyWebb, Thomas Jr.59th Massachusetts InfanftryDependent Mother
Welsh, JohnWelsh, John5th United States CavalryLoss of part of Finger
Whelan, MariaWheelan, Patrick1st New York InfantryWidow
Whelan, MaryWhelan, Dennis82nd Pennsylvania InfantryWidow
White, AnnWhite, John7th Wisconsin InfantryDependent Mother
White, MaryWhite, Edward4th U.nited States CavalryWidow
Wilson, ArchibaldWilsdn, Archibald25th New York CavalryVaricose Veins Left Leg
Wilson, LouisWilson, Louis17th New York InfantryLoss of Right Thigh
Wilson, MargaretWilson, Edward29th Pennsylvania InfantryWidow

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