Over recent months I have been volunteering some of my time to help the Glasnevin Trust locate individuals interred in the cemetery who served in the American Civil War. Readers may recall my previous research into this topic back in 2010 (which you can read here). Since that time I have come across more individuals with Civil War links, the majority of whom came to light through my pension file analysis. In addition, Trust historian Conor Dodd has flagged a number of records that may relate to American service which I have investigated further for them. I am sharing the list as it stands below, which covers all those identified with 19th century American military links. There are still questions to be answered about some of these individuals, and undoubtedly many more to be added. If you feel you can add any details in either respect, please drop me a line!
“Captain Hall”, Blockade Runner
A 10 April 1902 obituary I located in the Freeman’s Journal refers to this native of Mayor Street, Dublin, who was buried in Glasnevin having died at the approximate age of 70. Among his many stated exploits during a long naval career was that he “ran the blockade many times during the American Civil War”.
Bannon, Father John, First Missouri Brigade (Confederate)
Known as the “Confederacy’s Fighting Chaplain”, Father Bannon (1829-1913) is buried in the Jesuit section of Glasnevin Cemetery. He had been sent to St. Louis following his ordination, and when war broke out he served as Chaplain to the First Missouri Confederate Brigade. He was captured with his unit following the fall of Vicksburg in 1863. He subsequently returned to Ireland in an attempt to assist in the disruption of Union recruitment efforts on the island.
Burke, Peter, USS Ranger
Peter enlisted on 13th September 1876 and was discharged on 8th March 1879. He had served as a Petty Officer aboard USS Ranger while she was operating in the Far East. When anchored at Hong Kong in 1878, Peter fell in the act of securing a launch to the ship. This caused him to be hospitalised in Japan and ultimately led to his discharge. He had an address at 6 Botanic Avenue, Drumcondra, but when he died was at 5 Wellesley Place on Russell Street. He was interred in Glasnevin Cemetery in May 1905.
Byrne, Andrew J., United States Regulars, 65th New York Infantry
Andrew J. Byrne was a fascinating individual; a Civil War soldier, Fenian and author, he was wounded at Malvern Hill and Cedar Creek. You can read the review of his memoirs on the site here. Andrew’s grandson, Seamus Condon, who published Andrew’s memoirs is featured here (he is himself a veteran of the Congo). Andrew is also featured in this post about Fenian mugshots. Andrew worked as a bricklayer in Dublin in his latter years, living at 5 Palmerston Place. He was interred in Glasnevin Cemetery in August 1911.
Carey, Mary, A Gettysburg Widow
My research did not include Civil War widows buried in Glasnevin this time round, but there are undoubtedly a number of them. As a representative I have added Mary’s details here. As Mary Kennedy she had married Stephen Carey in Glasnevin on 3rd January 1850. Their first daughter Bridget was born in December 1850, their second Mary in October 1852. Stephen enlisted in Company A of the 2nd Delaware Infantry in May 1861, and was killed in action at Gettysburg on 2nd July 1863. When Mary was interred in Glasnevin Cemetery in February 1887, it was recorded that she “had been a soldier’s wife”. Her last address had been 9 Wrenn’s Cottages, South Richmond Street.
Clinton, John, 61st Massachusetts Infantry
John was recorded as a 36-year-old barber when he was enrolled at Salem, Massachusetts on 28th November 1864. He served in Company G, and was involved in the assault on Fort Mahone on 2nd April 1865. He was discharged on 16th July 1865. When he returned to Ireland he continued his trade as a barber. His last address before his death was 88 Capel Street; he was interred in Glasnevin Cemetery in February 1894.
Corrigan, Phillip, 16th United States Infantry, 1st Battalion
Phillip enlisted as a 33-year-old laborer from Chicago on the 10th September 1861. He served in Company C and was discharged on 3rd March 1863 as a result of injuries sustained when he took a gunshot wound to the leg. That likely occurred during the Battle of Stones River, Tennessee. After his return to Ireland, Phillip lived at 7 Clonturk Avenue, Druncomdra. He was interred in Glasnevin following his death in December 1900, after which his widow Kate received a pension.
Delmore, Henry, 1st New York Marine Artillery
Henry enlisted on 9th May 1862 and served in Company I. That June he was serving in New Berne, North Carolina, but wasn’t there for long before he contracted malaria. This forced his discharge on 9th February 1863. He was living at 41 Upper Rutland Street at the time of his death, and was buried at Glasnevin in May 1899.
Donnelly, Patrick, 22nd United States Infantry
Patrick was born in Carlow. He enlisted as a 21-year-old laborer in New York City on 29th October 1885, and was assigned to Company H of the regiment. He was discharged for disability at Fort Lewis, Colorado on 5th May 1887, having been partially paralysed in both his legs by Typhoid Fever. His last address was 45 Harty Place. Patrick was buried in Glasnevin in March 1904.
Dwyer, Hugh Bernard, American Army Pensioner
Identified by Glasnevin Cemetery. Their records indicate that Hugh was an American Army pensioner, but as yet I have not been able to positively tie down his service. He died on 25th April 1904 aged 80-years. He had worked as a chandler. Interestingly, his last address, 5 Wellesly Place, Russell Street, was also the building where Peter Burke who had served aboard USS Ranger lived.
Fitzsimons, John, 10th New York Infantry
The 76-year-old John Fitzsimons who was interred in Glasnevin Cemetery in July 1903 is almost certainly the same John Fitzsimons who last claimed his American military pension in Dublin the previous March. He had enlisted in New York City on 4th March 1864, when he was a 36-year-old cook. Assigned to Company D of the 10th New York Infantry, he was wounded at the Battle of The Wilderness, Virginia on 6 May 1864. He spent much of the next year in hospital, finally being discharged from the service on 29th May 1865. He passed away in the North Union Workhouse.
Hayde, William, 8th United States Infantry
Initially identified by Glasnevin Cemetery, William was recorded as an American Army Pensioner at the time of his death in March 1892. My research indicates that William was born in Co. Wicklow. A laborer, he enlisted at the age of 22 on 6th June 1849 in New York, and was assigned to Company F. He spent his entire service in Texas and was discharged on 6th June 1854. His last address in Dublin was 3 Albion Terrace in Inchicore.
Hayes, William Charles, 5th New York Cavalry, 18th New York Cavalry
Identified by Glasnevin, William was recorded as 75-years-old when he was interred there in 1916. My research indicates that William enlisted in the 5th New York Cavalry at the age of 20 on 21st August 1861, becoming a member of Company B. At the time he worked as a clerk. He was promoted to Corporal but was discharged for disability on 3 September 1862. He returned to the service on 23rd June 1863, when he entered Company A of the 18th New York Cavalry as First Sergeant, though he was later reduced to the ranks. He mustered out a Corporal on 27th May 1865.
Long, John, American Pensioner
Glasnevin have identified John Long who was interred in the cemetery in August 1914 as an American pensioner. He was 82-years-old and had been living at 21 Benburb Street. I have not been able to narrow down John’s service any further as yet, given the prevalence of John Longs in the American military.
Mahon, James Patrick “The O’Gorman Mahon”, Civil War Adventurer?
The famed O’Gorman Mahon, Member of Parliament, duellist and international traveller, is often referenced as having become involved in the American Civil War (though he was in his 60s at the time). I have never been able to identify anything to corroborate this claim. He passed away in June 1891.
Mooney, John, United States Marines Corps, USS Saugus
John enlisted in the U.S. Marines on 23rd September 1873 and was discharged for disability on 26th September 1877. John’s injury was caused when he got his knee caught in a hatch on board the Saugus, an accident that permanently impacted his mobility. He was just 44-years-old when he died at Our Lady’s Hospice at 8 Grand Canal Terrace in September 1893. He had previously made his home at 65 Capel Street.
Moran, Thomas, USS Aroostook, USS Bienville
Thomas had enlisted on 27th February 1862 and was discharged on 4th May 1865. He had not been in the United States for long when he joined up, as he had married Mary Noonan in St. Michan’s in the summer of 1859. At the time Thomas had been living at 32 Church Street, Mary at 72 Church Street. A cooper by trade, he was just 48-years-old when he died from Bronchitis in the Mater Hospital at 14 Bolton Street in February 1887. Their home had been 17 Ellis Quay in Dublin.
Murphy, Patrick, 36th New York Infantry
The 84-year-old labourer interred in Glasnevin in November 1915 having died in the South Union Workhouse is probably the man of the same name and approximate age who had been claiming an American pension in Dublin up to that date. Patrick had enlisted in Company I of the regiment on 9th November 1861. At the time he gave his residence as “no home”. He was wounded at the Battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia on 31st May 1862, and was discharged the following October.
Niland, Hugh, USS North Carolina, USS Commodore Morris, USS Proteus, USS Savannah
Hugh, a cooper, was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in December 1894 having passed away on the North Dublin Union Workhouse. The family lived at 62 Upper Dominick Street. I have written up their fascinating and extensive family story here.
O’Brien, Michael, 5th New Jersey Light Artillery
The Manchester Martyr Memorial at Glasnevin includes the name of Michael O’Brien, who during the Civil War served with the 5th New Jersey Light Artillery. One of the Irish Republican Brotherhood leaders who he helped to free during the fateful Manchester operation was Thomas Kelly, who had served as an officer in the 10th Ohio Infantry and on the staff of General George Henry Thomas. Michael was buried in England following his execution.
O’Brien, James Francis Xavier, Confederate Surgeon
James Francis Xavier O’Brien (1828-1905) was a member of the Fenian Brotherhood and also served as a Member of Parliament for the Irish Parliamentary Party. He was in America at the outbreak of the Civil War, and served briefly as an Assistant Surgeon for the Confederates in New Orleans.
O’Mahony, John, 99th New York State National National Guard Artillery
A founder of the Fenian movement while he was in New York, the famed Limerickman (1816-1877) served as Colonel of the 99th New York National Guard in 1864, guarding Confederate prisoners at Elmira. You can read correspondence from their service at the camp here.
O’Shea, Timothy, 1st United States Artillery, 8th United States Cavalry
There is a likelihood that the 56-year-old laborer interred at Glasnevin in May 1899 is the same Timothy O’Shea who was being pensioned in Dublin that year, and who was suffering from muscular atrophy. Timothy’s term of service in the cavalry is yet to be established, but his time in the artillery began on 20th October 1881. During that time the unit was stationed on the west coast, around San Francisco and Fort Canby, Washington. He was discharged from Battery I on 19th October 1886. Timothy’s last address was 29 Upper Tyrone Street.
Ryan, Denis, 6th New York Heavy Artillery, 13th New York Heavy Artillery
Denis was 26-years-old when he enlisted in Buffalo on 12th September 1863. He served in Companies I and D of the 13th New York Heavy Artillery until 1865, transferred to the 6th Heavy Artillery on 18th July 1865 and was mustered out a month later. A cooper by trade in Ireland, his last address was 24 Thomas Davis Street on the Crumlin Road. Denis was buried in Glasnevin in January 1900.
Todd, John, 5th United States Artillery
The 80-year-old chandler buried in Glasnevin in October 1912 is almost certainly the same John Todd who was receiving an American military pension in Dublin. He was a 32-year-old laborer when he enlisted on 20th August 1864 in New York City. Assigned to Battery D, he served with the Army of the Potomac and was discharged for disability on 15th July 1865. He was living at 3 Charleville Mall when he died.
Walker, William Dillon, Union Army
William Dillon Walker possesses one of the most important American Civil War memorials in Ireland, yet almost nothing is known aof his service. Despite numerous efforts I have not been able to pin down his unit, so any assistance is greatly appreciated! The monument was erected by Walker’s friends and family very shortly after his death in the conflict. It records that he fell at the Battle of The Wilderness on 5th May 1864 “combating for the restoration of the Great Republic of the United States”. The presence of the memorial was being remarked upon in American newspapers as early as 1866. Prior to his service for the Union, William had been a member of the Papal Brigade that served the Pope in 1860 Italy– service for which he was proclaimed a Knight of the Order of St. Sylvester. He was a native of Golden Bridge in Dublin.
Wilson, Louis, 17th New York Veteran Infantry
Louis was 54-years-old when he was interred at Glasnevin in September 1886. A printer, his last address had been 1 William Terrace, Stoney Road, North Strand. He had entered the American Civil War as a 29-year-old on 22nd June 1863, becoming a member of Company E. Fighting in the Western Theater, he was severely wounded at the Battle of Jonesboro outside Atlanta on 1st September 1864. As a result his right leg was amputated. Louis was discharged from the military on 9th June 1965.
There are undoubtedly many more individuals in Glasnevin Cemetery with links to the American Civil War and American military service more generally. If you have any information on them, or details to add on any of those featured here, I am eager to hear from you, so please drop me a line!
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