14.7.2014.

Private Charles Mullen Co. D. Co. Antrim Ireland.

Charles Mullen or McMullen in some documentation emigrated from Co. Antrim the exact place not as now known but likely to be on the Co. Derry - Antrim border along the Upper Bann river. He was born circa 1834. From his emigration records he is noted as having arrived in New York 21st Sept. 1851. He would be aged approx. 17 years of age which suggests he may well have been part of a family unit or along with someone older perhaps a relative or neighbour. Little is known about him in the years between his arrival and his enlisting in the 69thPa. He would be about 25-26 years of age when he enlisted at Camp Observation (Poolesville Md) having come along with a group of other recruits from Pottsville Md. where he had been employed as an iron puddler. It should be noted that Co. D had many men from counties Derry and Tyrone.
Action came quickly to young Charles Mullen and at the battle at Antietam Md. 17th Sept. 1862 he is struck on the side of his skull by a shell fragment which left him with lifelong serious injuries. Bone fragments had entered his brain leaving him with a paralysed right arm and some sensory problems in his facial area. He was hospitalised in hospital No. 1. Frederick Md. However due to the seriousness of his wounds he was pensioned off June 8th 1863 on a pension of $8 per month. As a matter of interest his pension claim was revalidated Sept 4th 1867 the surgeon stating his state of health was unchanged and he probably would never recover. In the 1890 Civil War Census it is stated that after being wounded at Antietam Charles was thrown into a communal grave with other dead soldiers but someone heard him moaning and rescued him.
Charles Mullen however was a survivor and went on to marry and raise a family. He married Sarah Sessler widow of Joseph Slessler by whom she had one son William Sessler. Charles and Sarah had three further children Mary, John and Anna Mullen.
After the war Charles lived in Bloomsberg and finally Danville Pa. He lived until Nov 7th. 1899 and died after a protracted illness. He was buried in the Odd Fellows cemetery Danville Pa. in Section D. Lot 296 on Nov. 10th 1899. His wife Sarah lived until Feb.27th 1926. She is buried with Charles. She was 81 years of age.
After his discharge from the army Charles applied for a pension which he filed August 4th. 1863 under application 29995 certificate No. 17123. His application under the name Charles Mullen. It is of interest to note that he was given a character reference by a Peter Foley obviously another Irishman or Irish American on 23rd. Sept 1863 saying that he Peter had known Charles for the past five years and he was of good character etc. This reference was obviously required for his pension application. It also an initial requirement for full citizenship. Some years later on 14th Sept. 1868 Charles swore an oath of allegiance and admission of American citizenship was granted to him at Danville in front of Prothonotary William O. Butler.

Colour Sergt. David Kiniry Co. C 69th. Pa. Vols. From Co. Cork Ireland.


Colour Sergt. David Kiniry Co. C. 69th Pa.Inf.


The flags of his adopted country, his native Co. Cork and his native land.


Grave marker rededication by men of the 69th Pa.re-enactment regiment. Biography being read by a descendant Kiniry family member.

David was born in Co. Cork Ireland 22nd. April 1837. Like so many Irish he and probably his family emigrated to America. In Philadelphia aged approx. 26 he joined the 24th Pa. Regt. and noted as having corporal rank in Co. C. He later enlisted in the newly forming up 69th Pa. Infantry Co. C. as a Corporal and was promoted Sergt prior to Gattysburg. He had been a member of the Emmets Guards in Philadelphia. As the Emmett Guards were only 37 in number and Col. O'Kane was the captain of the Guards it is probable that O'Kane and Kiniry knew each other very well. He was noted as being 5ft. 8ins tall, brown eyes, brown hair was a tailor by trade and lived in the 5th ward of Philadelphia. He lived all his life in Philadelphia. He was wounded at the battle of Reams Station. At the engagement at Gettysgurg on July 2nd. and 3rd. 1863 he was the Regimental flag bearer carrying the green flag of the 69th. Pa. David survived the war and returned to Philadelphia. He had married a Mary Downey who was also Irish born. They had six children three boys and three girls. Mary died 30. 3. 1883. However David outlived her by many years dieing in Philadelphia 7th. Nov. 1922 in his 80's.He was buried in the Old Cathedral Cemetery Philadelphia 10th.Nov. 1922. In and pension application 1897 it is noted that David had married a 2nd. time to a Johanna Henry. He is buried in the Old Cathedral cemetery not too far from where his commander Colonel Denis O'Kane is buried. David is buried in Sect. U Range 1. Plot 56 2 North. It is of interest to note that David's first pension application was made on the 13th Sept. 1873 and is signed by Lt. Col. James O'Reilley who had been a commanded in the 24th. replacing Col. O'Kane. In 1914 David along with 1st. Sergt. Michael Brady took part in a veterans get together a kind of trooping of the colour as Europeans would understand in Harrisburg Va. Both men were friends and it is known that David Kiniry signed Brady's pension application April 19th. 1908. Brady was born in Co. Cavan Ireland and he was promoted to Colour Sergt. on the 18th. March 1863 and re-enlisted on 31st. Jan. 1864, married a Margaret McAnally 3rd. April 1864 and subsequently they had a family of three. They lived in the 5th ward of Philadelphia. He survived the war and lived until March 18th 1915. He is buried in the Holy Cross cemetery in Philadelphia. His papers state that he was a labourer by trade. Both Bradys parents James and Sarah Connelly were born in Ireland. Brady died Jan 12th 1919 and is buried in the Holy Cross cemetery Philadelphia. Plot 10/12/23/G2.
On 10th Nov. 2012 a marker was placed and dedicated on David Kiniry's grave at the Old Cathedral Cemetery Philadelphia by men of the 69th Pa. Re-enactment unit joined by many members of David's descendant family.


The Kiniry descendant clan at David's grave rededication Philadelphia Nov. 10th. 2012

Images courtesy of Jane and David Kiniry.

Sergt. James Duffy Co. D. 69th. Pa. Vols. From Lettermacaward Co. Donegal Ireland.

So few of the Irish soldiers have traceable links back to the place of their birth in their homeland it is very nice to be able to trace their place of origin from either a stroke of luck in tracing or perhaps from a descendant making contact with the website. Such as been the case with James Duffy.

James Duffy was born in the Lettermacaward parish north of Glenties town in west Co. Donegal Ireland 10th Aug 1839 probably in Dooey townland. Probably a son of a small tenant farmer having perhaps 1 or 2 acres of very poor quality land. The people of the area would be in a scenario of too many people scraping an existence from very poor rocky land. This would be an area which suffered massively from past famines and in the upcoming 1847 famine An Gortha Mor would suffer terribly. Hundreds would die from starvation. The only light at the end of the tunnel would be emigration especially to America. The treck to Derry to join a famine ship would start the adventure of relief. Philadelphia would be a welcome sight after six or seven weeks in the N. Atlantic passage. These were the famine Irish so often mentioned in the history books.
What could he expect in the America of the mid 19th century?. If he was lucky he may well have had a relative from an earlier generation of emigrants who could help him. One source states James and his brother Patrick emigrated from Derry to Philadelphia in 1854 on the ship Libuina. Patrick was aged 15 and James 12. Both had survived the 1847 famine. Subsequent information on both states they stayed at St Patricks church on 20th St Philadelphia. Whether in the protection of the clerics there or simply as shelter. Little is known by me on Patricks life as he seems to have left few traces. However quite a lot is known of James. I do not know anything of his early life in Philadelphia where he probably worked as a labourer. He initially joined the 24th Regt for the statuatory three month enlistment. He then joined the 69th at Philadelphia 23rd. Aug. 1861. Mustered in Camp Observation Md. 31st Oct. 1861. James fought in the Peninsular Campaign, Antietam, and Fredericksburg and Gettysburg. He later transferred to Ambulance Corps Feb 29th 1864. Mustered out Aug. 19th. 1864 expiration of term.
James died in Philadelphia July 7th 1916 aged 76. Was a marble polisher by trade though in last 20 years of his life worked in the Philadelphia Mint. James had a damaged left hand a wound received at Gettysburg. After the war James worked in the U.S. Mint got married to a lady called Sarah Martin from Malin Head Co. Donegal and had a very large family. James had an active interest in Army affairs after the war. He was member of Gus Town Post No. 46 G.A.R. also was a member of St. Patricks Church at 26th and Locust Street. His funeral from the home of his son James Jnr. 2317 Christian St. He was survived by wife Sarah and two other sons Michael and George and daughters Mary Mehrman and Sara Gorman. He had a son an officer in the Philadelphia Police Sergt John J. Duffy of the 20th and Federal St. precinct. James was buried in the Old Cathedral Cemetery along with wife Sarah. Plot S-5-45-M.
Another descendant of James set up a very prestigious business in Philadelphia still operative as now after some 83 years an establishment frequented by such noterities as F. Scott Fitzgerald. Many high powered deals were also done in the business such as that for the film "Fantasia" between Walt Disney, Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Lettermacaward is shown on the map above. The emigrants would have sailed from Derry (close by Muff) up the Foyle then swung into the N. Atlantic heading west past Malin Head which would be the last view countless thousands ever saw of their homeland. Few came back. There are stories of people ashore lighting beacon fires on the headland to say good bye to their relatives as they sailed away to the "Shores of Amerikay". As the bigger steel ships arrived in the late 19th century they would anchor off Moville and tenders would bring the emigrants down from Derry to join the ships.

Private Francis Shields Co. K. 69th Pa. Vols from Kilmacrennan Co. Donegal Ireland.

Francis Shields was born to John Shields and Ann Gallagher and baptised 12th April 1840 at Kilmacrennan Co Donegal Ireland. Kilmacrenan was it those far off days a collection of thatch covered houses lieing on the road between the main town of Letterkenny about 5 miles to the southeast and Dunfanaghy to the northwest.This was an area of Donegal heavily populated by the descendants of the Presbyterian Scots planter stock and a lesser density of English Anglican settlers. These settlers were in near total possession of all the lands forfeited from the ousted O'Donnell clans of Donegal, the O'Donnells having fled the country in the Flight of the Earls along with the O'Neills of Tyrone and Maguires of Fermanagh in 1607. These family leaders sailed from the port of Rathmullan on the west shore of Lough Swilly (see map) north of Letterkenny. Though the Catholic population would have far exceeded the Protestant one they really had no assets worth and reduced to existence living on small plots of land or working on the estates developed by the Plantation settlers. Looking at the historical records of Donegal little is mentioned of this "living air brushed out" section of the community. At best there is mention of the local Catholic clergy and where the local Catholic churches were. This acknowledgement was in my opinion simply done by the Plantation setlers to keep some benine communication going with the peasant Catholic population as they still relied on them to work their estates. They also knew full well keeping the Catholic clergy "on side" through their control of their congregations would ensure that any "difficulties" could soon be sorted. From names noted on the family headstone in St. Annes cemetery it would appear that the Shields emigrated as a family group. As to exactly what year they left we can only guess. It would be easier to guess the reason as being poverty and little hope of improvement. The landlords still expected their rents though in some instances as a "benine" act they would purchase what little land any small farmer had and in many cases subsidised their passage. Many however were subjected to the law and were simply evicted on to the public highway. This was easily done as basically all the local magistrates were appointed and paid by the landlords. By 1861 we know that Francis was in Philadelphia probably with the family unit. He was in 1861 aged 21. He decided to enlist in the 69th Pa Infantry as many scoroes of his fellow countrymen did. He enlisted at Philadelphia on 26th Aug. 1861 onto Co. K of the regiment and mustered in at Camp Observation Md. 31st Oct. 1861. He would do some basic drill training and immediately starts his active servive. By mid Sept. 1862 he finds himself at Antietam. In the ensuring battle there he is mortally wounded Sept 17th 1862. It would appear he was buried in a makeshift battlefield grave as from what dates known he was buried in St.Annes cemetery in Philadelphia Oct 7th. 1861 some three weeks after his death. This would be the time required to retrieve his remains from Antietam and return them to Phialdelphia.
Francis name is easily read off the headstone above. However it is of interest to read what can be read off in closer inspection. "Son of John and Ann Shields who was killed at the battle at Antietam Sept 17th 1862 in the 23rd year of his age". Ann was his mother Ann Gallagher. Also just discernable is the name Mrs Ann Shields ...78 years..Ellen Gallagher...Ann M. Shields. Ellen could have been his mothers sister and perhaps Ann M. Shields Francis's sister.
After the war a small GAR marker (see image above left) would appear to have been laid on the ground in front of the main headstone by GAR group 51 of Philadelphia under the auspices of Capt Schuyler.

Sergt. Patrick Hart Co. K. 69th Pa. Vols from Castledermott Co. Kildare Ireland.

Patrick 2nd son born to Richard and Marcella Cullen. Baptised Castlemartin 23rd Nov 1834. Killed at battle of Antietam Sept 1862. Buried Old Cathedral cemetery Philadelphia. Plot H-7-12-M.

Sergt. Cornelius (Neal) Gillen Co I. and brother Capt. Daniel Gillen born Moville Co. Donegal.

Cornelius (Neal) Gillen and his brother Daniel born 1841 and 1839 respectively in Moville Co. Donegal to Patrick Gillen and Mary McConway who were married at Moville July 19th 1836 by the Rev James McDonagh. (See map above left for Moville). The family emigrated to America and in Philadephia both brothers joined the 69th Pa in 1861. Both men ended up in Co. I. Daniel was captured at battle of Antietam and discharged 17th. Sept 1862. Neal was badly wounded Antietam and later died in Philadelphia. Both are buried in the Old Cathedral cemetery in Philadelphia.

Sergt. Stephen Dooley Co. A. 69th. Pa. Vols. From Co. Laois Ireland.

I suppose most people when they think of their armed forces think of their soldiers being tall handsome Grecian looking guys with flowing locks handsome in the extreme, covered in medals for just about every maneuover they ever made in their army career. Perhaps they won some victories after sustaining heavy losses, some victories even being of the phyrric variety. The Irish soldiers of the 69th. did not really reflect this image. A lot would appear to have been be of smallish stature perhaps around 140 pounds. Great friends but terrible enemies who would have brought real meaning to the "one strike and you're out" comment if it been around then. These men were tough in the extreme looked for but gave no ground and in victory looked not for accolades but had as their medals their pride in their memory ... they had fought in the Grand Army of the Republic. They had kept a great nation in unity. Such a soldier would be epitomised by Sergt. Stephen Dooley.
If one looks at the data bases of the soldiers in the various companies of the 69th. the fact that there were many from the northern counties of Ireland vis Derry, Tyrone, Donegal comes through immediatley. However what must be kept in mind is that there were soldiers from other counties. Such a man would be Stephen Dooley. Firstly we see that his name even as now is not a name associated with the northern part of Ireland. One source researching the 69th. states that he was from Queens Co. Ireland. This in fact would be Co. Laois in east central Ireland west of Co. Wicklow where the name is fairly common. In the case of some of the other soldiers it is said they were from Kings Co. This is in fact Co. Offaly north of Laois.The names Kings Co. and Queens Co. are a hangover from a previous era now they are referred to as Laoise (or Leix) and Offaly.
Looking further as to the source of the name Dooley or more likely O'Dooley in McLysaghts book The Surnames of Ireland a map of the septs of Ireland shows that the O'Dooley sept lived along the northwest slopes of the Slieve Bloom Mountains on the Offaly-Laois border. This ties up with what we know about O'Dooley's roots. Even as now sept name groups still exist in rural Ireland despite movements to the larger towns and cities seeking work. Dooley would most certainly have been able to speak both Irish and English. The name Dooley or more correctly O'Dooley being from the old Irish name O'Dubhlaioch ... dubh meaning black and laioch meaning a hero or champion.

As to why and when Stephen emigrated from Ireland we can guess both fairly accurately. Why? Well a rural Ireland circa 1830 was not the best place to be. The population density was about 8 million and a very agricultural dependent economy. Emigration from Counties Laois and Offaly and all over Ireland would be the order of the times. There was some emigration from Laois area from the late 18th century onwards but emigration dramatically increased during the period of the Great Famine. The chief destinations were Australia, Canada and the United States of America. During the period of the Great Famine Laois lost about 25% of its population with some towns experiencing population reductions of up to 50%.
This is best illustrated by the census of 1841 prior to the great famine of 1847. In 1847 the population was noted as being 153,930. However by 1860 some 12 years after the famine the population was 90,650. Somewhere in this time slot Stephen Dooley either on his own or with a few friends or perhaps his entire family set off for America. Most probably they would have gone via the port of Dublin.
Among the famous people whose family roots lie in Counties Laois and Offaly were: Charles Carroll who was a signatory of the American Declaration of Independence, Col. Oliver North of the U.S. Army and the internationally renowned poet Patrick Kavanagh.
Stephen Dooley was probably from a small labouring family or perhaps his family had a small farm. He would have had a fairly basic education at a local school. It is interesting to see his signature on his re-enlistment document of 1st. Feb. 1864 at Vicksburg Va. which shows a fairly rough hand. This is not a negative comment on Stephen. It is a reflection of the circumstances of the times in Ireland. Survival was first priority, education was a lower priority and thousands of the emigrants of the era could not read and write at all. We also see that when at Hatchers Run in March 26th 1865 he would have got a friend who had better writing and composing skills or more likely a Company writer to compose a letter for him to his wife. He was of course a blacksmith and no doubt the nature of his work would not lead to a fine hand for writing. We shall probably never know what age he was when he arrived in Philadelphia, whether he came with a family unit or with a group of friends.
What we see is that he had some interest in the militia units in the Philadelphia area initially. If not an active member of a militia unit he certainly would know those who were. It is known he volunteered for the 24th. Penn. for a three month enlistment prior to joining the 69th. In the 24th. Penn he would learn soldiering skills which would stand him good when he joined the main 69th. when it formed up in Oct. 1861.
In his enlistment papers he is listed as a blacksmith. This is very interesting. The greater percentage of emigrants coming from Ireland at that period would simply be listed as "labourer". A blacksmith in the Ireland of the time was a skilled trade and was time served. It is possible I suppose he could have learned this trade in Philadelphia but I feel he brought it with him. A lot of incoming Irish found work as barmen, waiters or working in the steel mills. It is noted after the war was over that in the 1870 census he was noted as a "springmaker". Again this would be a skilled trade no doubt based on his blacksmith skills.
Nowadays each soldier's records would no doubt be kept on computer and there would be a lot on each man. In the days of the Civil War there would be less record keeping and each man would have his associated "records" or "papers". We have records on Stephen Dooley which are interesting as not too many people as now would have an idea what they looked like. The image below is a card record and does have some information.These card records probably generated well after the war. This confirms his 3 month enlistment into the 24th. Inf. at Philadelphia 1st May 1861 for a three month period.

The document below though fairly difficult to make out carries a lot of informatiom. It is the disharge document for Stephen's three months enlistment in the 24th Penn. Vol. Inf. It states that he enlisted in May 1861 and discharged 9th. August 1861. He was under the command of Capt. James Duffy. He is noted as being 28 years of age. This would have his birth date in Ireland as 1833. James Duffy was the owner of an Hotel in Philadelphia and no doubt Dooley would have known the establishment well as he would have known O'Kanes. It is very likely Duffy had little difficulty getting Dooley move into the 69th. where Duffy was a Major. It just might flag up why Dooley made Sergt. some time later. This was a regiment that looked for good soldiers from the ranks, I suppose it helped greatly if you knew the officer class from Philadelphia and needless to say also helped if you were a member of the Democratic party and also Catholic.

Know Ye that Stephen Dooley a private of Capt. James Duffy's Company G 24th Penna. Infantry who was enrolled on the ??? of May one thousand eight hundred and 61 to serve three months is hereby discharged from Service of the United States this ninth day of August 1861 at Philadelphia by reason of expiration of service. Said Stephen Dooley was born in Ireland ........28 years of age.5 feet 7 inches in height,light complexion ....eyes and by occupation on enrolement a blacksmith.
Given at Philadelphia this ninth day of August 1861.
James Duffy
Capt.Com. G.Coy.
??? Ruff
Lieut Col.U.S.A.
Mustering officer.

We have no copy of his real enlistment document into the 69th. What we have is a card record. It records that he had done a three month service, he enrolled in Philadelphia 23rd. Aug. 1861, he was aged 26, mustered in as a private at Camp Observation Md. 31st. Oct. 1861 and mustered out 1st. July 1865. He was at muster in 5'6" in height, fresh complexion blue eyes, light hair and he was a resident of Philadelphia. Also he had been promoted Corp. 6th. May 1863. Stephen Dooley's initial three engagement would be up in early 1864. He could have walked away and gone back home to Philadelphia. He was obviously not minded to do so. He was a man of principle and had both loyalty to his comrades and the 69th.
Stephen Dooley re-enlistes at Stevensburg Va. on 1st. Feb. 1864. The 69th. had in fact wintered at Stevensburg. The re-enlistment document is as below. It records that he was born in Queens Co. Ireland, a blacksmith by trade. He was aged 30. He was enlisting for a period of 3 years.The document is signed by Bernie McNeill the Asst Surgeon of the 69th and Lieut. John McIlvane of Co. B. The card also notes that he was mustered in again on 9th. Feb. 1864. Stephen Dooley would soon be promoted. It is noted on the reverse of the records card above that he was promoted Sergt. 17th. Feb. 1864. That he was wounded at The Wilderness 6th. May 1864.
Note: Record keeping was hardly an exact science in Civil War days. Done on the hoof no doubt mistakes compounded by men who themselves did not know their exact date of birth. This factor must be kept in mind when researching these men.
Life in early 1864 would be good for young Stephen Dooley. He had made sergeant rank and as far as the war was concerned he would have by that time survived quite a few battles. Perhaps the biggest battle had been Gettysburg on the 2nd. and 3rd. of July 1863 where he played a major part in the command of Co. A. during a shortfall of line officers. Obviously there "was a girl back in Philly" and in early April 1864 he applied for and was granted leave to get married and on 12th. April 1864 he married Jane McLaughlin in St. James Church in Philadelphia. The Rev Michael F. Martin performs the ceremoney. This is the chaple where Col. O'Kane was buried from in July 1863 after Gettysburg. It was the same pastor Father Michael F. Martin who presided over O'Kanes funeral. Jane McLaughlin was also born in Ireland. The image to the left is of the church where Stephen and Jane were married in.

Re-enlistment document dated 1st. Feb. 1864 Stevensburg Va.

Probably after a short honeymoon in early April 1864 he would be back in the front line again. On May 6th 1864 he is wounded in foot at what the hospital classes "2nd Chancellorsville" ( the Wilderness ). He would be in the Armory Square General hospital in Wash. D.C. suffering from what they called a "contusion" of his left foot. In fact a bullet wound received in exchanges with some Confederate troops from S. Carolina. He was furloughed in Nov. 1864 and returned to duty in Dec. 1864. Probably a period of rest and recuperation back in Philadelphia.
These would be very worrying times for Stephen Dooley his wife and his family back in Philadelphia. He has been very lucky at the Wilderness. We see that he returned back to duty in Dec. 1864. No doubt he saw further conflict until the war ended. We know from a letter he sent home to his wife in Philadelphia dated March 25th 1865 that he was at Hatchers Run Va. and the unit was involved in quite heavy engagements with the enemy.


Click to open letter file.

However it would all be over in 1st. July 1865 at Munsons Hill Va. where he was mustered out and free to return to Philadelphia and pick up his life again. In the 1870 census he is listed as being a springmaker by trade. No doubt a trade based on what he had learned as a blacksmith.
However life was to have a cruel turn for Stephen Dooley. His first named son Stephen born in Philadelphia died aged 8 months 26th. Aug. 1866. On March 8th. 1874 ex. Sergt. Stephen Dooley Co A. 69th. Penn. Vols. dies from hydrophobia ( rabies) however contracted and is buried the very next day March 9th. 1874 in the old Cathedral Cemetery in Philadelphia. He would be around 35 years of age though probably we will never find out his correct age. He was buried from the church of St. Malachy where his young son Stephen Jnr.(the 2nd named Stephen) was baptised the previous August. He is buried in Section A Range 2. Lot 40 East Margin. Stephens wife Jane lived until she was 72 and died 17th. April 1905.

War Service Over.

Stephen Dooley's muster out document.

Stephen Dooley's service in the Civil War in Co. A. ends when he is mustered out by Standing Order S. O. 158 dated June 22nd. 1865 to be operative 1st. July 1865. It is signed by William Davis Act. Colonel and 1st. Lieut. Gallagher. He would be given the above document and head off home to Philadelphia.

Sergt. Stephen Dooley's name on the monumental plaque at Gettysburg.
Image courtesy of John Gaffney descendant relative of Sergt.Nicholas Farrell of Co. B.

Private James Lawler Co. A 69th Pa. from Co. Laois.

This is an interesting story. When I was researching Sergt. Stephen Dooley I was surprised to find he was from one of the smallest counties in Ireland. I wrongly thought that he would be the only Laois man I would find in the regiment. Not so, as recently I received an email from a descendant of Private James Lawler also of Co A asking for any possible information I had on James. I had a quick look through my notes and data bases but nothing of much interest came up but for some reason the name Lawler kept ringing in my head. On looking at the letter that Stephen Dooley had written home from Hatchers Run on March 26th 1865 to his wife (See LETTER HOME icon on Dooley bio above) back home in Philadelphia. Quite a few lines are devoted to the fact that he was discussing with his wife the martial state of Mrs Lawler and her being on the outlook for a new husband. Be aware that this was quite a common state of affairs. Society really did not look after the descendants of soldiers killed or incapicated in the era and if a wife was left with a large family she was in a very difficult situation. In the case of the Lawlers Mrs Lawler was left with six childreen to feed and maintain. It turns out that the Dooleys and the Lawlers lived as neighbours at No 8 and No. 9 Osage Ave Philadelphia so no doubt they were very well known to each other perhaps as far back as their days in Laoise.
It would be fair to assume that both Dooley and Lawler were famine emigrants. It is known that James Lawler married an Esther Quinn in Port Laoise on the 27th.Jan 1846 just as the worst of the Irish famine was worsening. From information on hand and dates known they seem to suggest that the family split and a likely scenarion was that James headed off to America sometime circa 1847 after the birth of daughter Mary. The next child was born in America in 1853 and others followed. No children born between 1847 and 1853 suggesting wife and husband seperation. It may well be that Esther arrived in America late 1852. We shall never know for sure what happened. It is known that daughter Mary was left in Ireland and did not come to America until the mid 1860's a sad story knowing that her father had been killed in 1862. He would not have seen his daughter since she was a child in Ireland. As to what prompted James Lawler to join the 69th we shall never know for sure as he did so when he was relatively old aged 36 in 1861. He was some 10 years older than Dooley his neighbour. But having a wife and six children to support would no doubt colour his decision. No doubt the army pay and bonuses were more attractive than the pay he was getting as a labourer. He would take his chance.
Both Dooley and Lawler were assigned to Co A of the 69th and remained there. Dooley having has some army service prior to the 69th having served in the 24th Pa. He soon obtained Corporal rank in the 69th.
Both men probably served in all the battles the 69th fought in right up to the confrontation at Fredericksburg. Here things would change dramatically. Dooley was wounded in the fighting but survived and after a spell in hospital went home on furlough to Philadelphia. Lawler was not so lucky and was killed there 13th. Dec 1862. No doubt there was great sadness in both households back in Philadelphia. Dooley probably knew exactly the circumstances of Lawlers demise but how would he deal with discussing it with Lawlors wife and young family?.
To date James Lawlers burial place is unknown. One document that is worth noting is from a Capt. Gleason Brigadier Quartermaster of the official casualty list of the 69th at Fredericksburg since Dec. 11th 1862. It lists both the killed and wounded. Lawlers name is at the top of the killed list along with some 12 others. Dooleys name is in the wounded section.
To date little can be found on what happened to the dead soldiers. No information where buried, bereavement notices. funeral dates or cemeteries used. The only link found so far is a notice in the Philadelphia Ledger dated 29th Dec.1862 stating that Corp John McElroy was killed at Fredericksburg 13th.Dec. 1862. Notice dated some 19 days after he was killed. So some 16 days after his death his folks in Philadelphia were obviously realising his remains were not coming home. Perhaps this explains why no other notices come to light. At this stage it kind of looks like all the 69th killed at Gettysburg were buried on the battlefield. However maybe some day some information will come to light on this.
Esther did eventually re-marry an Edward Conway in 1867 and moved with her family from Philadelphia to Phoenixville in 1867. There was no family from this union. Esther Quinn Lawler Conway died in 1885.

With thanks to descendant family members of the Dooley and Lawler families for sharing information with me.

Capt.Thomas Woods Co. E 69th Pa Vols.Co. Cavan.

Born Cootehill Co. Cavan Ireland Dec. 8th 1831.

Cootehill or Moybologue the original name of the parish, is a market town and a parish, partly in the barony of Lower Kells, county of Meath, province of Leinster, partly in that of Castlerahan, but chiefly in Clankee barony, county of Cavan, about 54 miles NW from Dublin, 7.5 NE from Virginia, 14 NW by N from Kells, and 12.5 S from Cootehill; situated in a valley on the road between the two last named towns. It consists of one principal street and two diverging lanes. There is no particular branch of trade flourishing here, the business enjoyed being of a general and local nature, carried on by the shopkeepers." [From Slater's Directory (1896)]


Cootehill Co. Cavan 1835

Permission of Royal Irish Academy.

When one reads the names of most Irish soldiers who fought in the Civil War information about them always focusses on their actual military exploits and little had been written down about their early lives. Many of their descendants in America in particular have therefore little knowledge of their ancestors, of their lives in Ireland prior to emigration and indeed much knowledge of the places they were from in Ireland.


Co. Cavan Ireland. Cootehill on northen border of Cavan with Co. Monaghan.

Let us look at what limited knowledge we have on Thomas Woods, his earl;y life in Ireland and his army service and some notes on his subsequent life. Note it is more likely that his name was spelled as Woods in Ireland.
Thomas Woods was born in Cootehill Co. Cavan. Now we will probably never know exactly where in the Cootehill parish area. It may well have been in the small village there at the time or in some of the townlands in the parish of Cootehill. This was a poor part of Ireland and emigration would have been an option for many, to America in particular. He is recorded as being a carpenter by trade when he joined the Army at the start of the Civil War. Now was it a trade learned in Ireland or in America?. I tend to think that it was a trade learned in Ireland. From my research into the soldiers of the 69th any man who had a "trade" as such would appear to have been ear marked for promotion. Remember that any man who had a trade had learned many skills understanding measurement, weight, use of instruments,beinmg well able to read and write and have reasonable communication skills and he would soon catch the eye of senior officers in the army. At the time the greater percentage of Irish emigrants from the Ireland of the era would be poorly educated have few skills and as the records show merely listed as "laborer". They would be the foot soldiers,the privates. However it must be realised that these men would form the backbone of the army and indeed high praise must be given to them for their courage and dedication to duty and ideals.
As to the exact year Thomas emigrated we shall never know. However if he had learned his trade as a carpenter here in Ireland he would probably have been 20 when he completed his apprenticeship as a carpenter. I feel he probably emigrated between 1855 and 1860. He would certainly be in Philadelphia by late 1860 or early 1861. He would get involved as so many did in the Phialadelphia militias of the time initially in the Meagher Guards where he became an orderly sergeant.
From the Meagher Guards he enlisted in the three month enlistment in the 24th Pa. Regt in April 1861. After discharge from this unit on Aug. 10th 1861 he moved quickly into what was then the California Regt. Baker Guards 69th. Pa on Aug 19th. 1861. This unit would later become the 69th Pa Vol. Infantry - "Paddy Owens Regulars". He was mustered into the 69th Pa proper on 31st. Oct. 1861 as an ensign at Camp Observation. He was noted as being 29 years of age.
Thomas was wounded at the battle of Antietam 17th Sept. 1862.
He was promoted 1st. Lieut.in this unit 1st, May 1863. He was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg 3rd. July 1863 by a shell fragment and as result was hospitalised in Philadelphia and did not return to the regiment until Sept of the same year. Soon after on the 29th Oct 1863 he was promoted this time to Captain in Co. E. around the time of the battle of Turkey Run Va.
He was on detached duties in Philadelphia in Jan and Feb of 1864 but went absent without leave in April of the same year. For whatever reason he joined the 3rd Regt Pa. Cavalry as a private in Co. D. No doubt trying to conceal his earlier misdeeds. He remained with the 3rd Regt. Pa Cavalry and was discharged in May 1865.It is noted on his file that at some time he had been discharged from the 69th by S.O.No. 427 of which I have no information.
Like so many soldiers in the Civil War he was married twice. Many 1st wives died in childbirth. Firstly he married a Catherine Taggart of Philadelphia probably the sister of Lieut John Taggart another soldier in the 69th. They had two children Joseph and Anne. Catherine died in 1873. He would appear to have lived in Wash. D.C from 1865 the end of the Civil War until 1884. He remarried a Mary Cunningham who died in 1906. His last years seem difficult to trace and it is likely he lived in Newport News Va. from 1888-1890. He may have lived in the old Soldiers home at Hampton Va 1900-1907 and may have died there. Some sources state that Thomas never recovered fully from his war wounds. Thomas Woods like so many of his fellow soldiers from Philadelphia is buried in the New Cathedral Cemetery in that city.

Capt. Thomas Woods attended the funeral of Colonel Dennis O'Kanes in Philadelphia in Aug. 1863 as did Lieut John Taggart also of the 69th. Kind of proves that Catherine Taggart was in fact the sister of Lieut Taggart. It is of interest to note that Lieut John Taggart had two other brothers who fought for the 69th. all in Co.E. Hugh a private who died at Harrisons Landing Va. from disease Aug 16th 1862. He was the oldest brother. The third brother Patrick a Sergt. though wounded at Gettysburg survived the war. Some sources suggest that the brothers from Co. Down Ireland.
In the company data bases a Private soldier by the name of John Woods turns up as a member of Co's D and I. Possibly a brother of Thomas.
Thomas Woods was promoted to 1st Lieut when Ist Lieut Alex Lovett was wounded and left the unit. Later when Lovett recovered and joined the VRC the Voluntary Reserve Corps he Lovett was the arresting officer in charge of the unit which arrested Dr. Mudd after President Lincoln's assassination. Lovett survived the war and died on March 19th 1887 and is buried in the New Cathedral cemetery in Philadelphia.

Lieut. Murdock Campbell. Co. B. 69th.Pa. Inf. born Co. Clare Ireland.

I have often commented to others that there is a book and a movie in the life experiences of some of the men of the 69th. While their war service in the Union Army is of much interest to those who study the details of the war proper, battles fought in, military tactics,losses, ground lost and won etc this is fine but I personally find the life story of each man to be more fascinating. This aspect I have concentrated on in this website in most cases. Murdock Campbell was born in Co. Clare on the western seaboard of Ireland circa 1830. Co. Clare is a most beautiful county. However in the early/mid 19th century it was a place of great poverty. There was little employment and probably Murdocks family lived out an existence on a small holding of perhaps 5 or 10 acres at best. The nation to the west or as President J.F.Kennedy referred to as "the next parish", America beckoned. As to when Murdock left for America we will never know. He may have left with his family or a group of friends. We know that his wife was also Irish so it is possible he may have left as a married man. Like so many others he appeared to find employment in Philadelphia.
You may wonder about his name a most Scottish one. Murdock Campbell is certainly not an Irish one. True but if one looks at the history of the west of Ireland and the Plantation of Ulster many settlers found their way to the west of Ireland. Scots and English names are frequently found there. However it will be found that in most cases their religion would as now be Catholic even though their ancestors in the 16th and 17th centries would have been Protestant most likely Presbyterian. Also through the centuries many regiments of the English army were garrisoned in the west of Ireland and many soldiers stayed and married into the local population. In parts of Connemara as now there are many descendants of Cromwells soldiers who had been garrisoned in the west. However as now the descendants will be Catholic and have a total Irish ethos but will have very English or Scots surnames. Many have endeavoured to make Irish names from the English or Scots ones not too different to the Anglification of Irish names in later years. I feel that is just likely Murdock was of this stock. However we will never know for sure. Let us look at his life.
We know from the Civil War records that he was noted as being aged 28 in 1861 when he joined the 24th Reg for the 3 month enlistment on the 3.5.1861 in Philadelphia. He is noted as living in Philadelphia.

Holy Cross Church Santa Cruz California.

The above church built in 1889 is built on the site of the old Santa Cruz mission church. The commerative granite arch which is seen in the front of the church was erected in 1891 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Misssion Santa Cruz. It is more likely that Murdock and his family attended the old Mission Santa Cruz though his children probably attended the above church. By 1890 both Murdock and his wife would have been near the end of their days. He was most certainly in poor health as he was recorded as dieing of bronchial problems.

From his service records it is seen Murdock first served in Co. B of the 24th Regt then enrolled in Co. B. 69th.Pa on 31.8.1861 again in Philadelphia. He mustered into the Regt. at Camp Observation Md.on 31.10.1861. He had quite an eventful war and a lot is recorded about his service in the war. He gained promotion at various times. Quickly promoted to Sergt. then Sergt.Major 5.11.1863. He fought at Gettysburg. Later promoted Lieut. However in action a Spotsylvania C.H. 12.5.1864 he was badly wounded. He was shot behind his right ear and jaw damaging both his skull and jaw causing lifelong deafness. He was also struck across his left face by a sabre between his lower left jaw and ear. Some few months later he was discharged by Surgeons Certificate on 27.10.1864. Murdock's war was over.

View of the "old" Santa Cruz graveyard. Two Campbell family grave plots lower forefront. Wife Hannah is vertical plinth and Murdock's the Civil War plinth to right of Hanna's. Hanna was born Ireland Nov.30th. 1832

After leaving the army what happened to Murdock?. With most soldiers then as now it is very difficult to find out a lot after they cease military careers and move into civilian life. However we have some trace information on Murdock. It is found that he signed naturalisation papers in San Francisco on Sept 2nd 1867. It would be a fair assumption that he alone or perhaps as a married man left Philadelphia to "go West" not too long after the Civil War ended. Did he perhaps "go west" as a single man and meet his wife in California?. Why did he not stay in Philadelphia with his friends and family?. If one looks at the cause of death in 1890 he would be about 60 years of age. The better climate of California might have suited him better rather that the bitter cold and wet winters of Pennsylvania. It is noted that he was "registered" to vote on Sept 13th 1880 again in San Francisco though we know that by this stage he was living in Santa Cruz.

Lieut. Murdock Campbell Co. B. 69th Pa. Vol. Inf. Civil War headstone and GAR marker W.H.L Wallace Post 32.
Born Co.Clare Ireland c.1830 died Santa Cruz California 1890.

I sometimes hear the fiddles play, maybe it's just a notion
I dream I see white horses dance upon that other ocean
It's a long way from Clare to here
It's a long, long way
It get's further by the day
It's a long, long way from Clare to here.

Murdock died 22.7. 1890. Hannah his wife had died a few months earlier on 28.3.1890. Murdock and Hannah lived at Caledonia St. However in a business diary of Santa Cruz it states that Murdock ran a tailoring business at Mission Street where the family lived and had their business. As to when Murdock got involved in tailoring no information is on hand. Maybe he learned the trade in Ireland or in Philadelphia. Because he received such rapid promotion in the 69th I feel that he was at enlistment a very capable man with a good education. He was never slow to pen his thoughts about the way the 69th was run!. Quick to pen his reactions he made a written complaint to Col. O'Kane the Regt commander when another officer, McIlvain was promoted over him stating that McIlvane had gained votes in the Company due to them receiving extra issues of whiskey from McIlvain. However O'Kane did reply saying that he Campbell would soon be promoted which he was!. From the very limited information on hand about him and his family research shows that he had applied for a disability pension (No.243017) and the examining surgeons certificate dated Santa Cruz March 31st 1878. It lists his various wounds and notes that his general state of health was poor. Along with this the examining doctor C.L.Anderson noted concern about him and noted that there was a large family to support.
We do not know if he received a pension from his 1878 application but it is known he applied for a pension on Sept 19th 1883 from Santa Cruz, perhaps for additional funding. On the application it states he was 53 years old about 5ft 5ins tall and about 140 Lbs weight (10 stone). It then lists his wounds. Again it is Dr.Anderson who examined him.

When Hannah died in Santa Cruz 28.3.1890 her death notice appeared in the Santa Cruz Cronicle the next day March 29th 1890.
CAMPBELL: in this city March 28th Mrs H beloved wife of M.Campbell mother of John M. and Alex Campbell, Mrs Kate Silva, Mrs M Silva and Mrs M.Wagner and sister of Mrs C.M. Bunting of Chamberlain Dakota, a native of Ireland aged about 60 years.The funeral of the deceased will take place from her residence Caledonia St. East Santa Cruz tomorrow Sunday at 2pm.
From the above it would appear that Murdock and Hanna had a family of two boys and three girls (at least). It is of interest to note Hanna is said to be the sister to Mrs C.M. Bunting in Chamberlain Dakota.This kind of suggests that Hannah and sister Mrs Bunting may well have been already in California prior to arrival of Murdock. However we see her birth place confirmed as Ireland.
Though there are no markers on the other Campbell grave beside Murdock and Hanna except a small rectangular slab at the edge of the plot with "Campbell" on it. It is very probable that their last surviving son John alias Jerry who lived in Salinas and who died Nov 19th 1922 aged 48 is buried in the adjacent plot. The Sant Cruz Sentinentel of Nov. 19th 1922 carried information on his death with some notes on his life and relatives.

Some 118 years after his death a friend of the 69th drops by!.

"Ar dheis De go raibh a anam".

Acknowledgements and thanks:

For information extracted from Schellins Collection of Historical Materials- Vol. 209 Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Public Library
Informtion extracted from old copies of The Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Information extracted from the book Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum- Combined Records Vol 1. by the Santa Cruz county Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz Co.2004.
Information extracted from a book or roll call named as the Great Register of Santa Cruz Co.1882 by the Santa Cruz Printing Co.