Though this site is primarily about the 69th Pa Infantry it would be remiss of me not to put down a small bio to the memory of other soldiers who fought in other wars for America found in the course of my research. I am already noting down on the main 69th site others I find who took part in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the Mexican war.
Sean was born on the Grosvenor Road area of Belfast Ireland June 11th 1949 and in the early 1950's went to America probably with his parents. His name appears on the Vietnam Wall and he is noted as being from Pittsburg which I suggest is where he was living when he enrolled aged just 19. His tour of duty in Vietnam started Nov 5th. 1967 but sadly he was killed Sept 30th 1968 in Quang Nam S. Vietnam. He was killed by hostile artillery, rocket or mortar fire. His body was recovered and returned home. He had served just one year. He held Class E4 corporals rank when he was killed. On the Vietnam wall his name is inscribed Panel 42W. Line 45. He was in the 1st Marine Div. 1st Marine Regt. 1st Batt. He is buried in Christ our Redeemer Catholic Cemetery Pittsburg Pa. Plot Section M.
Peter was born in the beautiful Cashel area of Connemare Co. Galway in Western Ireland. After emigrating he enlisted in the U.S. Marines as a regular soldier reaching Lcpl rank E3. His tour in Vietnam began on Sept. 30th. 1968 but he was killed in Quang Nam province from hostile encoming fire by multiple fragmentation wounds on Mar. 31st 1969. He is commemorated on the Vietnam Wall Panel 28W Line 99. Peter is buried in a very remote area of Connemara a beautiful and wild place. The graveyard for the local people being a small section of soft bog in amongst the rocks of the area. I have visited his grave and it is sobering to look at the small white marine marker sticking up through the bogland foliage in this serene and beautiful place a long way from the hell in a far off place where his young life was ended. And for what?.
This young man has an interesting background and is worth noting. How did he end up fighting for the American Expeditionary Force, the AEF in Europe on the side of the British in WW1, born an American citizen and be buried in Ireland the birth place of his mother and father with the agreement of the American government?
Let us look at his background firstly starting with his father William Mallon. William was born in Stewartstown Co. Tyrone near Dungannon. His death is recorded in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915 Film No. 1011828 digital folder 4008678 image No. 427 ref No. V2P51.They give an estimated birth date of 1833 in Ireland that he was white and married. It also records his death as being on 26th July 1899 in Philadelphia. His birth date on the family headstone at the family grave at St. John the Baptist church at Galbally near Dungannon states his birth as being 11th Sept 1831 and he was born in nearby Stewartstown.
As to when William emigrated I have no information. Suffice to say that it may well have been around the famine or post famine era circa 1850 when there appears to have been a great exodus to America from this area of Tyrone and S. Derry. However as now I have no exact emigration date. However it does appear that he chose Philadelphia as his destination like so many others he probably settled in the Germantown area of Philadelphia.
The next positive identification trace we have is when his son William Tally Mallon was born to his wife formerly Mary A. McKean also from the same area back home. We know that their son William Tally Mallon was born on 15th April 1899. As we know his fathers death date of 26th July 1899 aged 66 meant that William the father died about three months after his son's birth. Mary McKean was born in 1868 and was some 35 years younger than her husband William Sen. On the family headstone at Galbally chaple it gives her death date as 21st June 1930. She would have died aged 62. From information on the headstone it states her name at her demise was Mary A Branigan nee McKane Mallon Branigan. Obviously she had remarried. It is also noted from the family headstone that her 2nd husband John Branigan died 22nd Oct 1928. William Mallon Snr's obituary notice is interesting showing that the family must have been of good standing thus meriting a High Mass rather than the normal Mass for the dead. Perhaps they were good supporters of their local parish and quite well off! In any case we see that they lived in 330 Armat St. Germantown and attended St. Vincents church. Another interesting thing to note that Phoenixville newspapers were asked to copy signalling up they probably had friends and relatives living in that area. These were very Irish areas of greater Philadelphia. It is of interest to note that the licence for the inn or bar at 330 Armat Street was immediately applied for within days of William Senr's demise by his widow Mary A. Mallon.
One can only suppose that Mary Ann Mallon maintained the bar for support for herself and her young son William Tally Mallon. However at some stage she remarried a John Branigan. It would appear that when aged about 6 years William Tally Mallon moved with his family to New York City. He probably had his early education there. For whatever reason he enlisted in the New York 165th in April 1917 not yet aged 17. What was his motivation? Was he politically motivated perhaps knowing the background of the 69th. New York and its historical roots and having many senior officers in its ranks with some intention to use the war skills they had learnt to come back to Ireland and fight for its independence? No doubt he would have heard many such tales and was perhaps motivated likewise. As a 17 year old he was probably easily impressed and if he could get "over there" he would at least be close to Ireland. If the A.E.F would fight for "little Belgium's freedom" perhaps Ireland would also fall into the same mould? Not so at this stage though things would change in 1922 with no involvement of the A.E.F.
As a very young soldier Pvte. Mallon set sail from Montreal Canada and arrived in France via Liverpool and Southhampton aged 17 in 1917 when the land war in western France was at its hight as the allies pushed for control of Paris. However his young life was ended by a German snipers bullet in July 1918. He was as many other soldiers buried in a noted battlefield graveyard and his remains remained there until 1922.
His mother back in the States would appear to have decided to return to Ireland in 1919 after the death of her husband. However she did not forget her child lying in a far off French battlefield grave and she undertook to write to the the Adjutant General of the U.S. army asking that the remains of her son be brought back for burial in Ireland. Her wish was granted and on the 20th. May 1922 his remains were buried at Galbally his casket being covered by the United States flag.
Not only was Pvt. Mallon's body brought back but also some 63 other Irish born United States soldiers were also brought back at the same time. Remember Mallon was American born to Irish parents but the others Irish born in the service of the United States. The bodies were brought back to Dublin on what was a small coaster called the Millwater which was in fact owned by a coal company called Mellonie and Goulder of Ipswich.
Some 90 years later his grave at Galbally was re-dedicated on 19th May 2012 and a new plaque thereon was unveiled by Offaly born Brig. Gen. James Cullen of the U.S. Army Retd. along with a member of the U.S. Consul in Belfast.
Apart from Pvt. Mallon there are several other Korean Vets. buried in this graveyard namely Father John Rafferty, Dan Kerr and Thomas Donoughue of the U.S. Army. There is also the possibility that this graveyard is where the mother of General Shields of Civil War fame may be buried (Under investigation). Gen. Shields father is buried in the old graveyard at nearby Donaghmore old graveyard.
Note: As mentioned in the text above some other 63 Irish born soldiers of the American Army were returned to Ireland on the Millwater in May 1922. As now little is known of these men. If you can add any information I would be very pleased to hear from you via the Website Email address on the Homepage.Thanks.
Some years ago when on holiday at Dromahair Co. Leitrim I happened to be wandering within the ruins of the old Franciscan Monastery at Creevelea close to the village when my eye caught sight of this marker. One could only stop and think of what might this man's life would have been and what were his experiences in one of the most famous cavalry regiments of the United States Army, the famous 8th cavalry formed up circa 1866 after the Civil War 1860-65 the one that would figure so much in the history of the old "West". The tales that are recalled of its confrontations with the Indians and Mexican bandits and in its role of escorting and protecting the settlers on their trecks to the new lands of the West and afterwards in its service in Cuba and in the Phillipines and later more service in the "West" until the demise of the horse as a transporter of soldiers and the evolvement of mechanised warfare. The name would however maintain.
Just who was Patrick Hopper? To date I have limited information apart from some family history passed to me. The name Hopper a most English name was found in the town and townlands around Dromahair in quite a few instances in the middle and late 19th century. However Co.Leitrim like so many counties of that part of western Ireland was badly affected by the mid 19th century famines. The result was as expected massive emigration and needless to say that many of the Hopper family members had to take the emigrant path. Wether there were several unrelated or related families really does not matter. If one does a trawl of the Ellis Island records and relates it to the birth date of this Patrick Hopper we see that a Patrick Hopper arrived in New York city. He was aged 19 in good physical shape. He was going to stay with relatives already in the city.
I found this soldiers marker in amongst the ruins of Creevelea Franciscan Priory ruins some years back.To date I have not been able to add much information except that he was a native of the local town of Dromahair and carried some war wounds from his service in the 8th Regt Cavalry as a waggoner. If you can add any information however trivial I would like to hear from you. Please use the Email address on Home Page of website. Thanks.