Though some very good information has been turned up on quite a few Irish born soldiers of the 69th.Pa. not a lot has been uncovered about the Donegal born men who served in the regiment though they formed the third highest percentage after the Derry and Tyrone men. However as now I have very limited "life" stories of many of them or contacts with known descendants.
With Patrick McGlinchey we have a very good trace from birth to death along with his army service. Let us look at his lifespan.
Firstly let us take a quick look at the times he was born in and what his family did for a living and whence they came from in rural east Donegal. Patrick was born 1814 a date based on his death in Philapelphia 1904 aged 90. What his family did for a living can only really be guessed at. At best I am of the opinion they had a small plot of land of say 5 to 10 acres or worked for a pittance for the local landlord on whose estate they were deemed as rent paying tenants being charged rent on the land their fore fathers had owned prior to the landgrabs by English and Scots landlords and their land grabbing supporters after the fall of the old Gaelic order in the early 17th century the so called "Plantation of Ulster" With the fall of the O'Donnells of Donegal in particular. (See map left of Stranorlar and surrounding hinterland and townlands). If the McGlincheys owned any land however small a portion their terms of tenure were tenious.They would have constantly been struggling to pay the rent to the local landlord. His word was law he could up the rent at any time or indeed evict them at any time. This was the era of "knuckling the forelock to the landlord" should he be met face to face, this was an era of subservience to the landlord or authority, an era where it paid in modern parlance to keep a low profile and hope. If however the McGlinchey family did not have tenant "ownership" life would be even harder.They could exist by labouring to the local farmers many of whom in that area of east Donegal were the descendants of lowland Scots farmers brought over during the 17th. century "Plantation of Ulster". They got the pick of the quality land and the "natives" ie the indigenous Irish the poor or bog lands. The bottom line is that the McGlincheys were poor, very poor as were thousands of the native Irish around them. What to do in the middle 19th century as famine approached in the middle 1840's?. They could stay and possibly die of starvation as hundreds did or if they were lucky they could take the path as so many of their neighbours did emigrate to America. Some could opt for the west coast cities of mainland G.B. eg Glasgow and Liverpool and many did. In the case of the McGlichheys and Kellys they opted for America having enough for the fare from Derry to Philadelphia. It is just possible that the fares were sent back to them from relatives already in America. This was also very common practice one or two would emigrate and in a fairly short period of time make enough money to send back to other family members perhaps in dire straights to pay their fare to America. This family group probably along with other family groups would take an early Spring passage on a sailing ship of the era from the nearest port Derry to Philadelphia. (See left.The route Stranorlar to Philadelphia) Not a pleasant experience at the time and extremely dangerous. Stranorlar and the area suggounding it in the 1840's was a pretty poor area to live in. I will leave the reader to look up on the subject and he or she will soon see confirmation of this. Things were so bad in the catchment area around the town one of the notorious "Workhouses" was established a kind of quasi-hospital for those people in the area who had little or in most cases nothing and were ill primariy through starvation. A very limited volume of food was provided by the State perhaps subsidised by a few more benine local landlords though not many in number. Alongside the "Workhouse" building was what was termed the "fever " wing of the Workhouse hospital where skeletal beings were basically left to die. Their award was the infamous "famine grave pit" close by the hospital. This was a communal grave where the bodies were basically dumped and there remain. One does not need to look too far ahead perhaps about 100 years to see how mankind had moved on to WW2. We know from handed down family bible informationm generated by descendant family members that Patrick's sister Mary McGlinchey married a Francis Kelly in 1835 in Stranorlar Catholic chaple. Patrick was aged about 21 years. At some later stage the small family group decided to emigrate to America and Patrick travelled with his sister Mary and her husband Francis Kelly and their two small children to Philadelphia. They were also accompanied by Patrick's brother and his parents.
What happened Patrick and the family unit from emigration year until they they turn up in the Philadelphia city census of 1860 I cannot accurately say. As to the year Patrick and family members emigrated we have no trace at this point in time. How they did this we have some knowledge.Their initial jourey or treck was from Stranorlar to Derry approx. 25 miles along what were basically at the time cart tracks. Is is possible they may have been able to get seats on whatever coach was operating between the towns at the time if they could spare the money or did a kindly neighbour take them by horse trap or cart an all day journey to Derry or did they walk the distance as many would have had to. All options were poor and having to say good bye to loved ones a sad event. They knew they would never be back or see their families or friends again. At Derry they would join a sailing ship for Phiadelphia. Most were small vessels many of dubious standard, negotiate and pay their fare and take their places amongst the passengers packed in the awfulness of the tween decks in communal sleeping and eating quarters. These little saling ships many rightly labelled "coffin" ships generally were able to lie at anchor in the river Foyle in the center of the town of Derry as then. A spot easy recognisable to this day with line of sight to the spire of the Anglican Cathedral then as now close to Craigavon Bridge in that era a rickety wooden bridge.
With a full load of passengers and if the weather was favourable it was "Off to Amerikey" as the song goes. Slowly down the river Foyle, past Culmore Point down into the broad expanse of the river, swing slightly to port and pass Inishowen head on the port side take a course to pass their last sight weather and daylight permitting, of Malin head to their left, a beautiful sight on a bright day but to the emigrants their last view in most cases of their homeland and for the McGlincheys their beloved Donegal. Philadelphia next stop after 5 or 6 weeks weather permitting. The North Atlantic would as usual call the tune. (See above left.The old graveyard at Stranorlar still in use.) As was usual and indeed as now the centre focal point of the McGlinckey family and their Catholic neighbours was the local chaple. Though the chaple of the era is long gone the graveyard and plot on which it stood is still an active graveyard indeed there are McGlinchye and Kelly graves recorded there as now. The first chaple was a long low single storey building with a straw roof. It probably occupied an area including it's surrounding graveyard of about a rood or quater acre. Basically in most cases all the land that the local landlord would allow. In many cases this quarter acre had to be in an unobtrusive location in an area. In a spot out of sight of the Protestant landlords and Plantation settlers.
Having reached Philadelphia after the Nort Atlantic voyage the family would in most cases have made contact with perpaps family members already there or make themslves known to the Irish community already established in Philadelphia. This new environment would be quite a shock to them after rural Co. Donegal. They had a lot to learn. They needed immediate employment. What was on offer?. They were probably illiterate or perhaps one or two of them had had some very basic education and could read and write. However no skills. Like thousands of their fellow countrymen pouring into Philadelphia and the East coast ports all they could offer in the case of the males was their unskilled labour. The women could be domestic servants or cooks. They were at the bottom of the pile. They would remain there for a very long time until they could get their children especially the newly American born ones educated.
The next information that turns up on Patrick McGlinchy the 69th Pa. soldier to be was in the Philadelphia city census of 1860 the year the American Civil War started. See below. Patrick is shown as being 40 and he is working as a labourer and living in the Kelly household known relatives. Their house is in the 9th. Ward north of Market St. They in house No. 478 320.
The next information we have on Patrick is his joining the 69th Pa. infantry. He was now about 40 years of age. Why did he join the army at quite an advanced age? Was it patriotism or the prospect of a reliable wage or was it a combinstion of this, patriotism to his adopted country or was it perhaps that he was in amongst much younger men being carried by a sense of adventure and excitement? On balance I am of the opinion it was the prospect of a reliable wage. In any case Patrick enrolled in the 69th. Pa. infantry on 23rd Aug. 1861 at Philadelphia and musters into the regiment 31st Oct. 1861 as a private soldier at Camp Observation Md. His paperwork states that he had a dark complexion, height 5ft. 5ins tall, had brown eyes and dark hair. He gave his occupation as a labourer. He states that he was living in Philadelphia and had been born in Donegal Ireland. He enlists for three years. He survives this period and goes on to re-enlist again when his initial three years was up. He does this at Stevensburg Va. on 26th Feb. 1864. Patrick seems to have joined the action immediately. He was Wounded in the hand at the battle of Glendale Va. 30.6.1862. After recovery and Patrick McGlinchey was detailed to the Division Ambulance Corps. on Jan 1 1864 and as a nurse in the Division hospital a few months later in JUly 1864. and as far as is known he remained in this post until he musters out at the end of the war 1st July 1865.
Patrick return to civilian life and returns home to live with the Kelly family in Philadelphia. This is shown in the 1870 census. He would appear to have returned to his life as a labourer in Philadelphia. Patrick was now in his 50's. It is not known just what he did with the remainder of his life but I am of the opinion that he found employment in and around the expanding post war city of Philadelphia. Of Donegal and his memories of it? No doubt he had many memories but perhaps as so many migrants did suppressed these from his mind though in a post war Philadelphia he would be in contact with many Irish and no doubt scores of them from Donegal. Patrick lived a very long life until he was aged 90. He had seen many events happen in both his own life and in an ever changing world. He died 14th Jan. 1904 and he was buried in the Old Cathedal Cemetery Philadelphia 15th Jan. 1904. There would appear no lasting memorial stone was erected over his grave which recent research shows also contains some members of his extended family. His grave Section A Range 5 Lot 58. (West Section). It is of interest to note from his obituary notice that he was buried from the family's local church St.Theresas ( see obituary notice to left) and that a High Mass had been said for him. This in itself very unusual so one can assume that he and his family were held in very high esteem by the local community.
From limited information on hand it is possible that Patrick may have married at a time as a death certificate exists for an Annie McGlinchey naming her father as Patrick and "unknown" for mother. It may well be that she was adopted. She had been born in America and is shown as aged 8 in the 1870 census and obviously living in the Kelly- McGlinchey household.
The imamge above is of what at the time appeared to be the Kelly and McGlinchy's local chaple where they worshipped. Reading the obituary notice for Patrick it is noted that the addrss from where the funeral took place from was 1508 Atler St. a couple of blocks south of the church. St Teresas church was operational between 1853 until it closed in 1972 a period of some 119 years. It was built prior to the Civil War and no doubt many of those who attended it probably the Kellys and McGlinchys said many prayers there for their families especially Patrick that he would survive the Civil War and return safely. He did.
NOTE:I have been asked often in my research of the 69th soldiers if they spoke Irish. In the case of where the McGlinchys came from ie the east Donegal area the answer is that they probably could but most certainly in order to communicate with the Scots/English settlers well established in the area by the early - mid 19th century they most certainly could speak English. An English to this day in many cases still with its distinctive Lowland Scots tone,wording and grammer.
This is a very common name in east Tyrone so one has to be careful in the case of the 69th Pa.in whose ranks there were quite a few McHughs and several with senior ranks. Joseph Henry McHugh is reasonably easy to identify from his pension papers generated when his mother back in Ireland applied for a pension afteer he was killed. Joseph Henry McHugh was born to William and Anne McHugh in the townland of Drumnabey east of the Tyrone village of Castlederg on the road going towards Newtonstewart. From his pension papers generated after he was killed it would appear that he was their only child. As to what year he emigrated I do not know but most certainly he was in Philadelphia by 1861. On the 21st. Sept 1861 he enlisted at Philadelphia and gave his age as 23 giving his birth date as 1838. His father William is noted as dieing aged 60 20th. Jan. 1839 when Joseph was about a year old. In America by 1861 at the latest he enlisted as 1st. Lieut. suggesting that he had most certainly been educated to a fair level. He mustered in at Camp Obs. Md. 31st Oct 1861. Nothing much is known of his war service from mustering until at the battle at Antietam on 17th.Sept 1862 Joseph was killed. His remains were brought back to Philadelphia and interned in the Old Cathedral Cemetery in plot F-4-60-M. His grave remained unmarked until the 69th Pa.- Re-enactment unit paid for and erected a marker on his grave to his honour in recent years. See image on relevant Old Cathedral marker list/image page of website.
Finding family information on this man has been interesting. Initially looking at the names of the soldiers in the 69th Pa. if one lives in Ireland it is generally possible to make a good guess as to their ethnic roots from their surnames whether of English, Dutch, or German stock or whatever. Irish names are reasonably easily identified. However when confronted with a name such as Ormsby the initial take is that it is an English rooted name but on learning that the above man was Irish born and Catholic more investigation was required. The following information on this Ormsby family has been put together by descendant relatives in the States, a fellow researcher in the States and my own knowledge of the geography and history of Ireland.This is what has been found on him so far.
The name Ormsby or variant spellings of the name in relation to Ireland shows that an Ormsby family or families from the Lincolshire area of England were granted land perhaps free or cheap in the Mayo/Sligo/Galway/Roscommon areas of western Ireland. In Burke's "A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland" it states that Henry Ormsby born c.1555 in Lincolnshire, England, settled in Ireland during the reign of Queen Elizabeth and was the common ancestor of the Ormsby families in Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. The ancestry of Henry Ormsby of Lincolnshire is well documented. His sons by two different wives also settled other areas of Mayo and Sligo. The Internet gives Henry Ormsby's lineage dating back to 1020 A. D.
Generally these Anglo Irish "gentry" families were of the Establish Church or later the Protestant Church of Ireland. To keep power they generally married between families to keep and maintain status but more importantly hold on to land. Also they would certainly in earlier times have married into fellow gentry Protestant families. To marry a local Irish Catholic was asking for big problems, loss of standing and also immediately being "air brushed" out of the family tree and lose any inheritance due. This is I am fairly sure the background history of Edward John Ormsby soldier of Co I of the 69th. some of his Protestant ancestors had "changed sides" as the expression goes in Ireland.
Firstly we must go back and see where we can get a specific trace of the origins of his family. This is found in Co. Mayo in western Ireland in the mid 19th century in a land being devasted by famine and disease thousands dieing and being buried in pits thousands of others desperate to quit the island for a better place mostly the United States and Canada in the aptly named coffin ships common at the time or perhaps be able to afford the journey to a port like Liverpool in England to sail onward to America on a better and safer vessel. Like many of the descendant Ormsby families his ancestral Ormsby family would have been from around the greater Castlebar area and somewhere along the line Edward J. Ormsby's family linked back to one of the Ormsby estate and land owning gentry families. The first Ormsby that I can track from records here in Ireland was Joseph Ormsby and his wife Susan Ferrins. The Catholic records from Castlebar parish obtained in May 2014 state.
Our marriage records here are recorded from 1824. I found a marriage for Joseph Ormsbey and Susan Ferrins on 9th June 1828. There are only 2 Ormsby and 2 Ormsbey records in the marriage records from 1824 to 1899 so at that time it was quite an unusual name.
In the various 19th century trade and street directories of Castlebar the following is noted. This most certainly the same family but as usual with records of that time recoding of dates of births, marriages and deaths was of little priority. But I record what I have available.
In 1846 Joseph Ormsby and his wife Susan Ferns (possibly Ferrins) had a tailoring business in Linenhall St Castlebar town. Children recorded as John born in 1836, Patrick born in 1839, Edward born and baptised 1st May in 1841, his baptismal sponsors were Matthew Quigley and Catherine Gaven. Elizabeth born in 1844, and John born in 1848. This is the 2nd John noted and it would be a fair assumption to say that the first John born in 1836 must have died and it was a custom if a child died a subsequent child would take on the name of a previous child who had died.
Joseph and Susan are the parents of Edward J Ormsby later to be a soldier in the 69th Pa. Infantry in the American Civil War. If we fast forward to a sworn pension application made in Philadelphia Pa. dated the 6th June 1866 we see the following information. Joseph Ormsby, Edward the soldier's father applied for a pension. In it he states that it is an application for a pension based on his son's service in the Union Army. The application is by Joseph Ormsby of 836 Christian St Philadelphia father of Edward John Ormsby who was a private in Co. I. 69th Pa. commanded by Capt. Daniel Gillen and commanded by Joshua Owens. Joseph states that his son volunteered on or about the 6th Sept 1861 and died on 18th June 1862. A later Senate report stated he was wounded on the 18th and died on the 19th June 1862. He goes on to state that he (Joseph the father of Edward) was married to Susan Ferns on 30th June 1825 and the Rev Edward Gibbons was the cleric who married them. Note there is a discrepancy in the year of marriage date but he was in 1866 doing it from mental recall. It is without doubt they are the same two people. The surname of his wife is on the pension application given as Ferns. This is simply a variation of name spelling and is as now noted in the Mayo records as Ferns. Fearins etc. yet another example of how names were recorded from people who perhaps were not able to read and write too well and their name was a "sound in their head" and when asked name, gave it and it was written as down as heard.
As things worsened in Ireland and Mayo in particular Joseph and Susan had to take steps to survive and provide for their family. They opted for America. Let us look at what written sources I have on hand. Like all written records of the time they will contain errors but are as good as we will ever know. What we can get is a fair understanding of just who emigrated and who arrived, where they lived and the census they were recorded in. Firstly looking at their exit from Ireland.
Firstly on the passenger list of the Richard Cobden sailing from Liverpool in an August sailing in 1848 we find listed Joseph Ormsby aged 38 and what appears to be his oldest child James aged 15, thus being born in 1833. They arrived in New York 18th Sept 1848. They had left Susan and the younger children back in Mayo. On the passenger list of the Shenandoah in 1850 we find Susan aged 34, son Patrick aged 6, daughter Mary aged 13, John age not recorded and Edward aged 8. The ship arrived in New York 7th March 1850. It is also noted that Susan paid the fare. This is interesting. What would appear to have happened was common at the time. A member of a family would head off to America make some money, send it home to pay the fares out for the remaining group. This would appear to have been the case with the Ormsbys.
The next trace we see and probably a more accurate trace of the family is in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census for the Moyamensing Ward 2 area of Philadelphia. The following Ormsby family is noted.
Joseph Ormsby aged 38 (estimated birth date 1812)
Susan Ormsby aged 35.
James Ormsby aged 18.
Harriet Ormsby aged 15.
Edward Ormsby aged 9. (This is the soldier to be).
Patrick Ormsby aged 8.
John Ormsby aged 2.
If we now look at the 1860 census some 10 years later we find the following.
Joseph Ormsby aged 46. He states that his trade is a tailor. (the trade he learned and worked at in Linenhall St Castlebar Co Mayo before he took the family to America.
Susan Ormsby aged 42.
James Ormsby aged 26. He states his trade is a musician.
Edward Ormsby aged 21. He states his trade as a lapodist (a cutter of fine jewellery stones).
Patrick Ormsby aged 18. He states that his trade is as an apprentice to a silversmith.
Harriet and John from the 1850 census are not listed. The census also states that Joseph the tailor had assets of some $500. Overall the family were probably comfortable. Now did Joseph own or rent a business premises or was he an emloyee of a tailoring business we do not know.
Looking at the life of Edward J Ormsby the soldier we see that he arrived in America aged 8. He obviously attended school and by 1860 is an apprentice to a silversmith. By 1860 his brother James would appear to have been a full time musician. We also know that Edward was a good musician which he flagged up when he joined the 20th Pa. as a musician as noted on his records. Luckily his bugle still survives and is in the hands of his descendant family. See below.
Edward J Ormsby giving his age as 22 initially joined the 20th. Pa. Infantry a unit recruited in Phladelphia. He enlisted and mustered in on the 30th April 1861 when the regiment (which had been hastily recruited) became operational. He had signed up for a three month engagement as a musician. The commander was Colonel H Gray. Their enlistment was due to last until Aug 6th 1861. Initially used as a back up to pin down regiments of the Army of the Shenandoah their operational value seems to have had little importance and they were ordered back to Philadelphia July 24th 1861. Edward was mustered out Aug 6th 1861. His stint with the 20th Pa Infantry was over. He could put away his bugle!. However some 13 days later on Aug 19th 1861 he signed up for service in the 69th Pa. in Co. I. This time things were a little more real. He no doubt played his part in front line service in Co I in all the battles and skirmishes up to the battle of Fair Oaks Va where he was badly wounded on 18th June 1862 and died the following morning June 19th. 1862. The life of the young man from Castlebar no doubt with traces of his Mayo accent still discernable had ended.
Edward J Ormsby was buried in St. Marys cemetery Philadelphia on the afternoon of June 25th 1862.The cemetery records state he was 23 years old,that he was to be interned in a single grave in position A 34 and the undertaker was Arthur Tierney.
The death of Edward would appear to have left his father Joseph in some financial distress by 1866 so bad that he applied for a pension based on his sons service up to his demise in 1862. In the application he stated just how dependant he was on his sons finances, that he was in poor health, that his son had subsidised him in earlier years stating that between the age of 13 and 18 his son was subsiding him and that he was receiving 3 or 4 dollars per week. This is interesting suggesting that by 13 his son was out working. However this pension application was turned down. It appears from later information that the Pension Office in Wash. D.C.were obviously expecting his wife still alive in 1866 to support him. No reference seems to be made about the expectations of support from other children. One can only assume that they had moved on by 1866 and that the family unit was Joseph, Susan and son Edward.
However Susan Ormsby died on March 5th 1869. This left Joseph a pensioner in poor health on his own. He decided to apply for a pension again and this leads to a Senate report. He had made an application based on his sons service up to June 19th 1862. The link below shows the determination of the Senate report which seem to be in his favour and he got the back dated pension.
This family was a classic example of a small family unit that escaped the dreadful Irish famine peaking in 1847. They were lucky. Thousands of others were not so lucky. We know from parish records that the priest who married Joseph Ormsby and Susan Ferrins in 1828 was the Rev. Richard Gibbons who was the parish priest (P.P.) of Castlebar Ballyhean and Breafy at the time. He also paid a price as can be read off his memorial in the Old Cemetery in Castlebar. See image below. He was already dead before the Ormsbys left for America. They would have known him well. He married them and probably baptised their children.
We are very aware that many of the 69th soldiers were immigrants due to their circumstances and subsequent fall out from the 1847 famine. In Moses Granlees we have a most interesting life span trace of a young man who along with his family escaped the dreadful 1847 Irish famine "An Gorta More".
Let us look at his life span as far as we can trace it. The first trace I got on Moses Ganlees was finding him and his family listed in the passenger list of the sailing ship Helen Thompson which left the port of Derry on April 14th 1847 under the command of Capt.John Gray. bound for Quebec Canada. There were some 371 passengers as being on board plus crew. The Granlees family were listed under the name Greenluse (in the book Irish Passenger Lists 1847-1871 by Brian Mitchell) as follows.
Thomas, Ann, Margaret. Ann, Moses John 13, Thomas 11 and Sarah 9. As usual with names of the era and the poorly scribed documentation immediatley flagged up to me as being Granlees. Another source lists the name as Granleese. The key indicator in identification being his unique Christian name Moses.
The passenger list lists numerous family groups.The Granlees were one such. Tom and Ann would have been the parents and Margaret, Ann, Moses, John, Thomas and Sarah their children. Looking at the ages of Sarah, Thomas and John and year spacing it would be reasonable to assume Moses was about 17/18 years of age in 1847. Why did the family head for Quebec?. As we know well 1847 the famine was at its height. The driving force for his family was desperation. Get to Derry or Belfast and get a ship to Philadelphia, Quebec or perhaps New Brunswick. The reason for their choosing Derry is obvious if one looks at the ships passenger list. This list is very interesting. The greater percentage of the passengers were from West Tyrone and Co. Fermanagh in particular. A rough count shows 120 from Newtownstewart, 60 from Castlederg, 50 from Maguires Bridge, 24 from Enniskillen, 17 from Kesh and 12 from Omagh and the family of Granlees from Brookborough near Enniskillen. The rest from were various other areas in the catchment area of Derry port. It would appear there had to be a reason for this mass exodus from this area and the Granlees family simply joined a group for security and fellowship for their hazardous journey.
The ship they boarded the Helen Thompson sailed from Derry with 371 passengers plus crew an incredible number for a small sailing ship listed as being 554 tons which would be slightly larger than the Jeanie Johnston whose details are on another web page. The Jeanie Johnston on one trip carried about 250 passengers which was considered way too many. The Helen Thompson with 371 plus crew was grossly over loaded. She was by accident or circumstance a famine era coffin ship. Perhaps in herself with say around 200 passengers she was reasonably safe. I do not know a lot about this particular vessel.
On the 14th of April 1847 the Helen Thompson under charter to the shipping company J & J Cooke of Derry weighed anchor from her berth in the river Foyle just opposite the city's ancient St Columbs cathedral and opposite where the current Guildhall stands and set off down the river Foyle past Culmore point past Moville and swung left and headed out into the open Atlantic. The real journey would start. It would be by no means a pleasant one for the passengers living their life in the crowded tween decks and communal sleeping areas and foul air.This would be their home for the next four or five weeks. Investigation suggests that though the ship was listed as sailing from Derry to Quebec is appears she called at Philadelphia to drop off passengers, then proceeded to Quebec via Grosse Isle the quarantine station for Quebec. This would appear to be correct as leaving Derry some 371 passengers are on the manifest but on arrival at Quebec only 271 are on the manifest suggesting around 100 dropped off in Philadelphia. No doubt the Granlees family left in Philadelphia. As for the remaining passengers their home would be the ship until the sighting of the banks of the St Lawrence river around the 15th/16th May. Then their first port of call in Canada would be at the notorious Grosse Isle quarantine station east of Quebec city on the river St Lawrence on May 22nd 1847. Here Capt Gray would advise the local authorities that four passenger had died during the trip. Sadly we do not have all their names but a young child Mary Jane Green aged 2 died when the ship was at Grosse Isle. He baby brother James aged 9 months and her older brother John aged 4 survived as well as her parents David and Margaret. No doubt the passengers took away memories of their stay at Grosse Isle with them for ever. After Grosse Isle the ship then sailed up river and berthed in Quebec city 25th May 1847. The journey was over. The emigrants headed off to their new lives. Few would ever return to Ireland.
We do not know much about what happened to the Greenlees family in Philadelphia but we know Moses was by 1861 aged 33 and had probably spent his years between his arrival aged 18 until his now being 33 earning his living as a labourer. Was joining the Union Army perhaps an opportunity to earn some better money. Was it for money, was it for loyalty to the Union, was it for the excitement? We shall never know but I think it was a combination of all three especially as it is known his father was dead by 1865 when Moses was killed. Perhaps his father died on the trip over being one of the four reported by Capt Gray at Grosse Isle?. We at this stage do not know. Moses enlisted like so many others in Philadelphia. He enlisted into Co. A of the 69th Pa. of the regiment on the 19th June 1861 for 3 years. He mustered in at Camp Observation Md. 21st Oct 1861. He was aged 33 noted on his records as being in height 5ft 6ins. blue eyes, sandy hair, fresh complexion. It was off to action.
Moses would have fought in all the battles of the 69th and survived the carnage of Gettysburg in July 1863. He obviously enjoyed his soldering as on 19.8.1864 he re-enlisted. However his luck ran out at the engagement at Hatchers Run Va in Feb 1865 so near the end of the war. He had survived the Irish famine, the North Atlantic journey, the battle of Gettysburg and many other engagements of the 69th. He was just 37 years old. His remains did not go back home to Philadelphia but rest under a small broken marker in the Poplar Grove Cemetery Dinwiddie Co. Petersburg in Virginia.(Image above right). Plot Div C. section D153 grave No. 3068.
Charles Gallagher is the 3rd Irish born soldier of the 69th. Pa. known to have returned to Ireland and be buried here. James McPeake Co. D. and James Forbes Co. A. being the others.
So far (Dec 2013) the only 69th Pa Irish soldier I know of as having returned to Ireland and be buried here in a marked grave has been Pvte. James McPeake of Co. D of the regiment buried in St. Treas churchyard Newbridge Toomebridge Co. Derry.
Charles Gallagher probably known through life as Charlie Gallagher was born in the the Glen area close to Carrigart village in Co. Donegal, in the Poor Law Union of Milford, District Electoral Division of Glen and in the townland of Gleninney. His birth year was as accurately as can be determined 1836. The only sibling we know of was a sister Ellen named in his army papers who lived in Philadelphia. His parents were probably poor labouring class.
Looking at the lists of soldiers in the various companies of the 69th Pa. it is seen that there were several Charles Gallaghers.
In the soldiers named in the various lists available eg Bates listings and others there is as would be expected confusion between which Gallagher is which, not unexpected as there would be numerous Gallaghers with the same Christian name. If we refer to the P.A. Civil War card files which I find are in most cases reasonably accurate there are some 17 or 18 Gallaghers listed relevant to the 69th Pa. Infantry. These are listed below.
A. Corp. Andrew Gallagher Co. G who enlisted Philadelphia 5th May 1861 and mustered in the same day at Philadelphia. He had transferred from the 71st to the 69th on unknown date. Was taken prisoner 12th May 1864 near Petersburg but died Falmouth Va. 1st June 1865.
B. Pvte. Charles Gallagher Co. E. Enlisted Philadelphia 3rd Sept 1864 aged 23 and mustered in 31st Oct. 1861 at Camp Observation Md. Not noted on any muster out roll. In many of the records this Charles Gallagher is noted as the 2nd Charles Gallagher in Co. E. However one has to be careful as men often transferred between companies depending on requirements.
C. Sergt. Charles Gallagher Co F. Enlisted Philadelphia 19th Aug 1861 aged 21 and mustered in Camp Obs. Md.31st Oct. 1861. Died from wounds received in action 12th. May 1864 Spotsylvania Va.
D. Pvte.Charles Gallagher Co. A enlisted Philadelphia 19th Aug. 1861 aged 40 and mustered in 31st Oct. 1861 Camp Obs Md. Discharged Surg. Cert of Dis.16th March 1863,
E. Pvte. Francis Gallagher Co. H. Enlisted Phialdelphia 15th Aug 1861 mustered in 31st Oct 1861. Discharged on Cert of Disc date unknown.
F. Sergt. Charles Gallagher Co. G. Enlisted 5th May 1861 aged 40 and mustered in same day. Had resigned from Co. G 27th Regt.
G. Pvte. Hugh Gallagher Co. B.Enlisted Philadelphia 31st Aug 1861 mustered in Camp Obs Md. same day aged 24. Had served in the 24th Regt three months enlistment.
H. Pvte. Hugh Gallagher Co. H. Enlisted 22nd March 1861 at Scranton Pa and mustered in 23rd also at Scanton.Aged 28. From Wilkes Barre Pa. Absent sick at muster out in hospital Wash D.C.
I. James Gallagher Co. D. Enlisted Philadelphia 6th April 1861 and mustered in Camp Observation Md. 31st Oct 1861 aged 23. Mustered out 1st July 1865. Born Ireland a labourer by trade.
J.Sergt James Gallagher Co. D. Enlisted 6th Sept 1861 at Philadelphia and mustered in 31st Oct.1861 at Camp Observation Md. Aged 23. Survived the war and mustered out 1st July 1865. Lived Philadelphia He re-enlisted 1st Feb 1864 at Stevensburg Va.as Sergt. Promoted 1st Sergt. 3rd June 1964. Wounded 5th June 1864 at Cold Harbour Va. and 25th Aug 1864 at Reams Station Va. Comm. 1st Lieut 16th June 1865 but not mustered as the war was nearing its end.
K. Corp. Jeremiah Gallagher Co. D. Enlisted Philadelphia 6th Sept 1861 mustered in Camp Obs. Md. 31st Oct. 1861 aged 23 as Corp. Killed Gettysburg 3rd July 1863.
L. Pvte, John Gallagher Co. B.Enlisted Philadelphia 24th Aug. 1861 mustered in at Camp Obs. Md. 31st Oct. 1861. Had served 3 months initially in the 24th Regt. Killed 30th June Glendale Va.
M.Pvte. John Gallagher Co. K. Enlisted Philadelphia 26th Aug. 1861 mustered in 1st Oct. 1861 Camp Obs Md. Died 7th Jan 1865. Had been wounded 27th Nov. 1863. A furnisher by trade.
N. Pvte. Timothy Gallagher Co. B. Enlisted 28th Nov. 1861 at Camp Obs. Md and mustered in same day. Killed Gettysburg 2nd July 1863.
O. Pvte. William Gallagher Co. C. Enlisted 21st. Aug 1861 aged 33 mustered in 31st Oct. Camp Obs. Md. Re-enlisted Stevensburg Va 1st Feb 1864. Wounded Robertsons Tavern Va 3rd June 1864 Discharged by S.C.D date unknows.
In the case of the Charles (Charlie) Gallagher being researched it has been possible to get a reasonably accurate trace of his early life, military life and later life using card files, army records and importantly the Irish National Census of 1901. Charles Gallagher was born c1836 in the Glen area near Carrigart in Co. Donegal.The townland recorded in his history states he was from Glenineeny which centers on what was in his era a small hamlet referred to as Glen. This hamlet was on the cross roads between the villages of Millford, Letterkenny Creeshlough and Carrigart. It is known that the hamlet at one period in its history supported a school. a post office, a shop and also supported a local fair. Sadly primarily due to emigration and population movement the only building left in the spot is a Public House-Restaurant dating back to the 17th century. Probably started off as a local sheebeen way way back. However the immediate area is still referred to as Glen which was in fact referred to in his military records.
As we have documentation rather than doing the usual explaination I will present images of the documents and add comment to tell his story. Firstly where is Letterkenny?. Letterkenny is as now a town of about 15,000 in east Donegal. It is the "focus" and administration town of this area of Donegal now as it was in the times of a young Charlie Gallagher growing up close to the village of Carrigart still a village!. The map above shows portion of Co. Donegal showing Letterkenny and Carrigart. The port of his emigration probably Derry. Emigration from this part of Donegal would have seen thousands heading off to make a better life in America. It is known Philadelphia was a favoured destination and the main departure port Derry. This emigration route was active up as late as the 1950's. However as now 2014 as Ireland yet again wallows in a down turn in its economy the favoured places are Canada and Australia. No long deep sea voyages just 8 or 24 hour "hops" by air!.
A young Charles Gallagher growing up in pre, famine and post famine times would have lived in a society of great poverty basically existing. There would be little education available for children,they had to help the family exist. Charles would have had little basic education and would be noted as being unable to read and write though he could speak Irish and English. In fact even as now Irish is spoken in the area. The emigration path was his only out along with thousands of others, Philadelphia after the treck to Derry would be the option. No doubt a lot of the other Gallaghers noted in the 69th soldiers listed above would be Donegal men. Some could be related.
This is a very important document for information on Gallagher. (Generally speaking these census were remarkably accurate.) In this case it is seen that a Matthew Power a local Constable signs his name as the enumerator for the entries for the Gallagher household. We see three Gallaghers, Maurice the head of household aged 80, his wife Fanny aged 68 and Charles Gallagher our retired soldier ex 69th. Pa. aged 65 giving his birth year as 1836. He could not read so obviously he could not write, he could speak Irish and English. Maurice and his wife were tailors. On the census form he is named as a boarder. I feel that Maurice Gallagher the tailor was probably a blood relative. It is also seen that Constable Power had to sign for Maurice (the classic X witnessed signature). The fact that Charles flagged up that he had been a soldier in the 69th Pa Infantry is interesting, Two points come to mind. He could have simply said he was an army pensioner and this could be construed he was ex British army perhaps not his ethos but by flagging up the 69th Pa he was proud of his service in America. Living back home in 1901 With Maurice and Fanny as tailors and he with his pension they would have had a reasonble standard of living. However even by 1901 this part of Donegal was still in poverty and indeed would stay as such until after WW2.
The greatest problem in researching Irish soldiers who fought in the Civil War and indeed in researching Irish immigrants into the States it is seen that in the majority of cases they were simply listed as "from Ireland" in the immigration paperwork. In some cases and not too many, perhaps the local town or parish they were from would be noted thus making research some 150 years later much easier. In James McPeake of Co D the descendant family here knew of him and his having served in the Civil War and that he came home. It was initially known that Charles Gallagher was "from Ireland" but little else seems to have been picked up. However this would change when I was very kindly given a copy of his Old Soldiers Home record shown below. It is difficult to read but inscribed in the right hand column of the Home History is seen "Cause of Death" as "Unknown. Reported died Glen Letter Kenny Co. Donegal Ireland when on furlough from Co.I". This was the key identification statement. It was subsequentky confirmed that he had in fact made it back to Ireland by the entry of the 1901 Irish census.
This document has some very good information relating to Gallaghers time in America. We cannot as now give the year he emigrated to America but more than likely in the Famine era circa 1847 or perhaps a little later. There seems to have been a spike in emigration in the early 1850's as seen from other known emigration dates for other soldiers in the 69th Pa. However all we can say for certain is that he was in Philadelphia by early-mid 1861.
His Military History sheet from the Dayton Old Soldiers Home shown above is not too clear but reading on the computer screen is much more readable. Let us look at each entry line by line.
Under Military History under Time and Place of Engagement it is recorded that he enlisted Aug 31st at Philadelphia. Under Co. and Regt we see that was into Co. C? of the 1st Pa Artillery. Under Cause of Discharge it notes expiration of term of service. Under the heading Kind and Degree of Disability is noted as central hernia of abdominal muscles. Under Where and When Contracted and Received it notes Spring 1862 at Harrisons Landing Va.One source states he developed this hernia (wrongly referred to as a tumour in some records) on or about July 28th 1862. It also notes that he had eye problems.
Under Domestic History he is noted as being born in Ireland and now aged 45. His residence prior to discharge being Friars Point Miss. Also he could neither read nor write, he was single, a labourer and the name and address of relative a Miss Ellen Gallagher of Philadelphia.
The Home Notes are more difficult to decipher. It would appear that in 1878 Charle's health started to fail badly. He was aged just 42. He was admitted the Dayton Soldiers Home March 5th 1878 while receiving a pension of $6 dollars a month. He was discharged from the Home on June 15th 1878 after a stay of approx 3 months which would suggest he was quite ill. He was discharged by Surgeons Cert No.59. However he was re-admitted Sept 21st 1880 just over two years later. This time a condition of his being subject to a "semi-annual" examination but he was discharged again on August 15th 1881. Also noted "Labour 1 month without pay and S.A (semi annual ) examination". His stay in the home being approx 11 months.
However things would go wrong for him again and he was re admitted to the home again Sept.11th 1885. Charles was now 50 years old. His army days were obviously over and Charles Gallagher filed for a pension on April 2nd 1888. He was now 52 years of age. It would appear that he was in fact awarded a pension $6 from July 11th 1890. An entry in the General Remarks Column States " Abdominal Tumour and Dis (diseased) Eyes to March 4 1891 46.60".
It looks like Charles was in a very poor physical state at this juncture. By 1891 he would be aged about 55.
The next entry in the General Remarks is difficult to read and understand. In the third line of General Remarks it states ( as far as can be reasonable read off) that his persion was linked to Co. E of the 69th Pa.P.C,(pension certificate) #560746 to U.S. Pen. Agt. Columbus Ohio.
The last date on the third line being 11th Oct 1907. This suggests that at this date the pension office had found out or realised that Charles had died about a month earlier 28th Sept 1907 in Ireland. The handwriting is similar to the entry of the fact that Charles was reported as having died in Glen Letter Kenny Co. Donegal Ireland. Also listed is his effects and monies due as $17.60
At this stage we do not know what age he was or the year he came back to Donegal.
The above is a copy of the P.A. civil war card file. He is seen as enlisting at Phildelphia into Co. E of the 69th Pa Inf. He enrolled 31st Aug 1861 at Philadelphia and mustered in Camp Observation Md. 31st Oct 1861. He was noted as being aged 20. However he was more likely 25. In the Remarks entry on the card it notes "Absent on detached service Batt F. 1st Pa Art. Absent at muster out".
As many of you who research soldiers of the Civil War will know not all the paper records are found to be accurate. Because Gallagher was transferred to an Artillery unit this fact seems to have caused all sorts of problems for those keeping records back in Wash D.C. relying to information passed back to them not all accurate. Gallagher's records were no exception but interesting.
In the above pension record card the information as regards enlisting is similar but it is now recorded that Gallagher served (or was he simply on he books of?) Co. H. of the 18th Regt.Inf. Co K of he 25th Inf. Co. K of the 16th Inf and Co G of the 1st Pa Lt. Art. It also notes that he had died Sept 28th 1907 but no place given. However we now see activity on his records as his service in the 69th ended Jan 4th. 1864.
In the above pension record card we have similar basic information but we now see overwritten that he transferred Jan 4th 1864 to Co. F of the 1st Reg. Pa Lt. Artillery. It also notes a transfer March 28th to the same unit. This ties up roughly with he time slot he left the 69th for Artillery and other Infantry duties. However it wrongly states that he had died in the National Military Home in Ohio.
From the above pension record we see that Gallaghers stint in the 1st Pa Lt. Art. according to the records ended 31st Aug 1864. He had been on their books for some eight months.
He would appear to have stayed in the army but in what sequence he served in the other Infantry units I cannot accurately say. However by March 5th 1878 some 14 years later he was in difficulties with his health and he was admitted to the Dayton Military home in Ohio. He was 42 years old.
At this point the exact whereabouts of Gallaghers grave is unknown. However looking at the Catholic churches in the Carrigart immediate area it is seen that the current "new Church was opened in 1888 building having commenced in 1886. Also know as Meevagh church. The old church was built in 1807 and is at Umlagh.The ruins are still visible. The old graveyard around this church is probably where Charles Gallagher is buried but as now there does not appear to be any headstones with relevant Gallaghers marked. It is more that likely that Charlies family did not have a headstone erected due to lack of finance. Perhaps a wooden cross was erected originally and now long gone. It is noted on the main Carrigart parish website that the graveyard at the "new" church was opened in 1939.
It is seen from the above Dayton Ohio Old soldiers Home burial record that they also had lost track of Gallagher and simply noted that he had been "reported died in Ireland"!
As to what Gallager did when he returned home we do not know or even if he was capable of doing much. In the 1901 census we see that he was living in House No. 9 in the townland of Glenineeny along with a Maurice Gallagher who was a tailor and his wife Fanny. We know Charles Gallagher died in 1907. In the 1911 census both Maurice and Fanny have disappeared so it would appear that they both died between 1907 and 1911. I would be of the opinion that Maurice was the local tailor in Glen.