29.12.2016

Brig. General Joshua Thomas-Owen.

Born Bancyfelin near St. Clears Carmarthan Wales March 29th. 1821. Baptised 30th. April 1821. Died Philadelphia Nov.7th.1887
(Bancyfelin lies betwen St. Clears and Carmarthan town).


Joshua was the youngest child of David Owen and his wife Jane Thomas. David born 1782 and wife Jane Thomas born 1777. They married in Sept. 21st. 1799 in Penegoes in the county of Powys. Though referred to as Joshua Thomas Owen his name is the combination of his mother's surname Thomas a name common in Wales as a surname and his father's surname Owen hence Joshua Thomas - Owen. This naming system also common in Scotland as well. Not a massively important point but for researchers and people of name correctness is important and indeed the person named may be proud that his name reflects the both sides of his lineage.
Let us look at Joshua's path to America from what information is on hand starting with his father David Owen.

David Owen Gen. Owen's father.

Born March 1st. 1782 in Machynlleth in the county of Montgomeryshire Powys in central west Wales, At some stage he moved as a married man to South Wales settling in the Bethelem St. Clears area of Carmarthan. David and his wife Jane Thomas had married in Penegoes Powys on 21st. Sept. 1799. He and his family were associated with the non-conformist Congregational chaple there. (see image below). As to what his employment was at this stage of his life it is impossible to say for sure. It is probable that he was a minister or deacon of religion as well aspossibly being involved in the wool trade for a living. For whatever reason David and Jane moved south to settle in Bane-y-Felin by St.Claers .Carmarthanshire and possibly established a woolen mill there though I can find no proof of this/ He may well have been a full time religious minister. David and Jane start to raise what would become a very large family. Some of their offspring died very young but five or six of the males eventually became ministers or deacons in later life. The family were in Carmarthan by 1808.

Map showing Joshua Owen's Welsh birth village Bethelem St. Clears. Also Machynlleth his fathers birth place.

David and Janes's family were born over a very short period of time. Some sources suggest that David took his wife and all the children to America as a family unit. This does not hold true in comparison with some records held by other sources. What can be read off these records is the following.

1. Elizabeth Owen born 23rd Aug. 1800. Probably died young.
2. Jane Owen born 8th. July 1802 died 1803.
* 3. John Owen born 22nd. May 1804 was ordained as Owens in Chepstow in April 1828 and went to America in 1831. His first wife was an Elizabeth Spry who was dead by 1850. One descendant child from this family named as Wyatt Owen was born in 1843.
* 4. Owen Owen born April 19th. 1806 Born St. Clears. Educated to become a religious minister at Carmarthen and Highbury colleges. Served as a minister at Manorbier Pembrokshire, Heolyfelin Newport and Liskeard Cornwall. In 1849 he was at Mill Street chapel Newport Mon. He relinquished this post but lived at Newport until 1854. He then joined the what was the Established Church spending some time in Birmingham. He then emigrated to Chicago and started practising medicine until his death. During his life he published many works on religion, education and science. He had married Mary Ann Beynon daughter of David Beynon and grand daughter of John Beynon Tre-Wern on the Carmarthern Pembroke border. John Beynon had been high sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1763. She also had skill writing dialogues poems for the young.
* 5. David "Absolom" Owen born 1808 St. Clears Carmarthanshire. He is said to have attended Newton Academy Powys between 1831-35 and ordained 15th. June 1835 in Samau Montgomeryshire Wales as a Congregationalist minister. He went to England and remained there (he did not go to America). Said to have lived most of his life in Smethwick Staffordshire. One source of research states that in the Spring of 1835 a Mr. David Arthur Owen who was a student at the Athrofa Newton was called and ordained June 15th. 1835 then moved to Smethwick Staffs not too far from Birmingham. Descendants still live in the area.
* 6. Griffith Owen Born 1st March 1810. St. Clears went to America in 1831. Again we have lots of information on him. He was .most certainly the big player in the family. He also became a minister. Was very involved with the Owen family already in the States. (He is mentioned in St. Clears chapel records as they sponsored him to join his brother already in America). He had married Elanor Jones 8th.May 1849.
7. Lewis Owen born June 17th. 1812 and died July 22nd. 1812.
* 8. Roger Owen born Oct.15th. 1813 St. Clears. Became a minister and went to America in 1832 and married and settled in Connecticut then made his way to Philadelphia and linked up with his brother Joshua.
9. Absolem Owen born 11th. Dec. 1815 and died in 1834. Where unknown,
* 10. Caleb Owen born 4th May St. Clears. Went to America and died in Philadelphia. Also became a minister. Noted in St. Clears papers as having gone to America in 1832. He died there in 1846 and it is noted that he had at least one child a son called Caleb.
11. Joshua Owen born 29th. March 1822 St. Clears who became a Brigadier General in the Union Amy in the American Civil war and a successful lawyer in Philadelphia.

There were three other siblings who died young giving a total famly of 14. Looking at the surviving males of the family one wonders just why so many became ministers of religion, at least six. Quite remarkable. Clecics marked by *.


Bethelem St. Clears's Church built 1785.

Now what triggered David and his wife (he aged about 50) to go to America is hard to understand. However the action may well be seen in the number of his sons who were to become religious ministers John, Owen, David, Griffith, Roger and Caleb. There was certainly a religios zeal about this family. It kind of looks that David was perhaps a product of a religious fervour in the Wales of that time. Was he inspired and indeed subsidised into setting off on a mission to promote the Gospel in far off developing America. The need to spead the Gospel. But how could he educate his sons to a good standard?. Was he being subsidised by benefactors in Wales like minded in the promotion of and spreading the Gospel?. This is possible as to this day there are many like minded societies paying for the education of students in the Catholic and other Christian churches to go forth and spread the Gospel. This as we know is a very common practice in the Catholic church and with some Christian groupings especially in Bible Belt America in their quest to "convert" or spread their version of the Gospel into such places as the poorer parts of S. America.
In any case David and his wife and some of his family, not all headed off for America.
I can find out little about where David Owen and his wife initially settled, One source says Tioga Co. Pa. then they moved on to Baltimore Md. where he established a book publishing company. It is now about 1835. He is now established in his book selling and publishing business. As to what his line of books being sold it is interesting to read a notice in a magazine being printed in Baltimore called The Baltimore Literary and Religious Magazine May 1841 No. 5 Vol. VII. One of the notices in the magazine is one about what had happended to David Owen's book business.See below.

"The book store of David Owen and son which has lately been established and which has been far more extensively engaged in the sale of works in the Papal controversy than any other perhaps than all others in Baltimore was set on fire sometime after midnight on the morning of April 6. Above this book store is the printing establishment of the Saturday Visitor and the office of that paper which our readers are aware is now engaged in publishing a pretty full discussion on the doctrine and practices of the Church of Rome-is in the back room of the bookstore. If the fire had not been providentially discovered before it was established much head - the bookstore and the printing office - with perhaps the entire block of buildings and no one can tell how much beside must have been consumed. The fire appeared to have been carefully put into the book store through a hole cut into it from a public stairway adjoining and was obviously the work of an incendiary. We are happy to add the Msrs. Owen were insured as to they hope to the full amount of their actual loss which was considerable as water is near as bad for books as fire. This would be a very short way to get rid of unpalatable books and unruly trades-people if it were not the loss falls on the insurance office and the books can be reprinted. Through more cruel and in this age more difficul it would be more effectual- to burn authors - Our readers are aware that the faggot is the instrument of revenge publicity threadened by Daniel O'Connell against the people of Great Britain in case it becomes necessary in order to affect the repeal of the Union between England and Ireland for which even more American Protestants are so deluded as to be agitating with our Papists.

Source. "The Baltimore Library Religious Magazine" Vol.7 (May 1841) a religious published Nov.1835 until Nov.1841.

NOTE: A balanced view point should be taken in 2016 of what may be seen as controversial comments and actions flagged up by the above paragraph. This was an era some 166 years ago where fundamentalism was the order of the day. All the Christian churches in Europe both of the Catholic and Protestant following each thought they were correct on all counts and to an extent tried to score points off each other by any means possible. The developing power of the developing press at the time was a good channel to do this in. Needless to say as many of you will be aware religion and politics in the complex history of Ireland and England, Scotland and indeed Wales fed into the mix and influenced peoples perceptions. I use the above to illustrate the unique circumstances of the relationship that existed between Joshua Owen and his 69th. Pa. Regt. with its Catholic Irish Commander Dennis O'Kane and its scores of Irish Catholic soldiers. It was a unique relationship and probably the two men in my opinion played a very important part in the victory of the Union army at the high water mark in the confrontation at Gettysburg on 3rd. July 1863. American Civil War history has largely forgotten these two men. Why?. I am of the opinion because O'Kane and his Irish Catholic roots and Owen not being from one of the eletist "American" estate owner families or an old West Point graduate simply the Welsh born son of a Welsh immigrant. I generalise to an extent but I feel there is substance in my observations. This should not be the case for these two men. They deserve better.
Looking at several issues of this magazine it would appear it was much concerned about the dangers of Catholicism, Popery and Popish plots etc etc. It was perhaps a magazine of its time.
By about 1847 the now ageing owen parents had gone to live in Philadelphia.
However let us look at what David achieved before he went to Philadelphia circa 1840
I feel at this juncture Griffith who appears to have been the eldest son may already have been ordained a minister and he was later to become the family pathfinder in America and soon established himself as a minister in Baltimore. The Baltimore Sun reported that on 8th May 1849 the Rev.Griffith Owen married a Miss Elanor Jones in that city. It kind of looks with a name such as Jones she way well have had Welsh connections. This was an era when ethnic groups looked after each other, the Irish, the Welsh, the Italians etc. The names such as "Little Italy" not uncommon in large American cities.
David the head of the family with his publishing business and just maybe with the support of son the Rev. Griffith Owen had started to educate the younger members of the family in America and possibly other family members still back in Wales. He knew the power of education. He sends son Joshua the soldier to be now in his early 20's to Jefferson College in Cannonsberg Co. Pa. Joshua graduated successfully in 1840 in teaching and also as a lawyer being later called to the Bar as a qualified lawyer in 1852 by which time the famly were in Philadelphia.
Griffith also when he was in Philadelphia built no less that three Presbyterian churches in the city the last being built in 1849 at 3rd and Redwood St.
David was also able to give his other son Roger the Presbyterian minister to be a very good education. Having sons as religious ministers was something David would be proud of. It would have given him both social and indeed political clout especially in the mid 19th century. Roger the Presbyterian minister to be is noted in the Notes of the Report of the 28th. annual report of the Institution of the Theological Seminary as attending Princeton College May 1st. 1840.
If we now look at the 1850 census for 1st Ward Southwark Philadelphia 14th. Aug. 1850 we find the following family living in house No.429.

Griffith Owen 40. M.S.H clergyman. Born Wales.
Elanor Owen 39 Born Baltimore Maryland.
Jane Owen 8
John Owen 6
Griffith Owen 2.
David Owen 69 born Wales.
Jane Owen 75.
Joshua T Owen 27 Clerk born Wales.

NOTE:The Rev Griffith Owen had married the then Eleanor Jones on 7th. May 1840 as repoted in the Baltimore Sun. 8th, May 1840. They were married by the Rev. Mr. Hamner.
From the above census of 1850 we see that the parents David and Jane listed still alive and listed.. They living with Rev. Griffiths Owen David's son and his wife Eleanor and children. Joshua the soldier to be and now aged 27 was living with them. Joshua is aged 27 and working as a clerk. Like his parents Griffith had also returned from Baltimore. This is where the information we have on the Rev.Griffith Owen and his part on what happened to David and his family is very important. Some research on the Internet shows that the Rev. Griffith Owens had been very well known in the Presbyterian church scenario in the Baltimore area of Md. and later in various parishes of Pa. Griffitn was by this time was also well known in Presbyterian circles in Md. and Pa. (See below). In the minutes of the Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania issue of 1836 apart from the usual state of play of the chuch in the United States the following information is noted.
In the 26th. annual report of the Director of the Theological Seminar at Princeton lists Griffith Owen as having graduated from Jefferson College Pa. Griffith Owen was in 1838 a fully fledged Presbyterian minsiter. Importantly he most certainly would have made contacts with the future movers and shakers in the business and governance families of the Pennsylvania - Maryland area. Griffith was obviously a man with contacts. Here is one example of Griffiths influence.
In the Annual report on the Committee for Indian Affairs in 1844 by Hartley Crawford to the Hon. William Wilkins Sec. of War in 1844 about the state of affairs in the West and relations with the Indian Chinook tribe. In the letter he describes how a Lieut. Freemont of the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers brought a young Chinook Indian called William aged 18 back from the West and how this young man had now a very good command of English, This report was forwarded to the Rev. O. Douglas of the Mariners Church in Philadelphia with a note that if he could not attend to, then the Rev. Griffith Owen should do so. Griffith was obviously known of in high places. Note: Hartley Crawford 1786-1863 was a member of the House of Representatives from Pa. Interestingly he was a graduate of Princeton University as was the Rev. Griffith Owen circa 1838. William Wilkins was the son of a Capt John Wilkins a large influential Presbyterian land owner. At one time Pres.Tyler had appointed him Sec. of War.
The Rev. Giffith Owen had contacts in very high places.
Why had the family now adopted Presbyterianism?. The family in Wales as we have seen were basically aligned to what was the non-conformist Congregational religion embedded in the Welsh chapel culture. It would appear that in America of the era such a religious system was thin on the ground as regards availability of places of worship and the Presbyterian ethos was more in step with the religious beliefs of the Owen family. Anglicanism based on the Church of England teaching and Catholicism would not be their choice.
However it was all change by 1850 the family or at least some of them the parents David and Jane and sons Joshua and Roger had moved to Philadelphia as well as Griffith.
Let us look at the Philadelphia scenario circa 1850. From the 1850 census we see that David was now aged 69 and his wife Jane 75 both now elderly. They were living along with their son Joshua the soldier to be himself aged 27 at the home of the Rev. Griffiths Owen at house No 429 in the 1st. Ward Southwark Philadelphia. Griffiths Owen was aged 40 and a religious minister apparently a Congregationalist M.S.H. along with his wife Eleanor. David and Jane had been in Baltimore some 10-12 years.

Philadelphia post 1850.

It is also known that both parents of Joshua and Roger and Griffith Owen died not too long after their arrival back in Philadelphia. David their father died July 3rd. 1852 aged 71 and his wife died Nov 10th. 1858 aged 81. Both were buried in the Laurel Hill Cemetery Philadelphia Section 5 Lot 83. (See image left). The Rev. Roger Owen their son and his wife later also buried in the same plot. It is also known by 1850 that Joshua's older brother Roger was establishing himself in the city as a Presbyterian minister. Joshua was also establishing himself as a man of importance in the expanding city. He would later become a member of the State leglislature between 1857 until 1859 just before the Civil War started, Both brothers were also qualfied to teach one was (Roger) a Presbyterian minister of standing in the Chestnut Hill area initially preaching at the Union Chaple as its first minister. His brother Joshua was now a qualified lawyer and a member of the State Leglislature. They would have been viewed as men of some importance and standing in the city. This was an era when people starting to make good in business realised that it was a very good idea to have their children educated. It was no different then as is now, education opens doors for opportunities. There were opportunities perhaps for both Joshua and Roger to get into the education syatem developing in the great expanding city of Philadelphia. Perhaps they could set up a small college. One important aspect to this is that Joshua's brother Roger as a Presbyterian minister had influence and no doubt had the ear of many of the better off people in the city. Between him and his brother they had great potential. However Roger's health circa 1850 was poor and he was advised to leave the city and perhaps live in the countryside outside Philadelphia. Chestnut Hill would suit the bill. Rogers health improved. Roger decided to stay in Chestnut Hill. Setting up a small college would be a good idea and have brother Joshua join him. This they did and no doubt with contacts between the Rev. Roger and other people of means and high standing known to him in the still rural but beautiful Chesnutt Hill countryside.They set up a college. Roger would also get involved as a teacher as he was also well qualified to do so. Another string to his bow was his being called to the Law Bar in 1852. In a property called Laurel Hill bought by the two brothers they established what was to be named Chestnut Hill Academy. An academy for boys with boarding facilities.
Roger started holding Sunday afternoon services at his academy. Not going un-noticed the local population which was then small but with a very influntial Prespyterian population asked him to allow the school to be used for worship on Sunday mornings consequently the first service was held on Nov. 16th. 1851. However there was now a situation where these two brothers could provide both education and religious instruction. In conjunction with the local people of means a new church could be established as well as the Chestnut Hill Academy.
However there was need for a "proper" church and on July 1st. 1862 the corner stone was laid at the corner of Rex and Germanstown Ave. The local Presbyterian congregation no doubt also including the two Owen's brothers collected some $3492.50 to build the new church. After a few financial problems the new Chestnut Hill Presbyterian church was finished and dedicated on June 16th 1853. At the time a very prestigious build and one of the best noted in Pennsylavania. See image left. The First Presbyterian church of Philadelphia was established,
The Rev. Roger Owen would appear to have carried on his profession as a Presbyterian minister until his death on Jan. 8th. 1890, a period of some 32 years. One very interesting thing to note is that a portion of the original Owen family still alive went back to Wales to visit in July 1887 just four months before Joshua died in Nov. of that year. A major event took place to Joshua Thomas Owen in April 5th.1854 when he married Annie J. Sheridan daugter of the rich land and property owner Owen Sheridan of Chestnut Hill. The Sheridans were people of property, wealth and influence. Owen Sheridan's family noted in the 1850 census as.

Owen Sheridan aged 52.(He had been born in Ireland.)
Elizabeth Sheridan aged 49.(She was formerly Elizabeth Gray Jones born Pa. Probably Welsh stock.)
Anne Sheridan aged 15.(Future wife of Joshua Owen.)
Robert Sheridan aged 14.
Owen Sheridan Jr. aged 12.(Later Co. H. 69th. Pa. Inf. Civil War.)
Richard Sheridan aged 11.(Later private 69th Pa.Inf.) Civil War.
Francis Sheridan aged 5.

Looking at the scenario above is quite interesting as to just when the young Annie Sheridan aged 15 in 1850 census and Joshua Owen also named in the 1850 census as living in the city and aged 27 approx 12 years older than Annie his future wife to be.
Joshua had "married up". He would later be a member of the State Leglislature 1857-59. After the Civil War he would also serve as Register of Deeds for Philadelphia 1866-71. He also in 1871 founded the "New York Daily Register" a law journal which became the official organ of the New York courts in 1873 and he was a member of its editorial staff until shortly before his death.
It is worth noting that though there had been obvious enthusiasm in establishing the Chestnut Academy by the mid 1850's it seems to have closed and would not re-open far many years later in a differnt location.

Links between Joshua Owen, the California Brigade and the 69th. Pa. Inf.

For whatever reason as the Civil War approached Joshua now a lawyer and college lecturer got interested in military affairs. Why I can only assume for patriotism or spotting an opportunity for an army career Joshua joined the fledgling 1st City Troop of Philadelphia initially as a private. However probably because of his and his brother Roger's social standing he very quickly rose to the rank of Colonel of the three month regiment the 24th. Pa. on May 8th. 1861. His military career was now on the up. In the 24th. he would start meeting young Irishmen who he would later command in the later to form up 69th.Pa. Infantry. If one reads the history of the American Civil War it would be fair to assume that all the regiments in the Army were filled on the whole by American born soldiers but in the 69th. New York and the 69th.Pa. Pennsylvania it would be common to loosely refer to them as "Irish" regiments. Really it had to do with the number of Irishmen in the ranks. The 69th. New York had amongst its higher rank Irish born officers some heavily associated with the Irish political scenario of the time. However in the 69th Pennsylvanian Regiment we have a Welsh born officer one Joshua Thomas- Owen born in Carmarthan Wales to Welsh parents. Lets see if we can unpick this mans relationship with the very Irish and Catholic 69th. Pa. Regt. and the Philadelphia Brigade and maybe reach some more conclusions on Joshua Owen and indeed the Owen family.
We know that the American Civil war 1860-65 was basically seen though not correctly as an "East coast" event, this was an era when the railroads to the West were not fully developed, communications fairly primitive, no radio communication, only the primitive wire telegraph systems operated if the Plains Indians did not cut the wires etc etc. all the stuff we have watched in the cowboy movies was the order of the day. It was some 3,000 miles between the slowly opening West coast and the East coast.However one Senator Edward Baker in far off Oregon filled no doubt with zeal and patriotism was commissioned in April 1861 by President Lincoln to organise volunteer soldiers for the impending war. Baker would initally look for volunteers from the West coast. However though he appears to have succeeded in recruiting some men from the West coast but there were not enough men available so he then focussed his efforts on Philadelphia. He decided to establish a brigade of soldiers centered roughly on Philadelhia. Thus the name Philadelphia Brigade was established a brigade consisting of 3 or 4 regiments. By early autumn 1861 Baker had succeeded in raising four regiments primarily all from the Philadelphia area except the 106th regiment many of whose men came from Lycoming and Bradford Co's. There were now a 1st, 2nd,3rd and 5th California regiments. It was now time to align these names to reflect their links to Pennsylvania and the 1st. Cal. became the 71st. Pa. the 2nd. Cal. became the 69th. Pa. the 3rd Cal. became the 72nd. Pa. and the 5th Cal. became the 106th. Pa. The regimental identities were now established and there were four regiments associated with Philadelphia. We now had the "Philadelphia Brigade" name established.
Owens having started off as Colonel of the 3 month 24th. Regt. then became colonel of the newly formed up 69th. Pa. He was now a functional field commander. After the battle of Antietam where Owen seems to have impressed he was promoted to the rank of Brigade General commanding the 69th. Pa. 71st. Pa. 72nd. Pa. and 106th. Pa. This in my book seems incredibly quick promotion over such a short period of time. The commanders of the the Philadelphia Brigade throughout the war all had been West Point graduates. However Owen was not a product of West Point.

Col.Edward D. Baker who established the brigade commanded it until Oct. 21st.1861.
Brig. Gen. William W. Burns Oct. 1861-Aug.1862.
Brig. Gen. Oliver O. Howard Aug. 1862- Sept. 1862.
Brig. Gen. Joshua T. Owen Sept. !862- June 1863.
Brig. Gen. Alex. S. Webb June-July 1863.
Brig. Gen. Joshua T. Owen Aug 1863-June 1864

As to why Owens was not in command in the Gettysburg window June-July 1863 I suppose it could be argued that because of previous bad blood between Colonel Dennis O'Kane the commander of the 69th. Pa. and a man who could "deliver" the 69th. Pa. (parhaps the most effective regiment) and Owen someone in higher command thought better to keep them apart in the crucial battles coming up. However in real circumstances it appears that Owen had slightly blotted his copy book. It would appear that the 69th. Pa. camped for two days June 22nd 23rd. 1863 to prevent the Confederates crossing through the Gap a pass through the Bull Run mountains. Brigadier General Gibbons got to hear that Owens had allowed some civians pass through the lines not a great idea as no doubt there would be spies. To cut a long story short General Gibbons was rather irate at this and ordered Owen to be arrested on the spot. He was basically put in "house arrest" some distance from the place where he had blotted his copy book!. I would imagine the punishment was more of a psychological nature. One wonders what the troops thought of the event! General Gibbons who ordered this event either cared little about Owen or he was in himself a poor leader. Humilating Owen in my book was bad. This is the sort of circumstance that a compotent leader sorts with a "quiet word", a "tap on the shoulder". However getting a better feel of Owen's character as I do this small bio I am starting to see an Owen who was perhaps too friendly with his men, not too fussed about discipline, perhaps even liked to share a few drinks etc. Don't forget as far as I see he had never been taught "soldiery" discipline etc. As a fellow Celt he would have felt at ease amongst the Irish soldiers in the ranks of the 69th. However this no doubt caused O'Kane problems as seen below.
The result of this misdeamour by Owen seems to have ensured the promotion of Alex. S. Webb to Brig. General. He would then be the man in situ at Gettysburg in the June-July 1863 window. Perhaps this was a good thing as who knows the 69th. Pa. led by O'Kane may not have fought just as well under Owen. There had been history betweem Owen and O'Kane. However we can only speculate. Owen and O'Kane already had a bitter personal fude in a confrontation between between both men at Harpers Ferry in early Oct. 1862 when both men probably well fired up with alcohol had a confrontation in which Owen was said to have insulted O'Kane's wife, he retalliated threatening to pull Owen off his horse etc. The result of this was that Owen must have filed charges against O'Kane leading to O'Kane being court martialed and the court martial was presided over by Brig. Gen. W. S. Hancock (See O'Kane court martial on relevant page)
The result of the court martial?. All charges dropped. Why?. To me fairly obvious. Hancock could see the the bigger picture unfurling. Not too worried about a spate between an Irishman and a Welshman probably through drink. O'Kane was a proven leader of the very successful battle hardened 69th.Pa. a regiment that he Hancock could rely on to fight and win. Why lose the trust if O'Kane lost the morale of his men, the men like O'Kane from Derry, Tyrone and Donegal in particular. He would need a 69th.Pa. in very high morale for the impending final battles of the Civil War. A brigadier general could easily be found but not a hard fighting unit. Owen lost the courtmartial case no doubt leaving him disgruntled with bad blood left between him and O'Kane. What to do?. This worked as we know and the 69th.Pa. under O'Kane and Alex S. Webb took victory at Gettysburg. Sadly O'Kane was killed at Gettysburg and by Aug. 1863 Owen was back in command. Like O'Kane he was also cleared of charges. It is of interest to note that Hancock was also a product of West Point.
By June 1864 however Owen's enlistment was over and he was free to go back home to Philadelphia and pick up his private life.

"Paddy" Owen. why not Joshua Owen?

If one reads about the California Regiment and the 69th. Pa. Brig. General Joshua Owen is frequently referred to as "Paddy Owen" Why?. In order to understand this here are a few pointers that may interest you especially if you reading this in the States. The name "Paddy" is as most of you know used to identify an Irishman, Jock for a Scotsman, Fritz for a German etc etc. There are many such labels. The word used to indicate a Welshman is Taffy. Why was Owen not be referred to as Taffy Owen which would be more likely if such names were to be used. In the use of these names one has to be very careful indeed the very fine line exists on how to use these addresses. They can be used with intonations of respect or dis-respect. If you are American you will be very familiar with terms relating to African Americans. Mexicans etc. A good area to avoid. Let us look at the term "Paddy". It is obviously based on the saint's name Patrick. Whats it all about?. Looking at American history if one looks at the America of the mid 19th century the descendents of the original British settlers especially the English were in reality calling the shots. Initially settling in the N.E. portion of the continet in what were to become the New England states for example they brought their class system with them. The English to this day are the most class conscious society I am aware of. Their descendants carried on with what they heard from their parents etc. so the class syatem came down to following generations and may just be alive and well to this day. In the America pre-Civil War era where the descendants of the people from the British Isles especially the original English settlers of the Society would still be very class conscious. Their parents had brought their class system with them and their descendants carried it on. In the case of the Irish however that "troublesome" island to the west of mainland Britain and who seemed to cause a lot of trouble to the the newly developing Anglo-American ethos societies. To them all Irishmen seemed to be called Patrick after their National saint and referred to as Paddy's. The term used by them signalled a not too benine opinion of their newest Americans on the block.There would be many diasporas on the "block" from the Civil war right up to the present. Which takes us back to Joshua Owen and his nickname "Paddy" Owen.
On the normal run of things Owen as a native born Welshman if after he joined the army and ending up as a Brigadier General commanding in particular the very Irish 69th.Pa. may well have been called "Taffy" Owen by his men. However he ended up being referred to as "Paddy". Was it initially flagged up by the Irishmen in the 69th. Pa.? Here is where I have to make my own take on the circumstances as I see them from Europe some 150 plus years later. Now this is my take on Owen's association with the 69th. Pa. Being well established along with his brother Roger in the Philadelphia of 1860's I am of the opinion that Joshua not content with what he had achieved started to look for more kudos. Perhaps becoming an officer in the Union Army would be a good idea, a ploy often used by aristocratic English families even up to recent times to off-load a son who was totally unsuitable for much and certainly not take over the family estate. Buy him a commission in the Army that would keep him out of harms way, not mess around with the village girls or fall off his horses coming back from the vIllage pub. From my limited knowledge of the history of West Point in the early-mid 19th century there were probably students there the sons of massive estae owners in both the North and the Southern Plantations who attended and ended up as high rankers in either the Union or Confederate armies. Looking at the academic listing of one particular year I see Gen. Pickett the Confederate commander at Gettysburg was last in his class year at just about every subject. However this did not seem to hold back his up ranking in the Confederate army. I am being flippent but you get my meaning.
I read that Owen was a member or a supporter of the Democrativ party in the Philadelpia pre the Civil War, another string on his social bow. Now engraciating himself with the Irish would be a good idea. Obviously wanting to join the army and knowing that there would be hundreds of Irish joining the ranks he would have to do some ethnic courting as there would no doubt be a Philadelphia regiment at some stage. It was time to get involved. Initially at a very low militia part time level and a quick up grade to the three month 24th.Pa. Then feet under the table Colonel of the very Irish 69th.Pa. and actually it must be said fighting with them successfully and his dramatic quick up ranking to Brig. General of the four regiments already mentioned including the 69th. Pa.
No doubt this impressed his family and close friends but not all would be impressed by his achievements. There would no doubt be jealousy.This is where the label "Paddy" would be applied by them as a term of begrudgery and put-down, probably directed towards him by his non-Catholic Protestant friends. The badge stuck and no doubt was interpreted by various citizens as they thought fit. Aa a badge of honour or derision.I suppose in the case of the soldiers of the 69th Pa. after a while they would not pass much remark on the name's origins,
It would appear like in all macho organisations and the Union Army was no different the generals would watch each others achievements and failures with intense interest. However the Major generals had more accountability and they themselves had to get results no matter how. This is where I feel Owen came up short with them.
I am of the opinion that Owen was to the higher militery structure of the Union army a man in the right place at the right time. Though not Irish born he most certainly would have understood the Irish psyche like himself of Celtic genetic mix. He obviously had the capability to gain the confidence of the Irish in the city. He had perhaps the ability through association and behaviour befriended men of influence in Irish Philadelphia. It obviously worked but did he realise that he himself was being manipulated by higher ranked commanders to deliver a very efficient fighting unit for the Union cause. He was not an ex- West Pointer nor did he come from any of the gentry families of the time. He was the son of an immigrant 1st. generation Welshman who through hard work and endeavour, education, rose along with his brother Roger to some prominence in mid 19th. century Philadelphia. The story of how an Irish born Catholic Dennis O'Kane who rose to be Colnel of the Union Army's 69th Regt. operating under a Welsh born commander Joshua Owen merits further research. Owen the only non West Pointer to command the Philadelphia Brigade. Was also a Freenason belonging to William P Schneider Lodge 419 of Philadelphia. He would appear to have always been pround of his Weslsh roots though he had left Wales as a young boy. He was also a member of the Welsh St. David Socity having joined in 1859 just before the Civil War.
From what information I have gleaned on the Owen family group they would appear to have considered themselves to be a very Welsh family first and perhaps less so American. They would appear never to have lost their love of their homeland.
At the end of the day we can specutate a lot on Joshua Owen's rise to Brigadir General associated with the 69th ensured their place in the historic victory at Gettysburg. He was at the end of the day not seen as a wreckless commander. He studied the various battle situations to ensure his troops suffered a few casualties as possible. However at times his disciplive was suspect or so it is said!.
War over and victory delivered Owen would appear to have immediately removed himself from post civil war scene of the Philadelphia Brigade and members of the 69th Pa who survived.

The Sheridans, Joshua's marriage, family, obits. and graves.

The name Chestnut Hill comes up a lot in the two Owen brothers history, their academy there and the links between the Sheridan and Owen families. Chestnutt Hill was an area of much natural beauty on the rural outskirts of the now starting to sprawl Philadelphia of the time, where the rich merchants and business people had their big residences. Many of Philadelphias richest men lived there. One such family the Sheridans lived there. Owen Sheridan was born in Ireland about 1796. As to when he emigrated to America I have no information. What I have found out is that Owen Sheridan was born in Ireland and that he married an Elizabeth Gray Jones from Pa. They had a son called Frank Sheridan who was born in Pa. Nov. 21st. 1841. So one can deduce that Owen arrived a single man. As to what age he was on arrival cannot be accurately determined. He would be 45 when Frank born. Was he a poor Irish immigrant? I don't think so. Was he Catholic immigrant Irish most certainly not. Owen Sheridan made good, very good in fact and became a very successful businessman/farmer. His mansion was in Chestnut Hill on the outskirts of pre Civil War Philadelphia. He also owned a town house in the city. He was also a member of several clubs in the city including the Organisation for Gentlemen Farmers. He was involved with or may have formed up the elite 14th Troop Philadelphia Cavalry. He also owned some 225 acres at Chestnut Hill. He was also chairman of the Germanstown National Bank at a time. At one time he was reputed to have been one of the richest men in Pennylvnia with taxable assets worth $19,450.( See left the image of Sheridans Mansion 1870). A young Joshua Owen by the late 1840's was well estbalished in Philadelphia as was his brother Roger. Both no doubt well established in the then social society of Philadelphia. Joshua needed a wife. Who better than Annie J. Sheridan the only daughter of Owen Sheridan. One hopes that it was a marriage of love and not opportunity. Joshua's brother Roger as the local Presbyterian minister just may have had some "influence" on the circumstances. It was now 1854 some 6 years before the Civil War. For whatever reason either patriotism to the Union or a challenge Joshua got involved in the militia's scenario starting to establish itself in Philadelphia just pre 1860. Joshua would rapidly gain high military ranking later on ending up as Brigadier General of the Philadelphia Brigade one of whose regiments was the 69th. Pa. Joshua Owen having married Annie J. Sheridan in 1854 raised a family of three girls and and two boys David and Robert. Robert was also a lawyer who died unmarried aged 26 on 11th June 1884. The three sisters never married. All three were very petite in stature. Their names were Elizabeth known as "Bessie", Caroline the youngest sister known as "Carrie" and Mary known as "Minnie". At some stage probably after their mother Annie J. Owen nee Sheridan died March 2nd. 1895 the sisters were basically left to their own devices. They had to make a living as their father's trust funds dwindled. At one stage they ran a tea room in Philadelphia called The Green Dragon. Their brother David also lost his well established law journal publication in New York. The trips back to Europe ceased but their expectations still lived on. They instead of holidaying in Europe summered in Blue Hill Maine. Here they befriended the Loring family themselves very rich and many of whose members had also fought in the Civil War. They would as a military family been well disposed to the Owen girls themselves the daughter of a Civil War Brig. Gen. One of the Loring family members was the well known novelist Emilie Loring 1866-1951. The Owen sisters friendship with the Loring family enabled them to purchase two small parcels of land close by the Loring home on which they were allowed build a small tea room which they called Tyn-Y-Coed and Largspur Lodge. They had not forgotten their Welsh roots naming their tearoom Tyn Y Coed the The House in the woods in Welsh. At one stage their brother David came to live with them. All three sister and brother David were eventually buried in the Blue Hill Seaside Cemetery choosing not to go back to Philadelphia.(See image below of the graves of the three sisters and brother David). The sisters friendship with the Loring family lasted over 40 years.
Emelie Loring wove some history of the Owen sisters and indeed that of her father Joshua into a few of her books. No doubt hearing a lot about the exploits of Joshua Owen their late father Emilie Loring mentions Joshua in the book The Trail of Conflict. In it she atributes the following to Joshua. He would appear to be a person who could crash through obstacles and sheer persistence....."fifty years ago my mother brought her family from Wales to this country...Until I was seventeen I picked coal...I laid my plans for life, I'd make money, Lord how I'd pile it up. I'd cut out the dissipations of my kind, I'd marry the most refined girl who'd have me and I'd have one of my children at least marryinto a family like yours "..
The above is obviously not a quote from Joshua but I am of the opinion The three sisters in their meetings with Emelie Loring never missed an opportunity to flag up their social standing. The three diminutive sisters and their brother had passed on by the early 1950's as had Emelie Loring in 1952. One can only surmise that the Loring family members played a part in helping them in their latter years. Caroline or "Carrie" was an invalid. Emile Loring wrote about her in her book For the Comfort of the Family. A vocation Experiment


Owen sisters and brother David's graves Blue Hill Seaside Cemetery Maine
Image courtesy Patti Bender.

Here is the text obituary notice of Annie J. Owen wife of Gen.Joshua Owen. She had actually died 25th. Feb.1895.

"Widow of the Late General Joshua T. Owen Annie J. Owen, who died suddenly at her late home, at Chestnut Hill, on Monday, was a daughter of the late Owen Sheridan and widow of the late General Joshua T. Owen. Mrs. Owen was born at Chestnut Hill, in what is known as the old Sheridan Mansion, near the Pennsylvania Railroad, on Hartwell avenue. She was for many years a member of the First Presbyterian Church, of which her brother-in-law, the late Rev. Roger T. Owen, was for a long time pastor. She was of charitable disposition, which attracted to her a host of friends among both rich and poor, who deeply deplore har death. Three daughters and a son survive her. Interment was in Laurel Hill Cemetery."

Obituary notice text Annie J.Owen wife of General J T-Owen
Germanstown Guide Sat. March 2nd. 1895


Obituary notice Brig.Gen.Joshua T.Owen.
Image courtesy New York Times Nov.8th. 1887.


Owen Graves Laurel Hill Cemetery Philadelphia. Gen.Owen right side grave, wife Ann middle grave and son Richard J Owen a son left hand grave of the group of three.
Image courtesy Patricia Eadie

Lieut. Owen Sheridan Co. H. 69th. Pa. Brother in law to Brig. Gen. Joshua Owen.

This man was the brother in law of Joshua Owen ie Owen's wife Annie J. Sheridan's brother. He had quite a vertical career path. He enlisted as Owen Shridan Jr.Oct. 31st. 1861 for three years. He started off as Q.M. Sergt. then to Sergt. Major and was promoted 2nd Lieut. Co. H. May 1st. 1862. However things did not go too well for Owen as he was charged at a time for being "Absent without leave" and unfortunately turned up drunk for his court-martial and was dismissed from the army. His being a brother in law to Joshua Owen did not help him. He was dismissed May 15th.1863. Owen Sheridan died young aged just 33 on Oct. 18th. 1870. At the time he and family living at Gravers Lane Chestnut Hill not too far from the Sheridan mansion at Chestnut Hill. He was married to Clara B. Miller (1845-1927). They had three children one boy being called Richard Brinsley Sheeridan. I wonder if this was after the famous Anglo Irish writer of the same name?. Both Owen and his wife Clara are buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery Philadelphia Section B Lot 81,


Grave marker Lieut. Owen Sheridan Co. H. 69th. Pa. Laurel Hill Cemetery Philadelphiia in Section B Lot 81.


Memorial plinth Brig.General Joshua Owen and his wife.


Base of General Owen's plinth showing wife Ann J.

Pvte. Richard Brinsley Sheridan F & S. 69th. Pa. Brother in law to Brig. Gen. Joshua Owen.


Grave marker Pvte. Richard Brinsley Sheridam F.& S 69th. Pa. Laurel Hill Cemetery Philadelphia. Plot Section B Lot 86-87 W 1/2.

Not a lot known about Richard's army career. He enlisted at Philadelphia 19th. Aug. 1861 and mustered in the same day. Aged noted as 21. He was listed as a hospital steward in the F.& S. Roll. He is named with his brother Owen. He is then listed as discharged on "date unknown". However he would appear to have survived the war but died relatively young aged just 24.

Rev. Roger Owen. D.D. Presbyterian minister 1st. Presb. church Chestnut Hill. Philadelphia

Much has been written about Joshua Owen the soldier. However his brother Roger some 8 years older than Joshua merits notice. Though not a lot in the public domain like his brother I see him as a mover and shaker in the affairs of his family. As a Presbyterian minister in the Chestnut Hill area just outsdie the old city boundaries at the time he was well encamped amongst the rich and well to do farmers of the area and city businessmen living in their mansions and commuting in and out of the city. Roger was adminstrating to people from predominately Scots, Welsh, English and a small proportion of Protestant Irish stock such as the Sheridans. There would be few if any, famine poor Irish emigrants in the area as then. If any they would have been there as servants and labourers.
Like Joshua Roger was born in Bethelem St Clears Carmarthen Wales. He was born there Oct 15th. 1813. On receiving a very good education as mentioned above he opted to become a minister of the Presbyterian faith and as we see served both as a cleric at the newly built Chestnutt Hill 1st Presbyterian church and also served as teacher at Chestnut Hill Academy both of which he was involved in the building of. At one stage he married a Miss Elizabeth McCorkle. After a lifetime of service he died Jan 8th 1890 aged 77 and is buried in the nearby Laurel Hill cemetery Section 5 Lot 83 with his father and his wife.

Initial history of Chestnut Hill Academy Philadelphia,

This academy was as stated above set up by the two Owen brothers Joshua and Roger in conjunction with some of the more well to do inhabitants of the Chestnut Hill area then on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Both were well educated, one Roger was an ordained Presbyterian minister. They were the two initial professors at the adademy opened as a boys only academy in 1851. It was a boarding school. This academy (a relatively small building of the era) catered for about 77 pupls.
This academy lasted until 1856 when its existence seems to have disappeared. By this time Roger was well established as the 1st pastor of Chestnut Hill's new 1st.Presbyterian church. Also by the mid 1850's as America headed towards civil war Joshua appears to have turned his interests more towards his business talents and becoming interested in things military in the fledgeling militia units springing up around Philadelphia. At this stage it kind of looks like Joshua was recognising a military career perhaps as so many young men who join for army "careers" and in their enthusiasm never look to the possibility that there might just be mortal combat involved. By 1856 Chestnut Hill Academy seems to have disappeared. However by 1895 some 30 years after the end of the Civil War a "new" Chestnut Hill Academy sprang up at 8030 Germanstown Ave.The original school was situated at the S.W. corner of Germanstown Ave. and Springfield Ave. The Rev. Joshua would stay on in his clerical role in Chestnut Hill 1st. Presbyterian church for some 33 years.

My Conclusions and Observations on Joshua Owen.

Firstly any of you reading the information I have placed on this page be aware these are my conclusions and observations. I suppose that being in Ireland where so many of the 69th. soldiers came from or had ancestral ties especially with the northern counties of Tyrone, Derry. Donegal and Fermanagh I am perhaps better positioned to understand the psyche of the soldiers involved. Also having reasonable knowledge of our fellow Celtic country to our east namely the Welsh of Wales also helps. Fellow Celts but each country having its own national traits. The uniqueness of the personal relationship between O'Kane the Regimental Colonel and Owen the Brigadier General is the fact that they were "native" born Irish and Welsh. O'Kane probably left Ireland aged about 20 and Owen aged about 8. Owen and his extended family most certainly hung on to their "Welshness" the family obviously keep a close circle of Welsh friends, marrying into Welsh families and the family making frequent visits back to Wales throughout their lives. O'Kane though apparently never did come home is known to have kept in contact with his family back home and with the the large Derry population of mid 19th century Philadelphia. Basically they knew each others psyche too well. They knew the history of Ireland and Wales well. They knew very well how to annoy each other. There would be problems and perhaps fuelled by drink which Owen seemed to be rather fond of if reports are true. It is interesting to read about one confrontation between Owen and O'Kane in 1862 (see bio page on O'Kane). This spat was sorted out by senior commanders who would appear to have had some comprehension of common sense and basically dismissed charges against O'Kane laid by Owem. Owen himself would be courtmartialled in mid 1863 just before Gettysburg. (see below)
This small trawl through the Owen family history has been most interesting. It illustrates so well the American Dream of achieving success from humble beginnings to high achievement by various routes, We are all aware of the high success of the Kennedy family from their small farm at Dunganstown in rural Co. Wateford to having a descendant Jack Kennedy at a time the most powerful man in the world as President of the United States. In the case of the Owen family stemming from a family of limied means but heavily involved in the Welsh chaple religious culture of the early 19th century David Owen getting six of his sons educated to religious ministry level and later a few joining the Presbyterian faith. The eldest son Griffith Owen was most certainly a man who got himself known in the higher power level of American society. Two of Griffith's brothers Joshua and Robert would attend Prnceton university etc etc. These two in particular would go back to Philadelphia and again no doubt with the help of Griffith now as a minister in Philadelphia get to meet and engraciate themselves into the very rich Owen Shedidan family and their friends. Griffith and Roger both Presbyterian ministers in the city cica 1850 would be socially well accepted. But what of Joshua? Probably as a professor at Chestnut Hill Academy circa 1850 he also would be socially acceptable as well but perhaps less so than his brothers. He I think would have been number three in the pecking order. How could he change all this?. He had a golden opportunity as there were stirrings of potential war in the late 1850's, What better time to get involved in the small cavalry units forming up in the greater Philadelphia area possibly the Sheridan family supplying some of its horses (see photo of the Sheridan estate above). Why not get involved in "real" soldiery and thus with Griffiths's help and contacts form up the 24th. three month regiment and as the war got real help get associated with the forming up 69th. Pa. Regiment. However he would soon find that this was where he needed to draw on his background. He probably realised that he even as a Welsh born now Presbyterian could call on his knowledge of the Irish and their background and religion. He had at the time in Philadelphia numerous Irish predominately Catholic recruits. Could he engraciate himself to them and deliver for his military masters in Washington a regiment that would have a real cutting edge?. Yes I feel most certainly. Why?. To understand this we must take a look at the whole Owen family. Would they and consequently Joshua understand the psyche and background of the Irish soldiers to be?. Most certainly. The Owen family did not leave Wales until the father was in his 50's. Joshua was about 8 and his brothers older. Their father would have had excellent knowledge of the state of Ireland and its poverty and history. He would also have been in tune with the very large Welsh emigration to America especially Pensylvania in the same era but fewer in numbers. No doubt father David talked to his family a lot about Wales and indeed Ireland and the British Isles in general. He would no doubt have drawn their attention to the fact that the majority of the Irish would be Catholic. The Owen family had by 1860 learnt the skills of social integration into important American high society. Joshua was obviously a man who now was acceptable to the enlisting Irish soldiers. He would soon be referred to as "Paddy" Owen. How did this nickname come about?. Lets take a look at one channel of his background that may help explain. Don't forget that David Owen the General's father ran a book publishing/selling business back in Baltimore up to about 1850 that seemed to carry publications that seemed to be obsessed by the Roman Catholic church it's Pope and its genaral and many failings. This would hardly have gone un-noticed in the Baltimore of the time itself like Philadelphia filling up with thousands and thousands of Irish Catholic immigrants. Would in pre Civil War Philadelphia known much about the Owen family arriving in their midst and their background especially that of father David?. Most certainly. However by 1860 Joshua was in amongst them and their 69th. Pa. Regt. He a charismatic Welshman with their own characteristic traits was more likely to succeed as their leader than if presented with a West Point gradute. He was kind of the right man in the right place at the right time and this realised by the very top commanders. I kind of think at the end of the day the application of his "Paddy" name was used as a term of quasi endearment by the Irishmen now under his command, and as a small putdown by his fellow socialites and co-religionists in Philadelphia as perhaps not all thought highly of him.
From Joshua's angle it all played out very favourably for him, a good education, business success and a military career with amazingly rapid promotion to Brigadier General. Marriage into a very successful family the Sheridans. He also was able to by pass the near mandatory West Point route to high command.
As far as I see he had had no formal military training such as it was in that war. In taking command of the 69th.Pa with its large Irish contingent apart from the Irish and Catholic aspect Owen inherited their politics. Basically two main factions who brought their politics with them from Ireland or if American born took their politics from what their Irish parents who taught and told them about Ireland's history thus they carried on the tradition. A very Irish tradition. Owen had to deal with the so called "Fenians" in the ranks who were basically trying to get the British out of Ireland by any means. The less agressive could be termed "Natiolalist" groups not espousing a physical aspect. These two forces within a regiment could pose Owen problems. Something he would have to monitor. The "Fenians" a closed secretive group could possibly pose him a problem. How to deal with this ie get to know how the possible feelings amongst the men in the ranks were thinking and relations with each other? How to do this and not be seen making open enquiries? I am of the opinion that at one stage appointing 1st. Lieut Aneas Doherty (See image left) a man from Cardonagh Co. Donegal as his A.D.C. served this purpose. Doherty was a known Fenian supporter in Philadelphia and as such would have known the politics of the Philadelphia Irish or Irish American men in the various companies. He had to. As A.D.C. Aide-de-Camp meaning an officer who helps a higher ranked officer in the line of his duties possible give Owen a better "understanding" of what may have been going on? I cannot say for sure but I'm sure a Donegal man and a Welsh man each kept their secrets even after sharing a glass of "Ishka Baka" in a field tent. Perhaps not all was secret.

The participation of Joshua Owens in the American Civil War 1860-65 is to me unique. He was a well educated son of what appears to be a Welsh family of its time immigrants to the United States seemingly having a mission zeal to spread the Gospel. David his father and his wife did not leave Wales until they were close to their 50's taking some of their family with them.Their's was a very large family with many male children 5 or 6 of the males becoming cleics either assocaited with the Welsh chapel religious groups or later joining the Presbyterian church. Was David the father also a minister of religion as well as being a wool merchant?. I have no proof either way but in mid 19th century America I feel that David and his family may well have been subsidised initially from back home by donations. Many pioneering religious groupings arriving into the States were heavily subsidiised by subscriptions from people back home. This was also very common for the Catholic church in the States developing in America in the 19th century. My notes on the Archbishops of Philadelphia will support this comment. Just maybe there was "competion" between the more evangelistic Protestant faiths and the Catholics drawing from a very Irish base.
Did Joshua Owen or Dennis O'Kane leave their mark in general American history or that of Wales or Ireland? Speaking for O'Kane I found out about his existence several years ago by complete accident from a gentleman I know who lives close to O'Kanes village in Co. Derry. Little or nothing is known of O'Kane here in Ireland. In the case of Owen I only learnt some superficial information from a friend in the States who has writen a book on the 69th Pa. Infantry. There is a little information on him on Wikipedia sites. But do either of these men who by their actions played a major part in the defeat of the Confederatcy in the battles leading up to or during the Gettysburg compain figure much in the general plethora of Civil War history accounts or books?. NO. Why?. I can only suggest a couple of reasons. O'Kane as an Irish Catholic did not or sadly perhaps still does not fit into the WASP mentality of many historians. Owen as a non- West Pointer or son of a massive state owner or the "well connected" from either the North or the South certainly did not fit the picture either. Like O'Kane I have found little in the Public domain on Owen in Wales. It was only when I came across a descendant of Josua Owen's brother David who had gone to live in England and who kindly shared her information with me that we were able to balance a much better history of Joshua Owen's life.

Special acknowledgemant;
With many thanks to biographer Patti Bender for additional background notes and information on the Owen family and links within the books of Emelie Loring. Much appreciated.
With many thanks to Angie Watts for research information on the English branch of the Owen family. David Absolom Owen who was General Owen's brother was her gt. gt. gt. grandfather.


Acknowledgemants;
Patricia Eadie for image Owen graves at Laurel Hill Cem. Philadelphia Pa.
"Find a Grave" Organistaion.
"Germanstown Guide" March 2nd. 1895.
Google Earth Maps.
"New York Times" Nov.8th 1887
Owen image courtesy Library of Congress.
"Dictionary of Welsh Biography" entry by Hywel David Emmanuel M.A. Aberystwyth 1959.
"The Baltimore Library and Religious Magazine" VOL.7 May 1841.To edition.
Russ Dodge for images of Gen. and Mrs Owen grave plinh.