Name: Simon Gavin
Birth: about 1842, Dublin, Ireland
Death: Apr. 17, 1884, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Simon's parents are unknown, but there is evidence that suggest Simon was baptized in 1842 in Rathfarnham, Dublin, Ireland. Simon’s immigration date from Ireland is also unknown at this time.
However, in December 1864, Simon was living in Naugatuck, CT, USA and he enlisted with the 15th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment on 28 December 1864 in New Haven, CT, USA. His enlistment records indicate he was 22 years old. On March 8, 1865, Simon and most of his regiment were captured at the Battle of Wyse (Wise) Forks, near Kinston, NC, USA. Simon was wounded in this battle, hit by a cannon ball in the lower left leg. As a result of his wounds, the lower one-third of his left leg was amputated by a Confederate surgeon during his time in captivity. After the war ended, and the subsequent exchange of prisoners, Simon was transferred to Mower General Hospital, Chestnut Hill, PA, USA on 8 May 1865. He was released from the hospital on 29 June 1865, and received a honorable discharged from the Army with a 100% disability.
Simon settled in Philadelphia, PA, USA where he met Sarah Fitzgerald. Sarah and her family had immigrated from Queen’s County (now County Laois), Ireland in 1849 and settled in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Simon and Sarah married on 23 September 1870, most likely at Our Mother of Sorrows R.C. Church in West Philadelphia. They had four children; John, Thomas, Anastasia, and James.
Simon died on 17 April 1884 at the age of about 40. He was buried on 20 April 1884 at Old Cathedral Cemetery in Section T. The cemetery keeps no record of the exact location of pauper’s graves. However, Simon’s wife Sarah, and other members of his family are buried in Section D. In 2009 the great-grandchildren of Simon and Sarah purchased a headstone for Sarah’s grave, and the cemetery allowed us to include Simon’s name on his wife’s headstone.
Spouse: Sarah V. Fitzgerald Gavin (1849-1924)
John J. Gavin (1871- ?)
Thomas S. Gavin (1874-1902)
Anastasia Gavin (1877-1966) James J. Gavin (1883-1938)
The History Of The Fifteenth Connecticut Volunteers In The War For The Defense Of The Union, 1861-1865 by Sheldon B. Thorpe, Sergeant, Company K
NARA Civil War Pension Documents for Simon Gavin.
Like the Stinson soldiers of the 69th. Pa. Vols William Hinfey was another son of Newbridge Toomebridge Co.Derry. Information on the following soldiers Hinfey and Murphy is relative to the time they served. Prior to the Civil War 1861-1865 the Regular American army was not in a divided state ie a Northern and a Southern Army. It played a major role in protecting the emigrants as they moved west into such places as Texas. It was in the American West a frontier Force. It would man the forts and effectively face off the Indian Nations and Mexicans as they they fought back as they lost their homelands. This was the Texas into which two young Irishmen would move to from an initial base in Philadelphia in the case of Hinfey and probably Alexandria Va. in the case of Daniel Murphy. Let us take a short look at their stories. These are not stories of battles and victories more an insight into how the expanding West was developing and how it affected Hinfey and Murphy.
William Hinfey are his wife are listed in the 1860
census for San Antonio 3rd.Ward Bexar Co. Texas as follows
Henfy Wm age 35 Labourer Born Ireland
Mary aged 20
WJ aged 9 born Texas.
Mary aged 7 born Texas.
Civil War Record of William Hinfey.
Name: William Hinfey
Unit: Captain Edgar's Co., Texas State Troops.
Rank - Induction: Private
Rank - Discharge: Private
Notes: Wm. Henfey 1 Tex. Field Batty.
In the 1860 San Antonio, 4th. Ward census for Bexar Co. 1860.
Edgar , James, 29 , occupation. U. S. Army Quartermaster's Department.
William Hinfeys and Capt. Edgar's path would cross.
The story of how a man from Newbridge Co. Derry wound up in Texas
in a local Texas militia unit perceived as
a Confederate army unit is fascinating. It is really the story of two families. That of William
Hinfey's from Newbridge Co. Derry and Daniel Murphy from Co. Cork. Both were emigrants.
could read and write while Daniel aged just 16 when his parents died
arrived in America unable to read and write.
Here is some information on William Hinfey.
Around famine times circa 1840 six Hinfey children emigrated to Philadelphia from Newbridge Co. Derry. Between 1814 and 1833 some eight Hinfey children were born. These were named. Ellen, Mary, Jane, William, John, Susan, Sarah and Charles the youngest. William was born April 2nd 1825.
Ellen was married by 1833 to a local man Barney Lavery. Mary had married James Campbell in 1841. Jane married Eugene McCormick in 1844 and had a son in 1846. When the head of the Hinfey family died in the early 1840's the remaining six children plus Jane's husband and son set off for America. As usual Philadelphia or New York was the ports of destination from this part of Co. Derry. Willam and John decided to find their future further south into a Texas now opening up as the Europeans moved south and west. From records it is seen that William enlisted in New York May 6th 1845 for service in the Mexican war and went south to Texas where he probably had received a land grant for enlisting to fight in the Mexican war. William was married and was settled in San Antonio by 1850. John however decided that he would return to the main family group in Philadelphia and would also marry in 1850. William finished his enlistment and was discharged in early May 1850 in El Paso Texas. He had served 5 years.
Jane Hinfey-McCormick had a second child in Philadelphia in 1848 but alas by 1850 her husband Eugene McCormick had died. She was now a widow with two young children. Her younger brother Charles was living with her.
Now widowed Jane decided to go south to Texas to join her brother William. She very soon remarried in Texas. Her two sisters had also gone south Texas earlier. Susan had married Bernard Brady an employee of Daniel Murphy (see later).
Thus circa middle 1850's prior to the Civil War William Hinfey and his three sisters were living permanently in San Antonio. Charles had already gone back north to Philadelphia. However at the start of the Civil war the now Union aligned part of the Regular Army who had protected the settlers primarily against Indians and Mexicans moved North. The Texans were left to look after their own security. This they did as citizens of San Antonio formed up their own Home Guard. William would soon find himself in Col. Edgars State Guards. However the Civil War would change a lot. I suppose Col. Edgar's State Guards as as such would be nominally Confederates in the eyes of the Union Army. The men of the unit decided they would not enrole to fight the Union army. Others did but as a half way arrangement Colonel Edgar allowed William to stay in San Antonio and work in the arsenal there. William had perhaps still too many links to his family in Philadelphia a heartland of Union Units the 69th Penn Vols. amongst them. He had to know that others such as McPeaks and Stinsons were amongst the soldiers of the 69th.
The war over William was employed repairing and restoring old buildings in the San Antonio area. He died young aged 58 in 1883 and is buried in the Cemeterio San Fernando in San Antonio. Hardly a committed Confederate simply a Militia man in the service of pre Civil War Texas but nevertheless seen through Northern eyes as a Confederate.
William the ex Confederate soldier would appear to keep his head down for the duration of the war albeit he had been conscripted into the Confederate army. When the heat was off he wrote to his brother Charles still in Philadelphia a letter dated the 29th of July 1866.
San Antonio July 29th
I take my pen in hand to write to you these few lines hoping that they will find you and all the family as well as this leaves me and the family in at present thanks be to God.
Dear brother it is so long since I heard from you I hardly thought you were alive at all. I was very happy to hear of you getting married and settling down I trust you will do well and make a good living for your family.
Dear brother this place is grew so large since you left you would hardly know it. The place where John had his blacksmith shop is now covered with big Hotels and dwelling houses but since the breaking out of the war it has been very dull but things are begging to go ahead again
Dear brother I was happy to hear that you and John kept out of the army during the war I served one year in it and then got detailed to the Arsenal Department and remained there to the close of the war.
Dear brother William John is growing very big. Little Mary has had a complaint in her leg for the last six years and kept her groth down but other ways she is well
Dear brother I am doing well at present. I am working at the house carpenter since the war ended at $2 per day.
Dear brother William John will be sixteen years in April next and I am thinking of sending him to a trade about that time. He is a very good scholar. He has been going to school since I left Philadelphia. I would like for you to let me know when you write to me how boys is bound in your place to a trade and what you thought would be best for I have not made up my mind what to put him to as yet.
Dear brother, Mr Thomas Johnson and family are doing well. Peter is grew very large. Jimmy is very small but very smart. The rest of the family is growing very fast. Mrs Brady and family is well and her children are getting very big. Mr. Johnson has two large stores one on the main plaza and the other one at home.
Dear brother I would have wrote before this but I was expecting a letter from you. I hope you will writ as soon as you receive this. Direct in care of Thomas Johnson.
Dear brother me and Mary and children joins in sending our love to you and your wife and children and John and his family and all of our friends there. No more at present but I remain you brother.
Comments: The letter above probably the first letter that William
sent north to his brother in
Philadelphia after the war evidently
in reply to
the first communication William had heard from his family members in
Philadelphia since the start of
the Civil War. Remember the war had been over since mid 1865
so William did not want to rush things. There would
still be raw nerves
around about the recent war and certainly Philadelphia
was a Union stronghold.
William speaks of having a son William John and a daughter Mary who seems to be partially crippled. He says his wife is named Mary.
William had been in Captain Edgar's troop (Daniel Murphy was in the same unit) which was formed at first mainly for the defense of San Antonio and after the first year when it moved northward many of the original members stayed behind. William John Hinfey, his son's birth date is shown as April 1851 which accounts for his not being in the 1850 census. Mary (his daughter) also not listed so she apparently also younger than William John.
Be aware that William Hinfey was living in a Texas with mixed affiliations during the pre and Civil War era. He would appear to have avoided fighting for the Confederates as such. Whether he would have chosen to fight for the Union or not if given the choice we will never know. However if he had been in Philadelphia at the time he might of his own free will have joined the Union army, perhaps even the 69th. Penn Vols.!
William Henefy (the spelling on his headstone) died in San Antonio Sept 15th 1883. He is buried in the Cemeterio de Sanfernando. in San Antonio. The above image is of his headstone there.
He had served a year as a soldier but looking at the comment in his letter seems to have "escaped" active service due to his employment in the arsenal in San Antonio. After the war was over in 1865 he worked at his trade as a self employed carpenter and worked all around the San Antonio area up to distances as great as 100 miles. He owned his own house in San Antonio and another in rural Bexar Co. He would appear to have made a reasonable living for himself but nothing as good as Daniel Murphy.
In his letter above William mentions that the family of Mr. Thomas Johnson is well as is the Brady family. We know that Jane Hinfey had married to a Eugene McCormick in Ireland in 1844 and that they emigrated but Janes's husband Eugene died in America.So as Jane Hinfey McCormick now living in San Antonio gets remarried this time to a Thomas Johnson in San Antonio April 3rd 1853. Who was Thomas Johnson?. Thomas Johnson was born in 1803 in the Tuscarora Valley in Pennsylvania of Irish parents. Aged just 14 he enlists in the Army. He serves in many areas and battles, the Indian wars on the Canadian border, throughout the West, the Seminole wars in Florida and finally a five year enlistment in the Mexican war. He was finally discharged in the El Paso area of Tx April 28th 1850. His path towards the Hinfeys and the Bradys would soon cross!. His friend in the service had been William Hinfey who was discharged about a week later. Both settle in San Antonio. The Murphys, Bradys, Hinfeys and Johnsons, are all established and intermarried on the date that William's letter is written July 29th 1866. The Civil war was over.
Thomas Johnson had joined the Army aged 14 in 1817 at Philadelphia probably as a junior drummer boy or bugler. He served until 30.9.1821 and is discharged at Sacketts Harbour N.Y.aged 18. He would appear to have learned the trade of a bricklayer this being noted as his trade when he re-enlists 20.10.1827 aged 24 years. He enlisted in the 2nd infantry at Fort Mackinac and fought in the Black Hawk wars. Thomas was discharged 20.10.1832 at Fort Mackinac. He would appear to have taken some time out as a civilian but re-enlists in the 6th Infantry on 30.9.1834 at Louisville Ky. for what appears to be a three year enlistment as he is discharged at Monroe Va. 30.9.1837. He again re-enlists this time in Newport Va again in the 6th Infantry. He fights in the Seminole wars and is discharged at Fort Brooks Fla. 11.10.1840. He would then appear to have made his way up north to Philadelphia and probably worked as a labourer. He may well have been with his relatives or perhaps at his home. Again he gets the bug to re-enlist and does this time in Philadelphia 28.4.1845 for service in the Mexican war. His unit would be the 1st Infantry. He enlists for five years, survives and is discharged in El Paso 28.4.1850. His life would change for ever he would marry and settle down. Note: In order to make William Hinfey's letter more "readable" some punctuation and spelling errors were corrected but in no way is the sense of the letter altered.
Married not one but two Newbridge Hinfey ladies.
Though not a man of Ballymaguigan a Cork man would marry into
the Hinfeys. Let us look at the life of this remarkable man and his remarkable life
who eventually married into
the Hinfeys of S. Derry. Not once but twice!.
Daniel Murphy was born in Co. Cork Feb. 5th 1830. He arrived in America aged just 16 years late in 1846. He could neither read nor write. One story is that he had been shipped off to America after his parents died because his sisters feared having him as a dependent and would spoil their chances of good marriages. However there may be other clues as to why he was in America by 1846. If one looks at his Discharge paper below he states that he had been a tailor!. Well hardly I think as this is a trade that would require the ability ability to measure count and indeed read. I feel personally that the word written on the Discharge should be sailor. Coincidentally at the time there were ships that ran from Cork some via Liverpool to Alexandria Va. where in fact Daniel enlisted. Again it is known that there was a ship that did the trip from Cork called the John Marshall which did a trip that arrived in Alexandria on Sept. 30th 1846. The ships captain was Thomas Murphy and the ship was registered in Cork. Is it not possible that Daniel was related to the Captain and had been enlisted as a crew member of low rank perhaps as a cabin boy or junior rating? This may well have been against his wishes to ease pressure on his sisters. By the time he had arrived in Alexandria he had decided to jump ship. We know that it was about 10 weeks from his possible arrival on the John Marshall to his enlistment. A ship in those days would have taken quite a while to discharge but also the captain had to tout for a return cargo which may well have kept him in port for weeks. It is possible Daniel left it to the last moment to jump ship. It is also of interest to note that later Daniel would name one of his sons Thomas. Was this after the ships captain?.
There would be a bonus for joining the ranks of the U.S. Regular Army as it prepared for the Mexican war. Let us look at his war records extracted from his files.
Daniel Murphy joined Capt Montgomery Corse's Co. B of the First Virginia Volunteers. He claimed to be 18. He enrolled on Dec.16th 1846 at Alexandria Va. and the period was "the war with Mexico". He would receive $100 dollars bounty with the promise of $100 at the termination of his tour. He is named on the Co. Muster in roll taken at Richmod Va. on Dec. 30th.1846. He is mustered in on the same day. His war had commenced.
In the Co. Muster roll for period Dec. 31st 1846 until April 30th. 1947 it is noted that he had been "sent on 29th April with trains to Camargo". It also notes that the Co. is now referred to as Co. A 1st. Regt. Va. Vols. He had arrived in Mexico to fight which no doubt he had to do.
In the Muster roll for May and June 1847 under Absent or Present is the entry "Not Stated". The same entry is found for July and August. Again for Sept and Oct. we have the same entry however there is an interesting comment in the Remarks section. "Stop 1 bayonet 1.44". I assume he had lost his bayonet and the army were going to stop $1.44 from his pay for this! The war with Mexico would come to an end in 1848 and Daniel no doubt got his $100 but more importantly he would be given a grant of 160 acres of Texas land for his war service. He could start plans for his future.
In the above document we see Daniel was honourably discharged on the 1st of August
1848 at Fortress Monroe Va. at the end of his term.
It is of interest to note that he is said to be 18 years of age (the same age he gave when he joined up!). Daniel was a smallish man 5 feet 7 inches in height, of light complexion, blue eyes, dark hair. The most interesting comment is that he was a tailor when he enlisted!. Perhaps this should be sailor.
It was now 1848 and he soon got involved in the protection of his assets. He still needed employment and all he knew was soldiering and he could still not read and write. He would appear to have made his way to San Antonio. What to do?. He joined the Texas Ranger Company of Big Foot Wallace and spent several years as a Texas Ranger, teaching himself to read and write, and riding escort to the mail coaches moving from San Antonio to El Paso. It is known that he was at Fort Inge in 1850 and in the course of his service on the frontier tracked and fought Indians in the Davis mountains.He saw an opportunity to form a freighting service along the same route and when forts were established along the route for permanent protection, he expanded his activities. One of his employees, Bernard Brady married a Susan Hinfey in May 1851 sister to William Hinfey written about above and early in Aug.1852 Daniel married her sister Sarah. Both families were living in San Antonio, but when the Army established Fort Davis, Murphy claimed his land in that area and built a walled compound adjacent to the Fort where he established a general store, a warehouse, a stop on his freight line and a hotel as well as a home to which he moved his wife, son Thomas and daughter in 1854-5. The Murphy women with an associate's wife were the only non-Mexican women in the entire West Bend area of Texas. Between 1854 and 1861 he and his wife had three more daughters. The main U.S. Army would now split into the North (The Union Army) and the South (the Confederate Army) when Texas joined the Confederacy. His old unit the 1st.Va.Vols of the regular Army would now become a Confederate unit. These were troubled times in Texas where there would be subsequent conflicting alliances.
Fort Davis was abandoned by the now Northern Army at the start of the Civil War and it was taken over by the Confederate forces. The Southerners could not hold the Fort in the face of active hostile Indians so they abandoned it and returned to San Antonio. The Murphy family returned to San Antonio at the same time. When the people of San Antonio formed a local guard called The Texas State Troopers, Daniel joined his friend Colonel Edgar and his brother- in- law William Hinfey as a trooper. These what were really local militias would no doubt be perceived as "Confererate" by the Union Army. Early in the war, his brother-in- law Bernard Brady died and as the war neared its end Daniel's wife Sarah also died.
In 1867 after the Civil War the U. S. Army decided to rebuild the Fort Davia and Daniel
planned to return to his holdings near the fort.
When his sister-in-law rejected the idea of his moving to the frontier
with five young daughters in a womanless household , he married her
and they moved together with her three daughters, and two sons,
and his five daughters and one son back to the frontier together. By 1868 the Murphys were
again established and living at Fort Davis and there they would remain.
During the next 35 years Daniel expanded his land holding to include
a sheep ranch, a cattle ranch, wheat farm, a flour mill, a pinery,
a sawmill, two pool halls, three saloons, three general stores at various
towns in the area, several homes, a town named
Murphyville (later renamed Alpine), an hotel and thousands of acres of land. He even established
a town (now Toyahvale) on his holdings to house the Mexicans
who worked for him to insure a labour supply. He was an entepreneur,
a politician, a father, husband, and even a sheriff for several years.
When there was no priest in the area , he arranged with the diocese to
send a priest at regular intervals and then to expedite
a permanent priestly presence, he donated land and money to build
a church and then a school. He would later donate what was needed
to rebuild and expand the church. The entire Balmorhea State Park
is located on part of his ranch "Victoria."
His daughters were educated at an Ursaline Convent School
in San Antonio, and four of them married West Point Graduates, one an
army supplier. His first born and only son Thomas became a lawyer, surveyor,
and landholder as
well as a Senator. The entire city of Alpine Texas was also built
on his land. It is interesting to note that Alphine was initially named Murphyville as indeed
Daniel founded it. However this was later changed by the population to Alphine. Daniel was
noted in later years to have said that Murphyville was perhaps "too Irish" for them! If one
looks at the ranks
of the U.S. Army of the era there were really few Irish soldiers the flood of mid 19th
century immigrants had not yet taken place from the Irish famines. There would be quite a
Irish in the ranks, men such as Davy Crockett of Alamo fame. Over all the ethos would be
was one of the reasons amongst many others that led to the formation of the
Mexican Los Patricios Brigade
formed up with disillusioned Irish soldiers in the American army who changed sides
and fought for Mexico.
of these men resonates in the relationships between Ireland and Mexico to this very day.
It would not really be until about circa 1850 when the flood of Irish immigrants started to move west would there be significant numbers of Irish born or 1st generation Irish American soldiers in the ranks of the Regular Army.
Daniel had learned that education, education, education was a very needy requirement. By sending his daughters for higher education at the Ursaline Convent In San Antonio they would aquire an education that befitted their social standing. Convent educated, refined, and sophisticated young ladies from European stock and a very rich family would have little difficulty in finding suitors in the Texas of the era. There may well have been a lot of very rich local men but perhaps not the most gentlemanly. The officers in Fort Davis most all West Pointers would have come from well to do families of high social and educational standing. They themselves would be well educated, and no doubt there was pressure on them from their folks back home to find a bride of sophistication and social standing during their tour of duty in west Texas. A difficult task. In many cases I would be certain that marrying a young Miss Murphy would have enhanced their standing with their folks back home!. Marriages took place between the young Miss Murphys and young Army officers and the resultant families settled all over. In Montana, Missouri, New Jersey, Tennessee, California, Kansas, Texas and Pennsylvania as the Union expanded after the Civil War.
Capt. David Dougal Van Valzah of the 25th Infantry the commander of Fort Davis married Daniel Murphys daughter Ellen. He was in command of Fort Davis Aug. 23rd 1873 until Sept 1873. He was again commander of the Fort April 14th 1874 -Sept 8th 1874. David and Ellen married at San Elizario El Paso Texas in 1875. Van Valzah got a direct entry into the Army and not via West Point. He was born in Ilinois and from a noted medical family. His brother John was a surgeon in the Army but died at the seige of Vicksburg. David was a career soldier being appointed 1st Lieut. of the 12th Infantry May 1861 as the Civil War started. He was promoted Capt. in 1864 and transferred to the 30th Infantry. He was assigned to the 25th Infantry Dec 1870. Promoted major of the 20th Infantry in 1886, to Lieut. Colonel of the 24th Infantry in 1891 and colonel of the 18th Infantry in 1896. He retired in June 1899.
John Bacon McDonald another Army officer married Daniel's daughter Kate. He was in his career prompted to General. During his service in the 1st World War he was awarded the French Legion of Honour, the French Croix de Guerre and the Belgian Croix de Guerre as well as his American war Medals. He lived 1859-1928.
1st Lieut. Charles R.Ward. married Daniel Murphy's daughter Mary. Here is some information on his career.
After graduating from West point in 1871, Lt. Charles Ward reported for duty in Indian Territory (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Western Texas ) with the 10th Cavalry. He spent the next 16 years of his life on the frontier. From the daily reports of the 10th Cavalry in the Military archives, he rode out of or into *Fort Sill, Ft Huachucha, Fort Griffin, Fort Cobb, Fort Duncan, *Fort Concho, *Fort Davis, *Fort Clark, Camp Safford, Fort Stockton, Ft Reno, *Ft Grant, *Fort Richardson, *Fort Rice, Ft Bayard, Fort Stanton, and *Fort Thomas., and the Mescalero Indian Reservation, The Kiowa-Comanche Agency, and The Wichita Agency. He was an Officer, many times Commanding Officer, of companies L, I, D, F, & K. stationed at the *forts above as well as serving as Post Adjutant or detached duty from one place to another. The monthly reports of these Companies detail units in the field, scouting, chasing hostiles, engaged in patrols, etc' e.g.
The company left Fort Richardson on 10th June 1874 in search of hostile Indians, returning on the 26th of June a distance travelled 245 miles.
This type of report detailing chases, battles, engagements, losses and conditions en route was prepared every time a group returned from the field and forwarded to Washington. There are multiple hand written pages of Ward's reports on file. The reports are filled with names like Last Chance Canyon, Fork of the Red River, Taquina Piedras, Big Springs, Palafox Pegnache Crossing on the Rio Grande, Mustang Springs etc etc. Sometimes the details include, forage for animals found, but no water for 36 hours. In one case forty-eight hours when a company got lost, became disoriented and had to be found and assisted back to the Fort. Lieut. Ward was with Shafter's expedition that scouted the Staked Planes during which the troops covered almost 1000 miles and mapped the whole area which later opened it up for travel and settlers. He discovered a group of wells in a canyon which Shafter said was the biggest find of the project since they were located exactly where they could be used midway on a trip across the barren area by settlers. They were named Ward's Wells. Ward took part in at least five battles, and in the Red River Campaign, The Vittorio Campaign and the Geronimo Campaign.
Let us look at the life of Lieut. Ward for the month of October 1874.
During October 1874, Lt. Ward and his company went from Head of the Buck, to Clear Creek TX, (237 miles ) to Elm Fork of the Red, (403 miles) to camp 7 miles from Fort Sill, ten days in camp then North to Ft Cobb, on the Wishita, and northwest, then west and southwest up the Wishita to the North Fork then to the headwaters of Elm Fork of the Red River (335 miles ). The command captured 447 Comanches and Kiowa Indians and 2000 ponies and mules. 975 miles on horseback in less than 3 weeks,10 days of which were spent in camp. He started his frontier service at Ft. Sill, ended it at Fort Thomas 16 years later. He lived 1850-1901. He had left the Army in early 1888.
George H. Abbott one time judge of Presidio Co. Texas married Daniel's daughter Sarah in Feb. 12 1883.
Colonel Levi Pettibone Hunt a West Point graduate married Daniel's daughter Sue in July 1866.
Here is some information on Colonel Hunts army career from the Army Register
Levi P. Hunt was born in Missouri in 1845. Appointed to Military Academy from Mo. in 1866.
He was a West Point cadet from July 1, 1866 to June 15, 1870 when he graduated and promoted to 2nd Lieut 10th Cavalry the same day.
He served on frontier duty at Camp Supply, I.T (Indian Territory) from Dec. 1st. 1870 to Aug. 22nd 1871. Served on escort duty to October 3, 1871. Served at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, I. T. to Oct., 1872. Was on leave of absence to Jan. 17th 1873. Was on duty at St. Louis Depot, Mo. until April 16th 1873.Served on frontier duty at Fort Concho, Texas from June 21st 1873, to September 1st 1874. On operations near mouth of Concho River Tex. Dec. 3rd 1873 to Mar. 2nd 1874. From May 29th to July 28th 1874 was on expedition to Indian Territory Sept. 1st 1874, to Jan. 24th 1875. Was on leave of absence Feb. 25th to June 25th 1875. Service at Ft. Griffin Tex. Sep. 20th, 1875 to Mar.1876.
Was promoted to 1st Lieut, 10th Cavalry June 30th 1875
Scouting activity to Sep.,1876. Served at San Felipe Tex., Sep. 6th to Oct. 10th 1876. served in Regimental Recruiting Service to Mar. 10th 1877. Served at St. Louis Depot, Mo. Mar 14th to May 4th 1877.Was on leave of absence to June 3rd 1877. Served at San Felipe, Tex. June 3rd 1877 to Aug. 8th 1878. Was on leave of absence to Oct. 29th 1878.Served at Fort Worth, Tex. Nov. 1st 1878 to June 17th 1879. Served at Ft Concho Tex. to Mar. 1880. Served on scouting duty to May. 1880. Served at Fort Stockton, Tex. to July 1880. Scouting duties to Nov. 1880. Served at Fort Concho Tex. to Mar., 1881. Served at Greirson Springs Tex. to May, 1881. Served at Fort Sill. Operations Indien Territory to Nov. 1881. Served at Fort Concho Tex. Leave of absence Jan. 9th to Mar., 8, 1882 and Dec. 5, 1883, to Mar. 5, 1884) to Mar. 10, 1885, --- and to Fort Grant, Ari., to Oct. 2nd 1888. On leave of absence Oct 2nd 1888 to Jan. 18th 1889 and finally in garrison at Jefferson Barracks, Mo. From here Hunt went to Cuba, South Dakota, Montana, the Phillipines, Kansas, Iowa, and finally to Washington, D.C.where he retired in 1909
The so called "Buffalo Soldiers" of the 8th and 10th cavalry were negro units with white officers.The Indians used this name as they likened the negro's with their tight curly to the the hair on the buffalo cattle of the Plains.
Daniel Murphy would appear never to have returned to Ireland and died at his home in Fort Davis Texas
Nov. 16th 1902. He was initially buried near St. Joseph's church which he originally financed
but he was re-interred in an adjacent cemetery in the area after a highway was routed across
the original cemetery site.
Daniel had also in Nov 1901 applied for a pension for his Mexican War service.
This is a remarkable story of an Irish famine era kid from Co.Cork leaving home aged 16 probably near penniless unable to read and write, undertake what was then a horrendous journey to an unknown destination, to join an army on the brink or war, to have survived a very nasty war, to do good with the land that he was given, to survive very dangerous times in the Texas frontier. However all would start coming right for him when he fell in with and married Sarah Hinfey the lass from Ballymaguigan Co. Derry in Aug. 1852 some four years after the Mexican war ended. Neither he nor his family looked back and his luck was again re-enhanced when he married Susan Hinfey- Brady, Sarah's sister after his 1st wife died and Bernard Brady died. To get to marry two Ballymaguigan lassies in a lifetime was success in the extreme.
Note:The Texas Rangers were formed up in the very early days of Texas colinisation by the Europeans during their struggle with the Indians and Mexicans. Formed up circa 1823. At this period Texas was heavily under the control of Mexico and really part of that country. However all would change in 1836 when Texas declared its independence from Mexico. The Texas Rangers were really the cutting edge of the then American Army. Their deeds of engagement against both Mexicans and Indians became facts of history.
Note: The war with Mexico really commenced 25th April 1846 after the so called Thornton Affair in S.Texas a confrontation between some of the U.S. Regular Army and Mexicans not too pleased at the annexation of what they perceived as their lands in the S. West. As with all wars they start with simple causes and escalate. By early May 1846 the confrontation had escalated and a war scenario had developed with many skirmishes and battles to come. War between Mexico and the United States was declared on May 13th 1846. By Dec.1846 Daniel Murphy would join the U.S. Regular ranks in Va. In April 1847 he would be sent south by train to Camargo Mexico close to what is now the south Texas town of Rio Grande. He no doubt took part in the skirmishes and battles that took place between the end of April 1847 and Feb. 1848 when the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed formally ending the war.
Note:Engagements that Daniel possibly took part in were June 6th the Affair at Las Vegas New Mexico, the battles of Contereras and Churubusco Aug 19th-20th, the battle of Molino Del Rey 8th Sept, the battle of Chapultepec, the battle for Mexico city 13th-14th Sept, the siege of Puebla 14th Sept-12th Oct, the occupation of Mexico City on Sept 15th, the engagement at Huamantla Oct. 9th and the engagement at Atlixco 19th Oct. The war was effectively over. However America took its time in leaving Mexico and did not do so until 2nd Aug. 1848 when the last American soldiers left. Daniel had left Mexico some time earlier as he was discharged on 1st Aug.1848.
Many of you will have memories of Cowboy and Indian films and have preconceived ideas of what the winning of the West was all about. However having some "real" material will give a more balanced viewpoint. May I suggest you look at the Fort Davis website. You will get a much better appreciation of just where Daniel Murphy lived and raised his family. Please click on the icon below.
Patrick Walsh the son of Felix Walsh and Catherine McMahon of Anahorish near Toomebridge Co.Derry
was born June 3rd. 1827. He was baptised at St. Patrick's chaple at Ballinderry Co.Derry. He then probably
worked around the immediate area as a labourer but in 1853 aged 26 he decided to
emigrate to America. He left Liverpool on August 12th 1853 on the ship Syranak and arrived in Philadelphia
Sept. 15th 1853 about a month later. He probably worked in and around Philadelphia for a few years
but on Nov. 16th 1856 he arrived in Savannah Ga. From Savannah he made his way to what
was then a remote
farming area of Emanuel Co. Georgia some 50 miles inland. In the county he worked at digging
ditches and also
making bricks and masonary units. He also did some building a skill perhaps learned back home.
On March 4th. 1862 at Swainsbro Ga. he joined the Confederate Army enlisting in Co. H. 48th. Reg. Georgia Volunteer Infantry of Emanuel Co. McLeod Volunteers.
Patrick initially seemed to be a soldier of note as he was promoted to 4th Corporal in May 1863 just before the battle of Gettysburg. However things went wrong and for whatever reason he deserted from his unit on Sept. 21st 1863 whilst on picket duty on the Rapidan river. He would appear to have "joined the enemy" ie changed sides and joined the Union Army and took an oath to the U.S.Government at Washington D.C. and sent to New York. When the war was over he made his way south again, married and settled down. He died in Savannah Ga.1907.
The 48th. Georgia Volunteer Infantry of the Confederate Army was formed up in Georgia in the very early part of the war. In the spring of 1862 it was assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia. It fought in quite a few campaigns the Peninsula, Seven Days before Richmond, Northen Virginia, Maryland, Fredericksburg, Chancellorville and Gettysburg and the campaign against General Ulysses Grant before the spring of 1864 until the close of the war at Appotomax April 9th 1865 the end of the war. The two Walsh's enrolled in Company H whose initial commander was Capt Neil McLeod. Hence the name McLeod's Volunteers.
According to the records of Ballinderry chaple Toomebridge Co.Derry James Walsh was the son of the marriage of Patrick Walsh (brother to Felix above) and Mary Gorman McGrogan thus he was 1st. cousin of Patrick above. He also emigrated to America. His path to Georgia would appear to be similar to his cousin and he also joined the same regiment and company as his cousin at on March 4th. 1862 Swainsboro Ga. His health failed early in the war. His pension records show he contracted typhoid, pneumonia and rheumatism at Charleston S.C. and was totally disabled by May 6th 1862. The roll for Oct. 1864 the last on file show him as being in hospital. A check on the regimental rosters show both men listed. One source states that both men claimed to be brothers and not cousins.
Over this past ten years when researching my own family tree I always took note of the headstone details of any Civil War soldiers graves I found. The very first Civil War soldier I found was that of Capt. Felix Donnelly at the old chaple of St. Patrick at Kennaght Desertmartin Co. Derry.
The images above and below are of the old chaple of St. Patrick at Kennaght Desertmartin Co. Derry. This chaple is on a very ancient site going back to Penal Times. It is an excellent example of the changes that happended in the generations that came through from the Penal Times as Catholic emancipation progressed. The church shown was built in 1835, renovated in 1853 and re-dedicated 16.10.1853. It was further renovated in 1913. It is no longer in use for services closing in 1973 as a new chaple was opened about two miles away.
The above view is of the Whinney glen on the slope behind the old church. In Penal times the "chaple" would probably be an old threshing barn or a thatched covered farm building situated in this glen.
Felix Donnelly's grave is on the left side of the above image.
The metal surround rails are clearly seen.
From the dates on Felix Donnelly's headstone he would have been born
in 1828 and as such as
a child he would probably have been baptised on the old Penal Church
at the bottom of the Glen.
We do not know what age he left for America but I feel he would as
a young man
have been present when the 1835 chaple was being built and
probably attended its services in his
teenage years growing up at Brackaslievegallon prior to emigration.
In his day no
doubt the church would have had a thatched roof later replaced
with the current slated one. There was a school within the church
grounds in the late 19th century and possibly earlier.
It was demolished many years ago.
It is possible that Private Andrew McGuckin noted below
was born in 1836 about two miles from this church.
He like Donnelly would have attended this church probably
in his young years
between 1836 and 1846 when he would have been 10 years of age.
the age difference it is possible that
Donnelly and McGuckin knew each other. Their families most
certainly would have known each other.
It has been very difficult to find out any information about Felix. What I do read from his headstone is that he was from the nearby townland of Brackaslievegallon. From the quality of this headstone it would suggest that he was from a very well to do family in the area. It is known that there were three brothers also called Donnelly who were curates in the local parishes and I am of the opinion he may well have been a brother or relative. The headstone for Felix was of very high quality - it has a marble face inscription - and this most certainly indicates that his people were well off. He died on 4th Feb.1872 aged 44 years. Did he come home wounded or ill?.This is the inscription on his headstone.
the name Felix is not too
common in Ireland and basing my search on the keyword Felix I have
able to find three Felix Donnelly's in Civil War listings and the nearest one I
come across that seems to fit the picture
is a Felix Donnelly who enlisted in Brooklyn New York 10.3.1862.
However if the dates
on his headstone are correct he would have been born in 1828 but
noted on his enlistment would suggest
that he was born in 1831. However birth dates were not all that
well noted in those times. Of the other two
Felix Donnellys one enlisted in Indiana with no date and the other
also in Indiana 28.1.1862. All three noted as privates.
One item of note is that Felix Donnelly was from the townland of Brackaslievegallon on the slope of Slieve Galleon hill. Andrew McGuckin of the 69th Penn.Vols. killed at Gettysburg in July 1863 was possibly from the adjoining townlands of either Crany, Carnose and Tirgan, which one is not known for certain. If so the McGuckins and Donnellys were close neighbours. Both families would have attended the old church at Kennaght.
Many of the soldiers on which we have information on have had some important and indeed colourfull military careers. However
all were not so. Let us look at one such man.
Hugh McKeever a labourer from Co. Fermanagh decided aged 40 (an advanced age for a soldier) to join the Union Army. He enlists on Oct. 27th. 1861 for a period of three years at Howell Michigan. He is a small man 5ft. 6 1/2 inches in height. He is noted as having a dark complexion, black eyes, and black hair. He is listed as being a labourer by trade.
However Hugh's war would be a short one. In the 10th Mich. Muster-in Roll he is mustered in at Camp Thomson Flint Mich. Feb. 6th 1862 and mustered in the same day. It states on the same document that he had joined for duty and enrolled at Camp Howell Mich. Oct. 27th. 1861. So what was he up to between Oct. 27th 1861 and Feb. 6th 1862 a period of just over three months.
In the Co. muster roll from muster in until Feb. 28th 1862 he is noted as "not stated" in Present or Absent entry. In the Co. muster roll for March and April 1862 he is noted as being present. However in the Remarks column he is noted as being "Sick at Hamburg Landing". In the muster roll for May and June 1862 he is noted as being absent and in the Remarks column is noted as "Absent sick at last pay day". In the msuter roll for July and Aug. 1862 he is noted as absent and in the Remarks column is noted as "Absent supposed to be sick". In the Special Muster roll of Aug. 18th 1862 he is noted as being "absent" and in the Remarks column "Absent sick supposed to be in hospital". In the Co. muster roll of Sept and Oct. 1862 he is noted as being "absent" and in tne Remarks column "Absent supposed to be discharged. No notice". In the muster roll of Nov. and Dec. 1862 in the Remarks column "Discharged July 21st 186 Detroit Mich. Cause disability".
In the final muster out of the Co. at Sisters Ferry Ga. on Feb.5th. 1865 in the remarks column "Discharged July 21st 1862 at Detroit Mich. by order of Lieut.Col. Smith. Disability". It also notes that his last pay date "unknown".
On Hugh's Certificate of Disability for Discharge apart from his details and discharge authorisation by Lieut Col. Smith it also notes that Hugh gave Osceola Livingstoen Co. Michigan as his address. This would appear to have been his home town. However I feel that he would have started off his American adventure on the east coast perhaps immigrating into New York or Philadelphia. We shall never know.
Hugh's war was a short one he becoming sick shortly after his enlistment.
Here is the war service of the 10th. Mich.
Organized at Flint, Mich., and mustered in February 6, 1862.
Left State for Pittsburg Landing, Tenn. April 22.
Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Army Mississippi to September, 1862.
2nd Brigade, 13th Division, Army of the Ohio to November, 1862.
1st Brigade, 4th Division, Center 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland to January, 1863.
1st Brigade, 4th Division, 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland to June, 1863.
1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland to October, 1863.
2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 14th Army Corps to July, 1865.
James Huston was said to have had to flee Ireland because of his
political activity. In New York at
the advanced age of 42 he enlisted in various units in the New York area.
He enlisted 18.4.1861 into the 82nd New York Voluntary Infantry as a
captain. On 21.5.1861 he was commissioned
into E Company. He was promoted Lt.Col. 26.5.1862 and Colonel on 20.5.1863.
However he was killed at Gettysburg 2.7.1863 close to the infamous "wall" where the 69th Penn.Vol. Inf. were to take up position on 3.7.1863.
This is a most interesting man. Firstly he is the only navy man I have found
so far and secondly the amount of
information available on him thanks to a descendany relative in the States.
James Devereux was born around 1840 in Cork city. He worked as a young man in the firm of Joseph Harty & Sons bakers and corn millers on St. Patricks St. Cork city. Like so many he found his way to America and enlisted in the Union Navy at Brooklyn New York. His first term of service was from Dec.7th 1864 until Dec. 9th 1867 a three year enlistment. During these three years he served as 2nd class fireman on the following ships.The North Carolina, Ohio, Princeton, Dictator, Tahoma, Boxer and Ascutney. James was discharged from the Ascutney on the 9th Dec. 1867 on medical grounds. His discharge was signed by Commodore Rogers of the Dictator who I assume was senior officer of a group of ships.
He would appear to have headed home to Cork and after recuperation headed back to New York and re-enlisted for a 2nd time this time another 3 year enlistment from Feb.17th 1868 to Feb.11th 1871. During this enlistment he served a time as 1st class fireman on the Tuscarora. This ship possibly served in the Pacific Fleet. He as discharged from the Tuscarora at Portsmouth N. Hampshire. He would appear to have then returned to Cork because he is noted as getting married in Cork Oct. 23rd. 1873. to a Katherine Hartnett at St Paul's church. He and his wife would appear to have remained in Cork. James died rather young in Cork Nov.12th 1899. His wife Katherine died in 1937. From the dates it would appear she lived a very long life. She had as from the 28th April 1903 received a war widows pension of eight dollars per month until she died. It is noted in family tradition that James was offered land in Oklahoma for his naval service of some six years but declined and went home. I suppose he could have owned oil wells in Oklahoma but Cork men do get their priorities correct!. He is noted in his Navy records as being five foot ten inches in height, blue eyes, dark hair and fair complexion.
As a matter of interest some of you will see Deverux as not too Irish an name. Well Ireland has had immigrants from many places. The name is Anglo Norman. It is from the Norman French D'Evreux. There was at a time a very powerful Anglo-Norman gentry family with the name in the nearby county of Wexford. Perhaps James was a descendant. Who knows. The Anglo Norman names in Ireland are easily recognisable and the spelling of the names varies. In the case of Devereux it is commonly spelt as Devereaux.
Note: With thanks to a descendant relative for information on James.
Though having no connections with Co. Derry because there is so little on Civil War soldiers recorded here in Ireland and because of the 69th connection I will make a few notes on him.
James was born in Greyabbey Co. Down March 3rd. 1843 just before
the Great Famine.
Like O'Kane James went to America to better himself
as so many did.
in Co. A of the 69th New York Infantry command by
Colonel Patrick Kelly. The brigade consisted of the 63rd, 69th, 88th
New York, 28th Mass. and 116th Penn. Artillery support by the 7th New
James fought at the Battles of Cold Harbour and the seige of Petersburg. The Company muster roll shows that James was present for duty with the regiment throughout the war.
After the war he returned to the town of Newtownards Co. Down died there on Nov.16th 1921. He is buried in the ancient monastic site of Movilla graveyard at Bangor Co. Down.
Note: With thanks to the 28th.Mass. ACW Re-enactment Unit N.I.
It would appear that the number of Irishmen emigrating from Ireland just prior to the Civil War and entering the eastern seaports of America were joining the Union Army in great numbers. It was all very easy to get taken in by the recruiting sergeants at the east coast ports offering money that they could not have imagined back home in poverty stricken Ireland. Thus the numbers in the ranks of the Union rose rapidly so much that the Confederates were alarmed by the flow. So much so they looked for a way of stemming this flow. They looked to two men born in Ireland. One co-incidentally or by design a Protestant Lieut James L. Capston and a Catholic, a priest Father John Bannon. They had potential. No doubt with the nod from President Jefferson Davies the Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin identified Capston and Bannon as likely assets.
In July 1863 Benjammin firstly wrote to Lieut J. L. Capston of the 10th Va. Cavalry the following letter with the following orders.
Department of State, Richmond, July 3, 1863.
You have in accordance with your proposal made to this department, been detailed by the Secretary of War for special service under my orders. The duty which is proposed to entrust to you is that of a private and confidential agent of this government, for the purpose of proceeding to Ireland, and there using all legitimate means to enlighten the population as to the true nature and character of the contest now waged in this continent, with the view of defeating the attempts made by the agents of the United States to obtain in Ireland recruits for their armies. It is understood that under the guise of assisting needy persons to emigrate, a regular organization has been formed of agents in Ireland who leave untried no method of deceiving the laboring population into emigrating for the ostensible purpose of seeking employment in the United States, but really for recruiting the Federal armies.
The means to be used by you can scarcely be suggested from this side, but they are to be confined to such as are strictly legitimate, honorable, and proper. We rely on truth and justice alone. Throw yourself as much as possible into close communication with the people where the agents of our enemies are at work. Inform them by every means you can devise, of the true purpose of those who seek to induce them to emigrate. Explain to them the nature of the warfare which is carried on here. Picture to them the fate of their unhappy countrymen who have already fallen victims to the arts of the Federals. Relate to them the story of Meagher’s Brigade, its formation and its fate. Explain to them that they will be called on to meet Irishmen in battle, and thus to imbrue their hands in the blood of their own friends, and perhaps kinsmen, in a quarrel which does not concern them, and in which all the feelings of a common humanity should induce them to refuse taking part against us. Contrast the policy of the Federal and Confederate States in former times in their treatment of foreigners, in order to satisfy Irishmen where true sympathy in their favor was found in periods of trial. In the North the Know-Nothing party, based on hatred to foreigners and especially to Catholics, was triumphant in its career. In the South it was crushed, Virginia taking the lead in trampling it under foot. In this war such has been the hatred of the New England Puritans to Irishmen and Catholics, that in several instances the chapels and places of worship of the Irish Catholics have been burnt or shamefully desecrated by the regiments of volunteers from New England. These facts have been published in Northern papers. Take the New York Freeman’s Journal, and you will see shocking details, not coming from Confederate sources, but from the officers of the United States themselves.
Lay all these matters fully before the people who are now called on to join these ferocious persecutors in the destruction of this nation, where all religions and all nationalities meet equal justice and protection both from the people and from the laws.
These views may be urged by any proper means you can devise; through the press, by mixing with the people themselves, and by disseminating the facts amongst persons who have influence with the people.
The laws of England must be strictly respected and obeyed by you. While prudence dictates that you should not reveal your agency, nor the purpose for which you go abroad, it is not desired nor expected that you use any dishonest disguise or false pretences. Your mission is, although secret, honorable, and the means employed must be such as this government may fearlessly avow and openly justify, if your conduct should ever be called into question. On this point there must be no room whatever for doubt or cavil.
The government expects much from your zeal, activity and discretion. You will be furnished with letters of introduction to our agent abroad. You will receive the same pay as you now get as first lieutenant of cavalry, namely, twenty-one pounds per month, being about equal to one hundred dollars. Your passage to and from Europe will be provided by this department. If you need any small sums for disbursements of expenses connected with your duties, such as cost of printing and the like, you will apply to the agent to whom I give you a letter, and who will provide the funds, if he approves the expenditure.
You will report your proceedings to this department through the agent to whom your letter of introduction is addressed, as often, at least, as once a month.
I am, sir, respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of State.
It is not known as now just who the "agent" mentioned was. However it is thought that Capston operated in the Cobh Co. Cork and Dublin areas both major emigrate ports and also on the west coast of Ireland needless to say in the emigrant ports of Galway Limerick and perhaps in Derry.
Capston never did make it home to Ireland. He lived until Aug 1893 and is buried in the Hollywood Cemetery Rickmond Va. Only the bottom of his memorial plinth survives.
This man was known as the famous "Fighting Chaplain" of the Confederate
1st Missouri Brigade.
John Bannon was born Dec. 29th 1829 in Roosky Co. Roscommon Ireland to a fairly well off family. He trained for the Catholic priesthood and was ordained at Maynooth College Co. Kildare in May 1853. Destined for a foreign assignment he was sent to St. Louis Missouri to help administer to the numerous Irish flooding into that city after the dreadful 1847 era. In St. Louis he served under fellow Irishman Archbishop Peter Kenrick. He soon established himself and his popularity meant that by 1858 he was administrator in the new church of St. John the Apostle on the west side of the city. However by that date the clouds of the pending Civil War were gathering. St. Louis was by that time a city with divided allegiances. His bishop tried but alas failed to steer a middle of the road path through this. He forbade his pastors from joining up but alas with John Bannon he failed. In early Nov 1860 Bannon threw in his lot initially with Capt. Kelly's Washington Blues as chaplain. After various adventures Bannon eventually ended up as chaplain of the 1st Missouri brigade and ended up fighting alongside the unit's soldiers in many battles. He gained notoriety for his ability and for his commitment to the Southern cause. This was being noted by his superior officers and politicans.
Why? Bannon's enthusiasm for the Confederate cause would appear to have been similar that of the "Young Irelander" John Mitchel who along with his three sons had thrown in their lot also with the South probably thinking in some way that he was "getting one over" on the British Crown in not supporting the Northen cause. Bannon probably also saw the Northen Union Forces as somehow equating to the British subjugation of Ireland equalling the South in the war. A previous post on the site told of the mission given to Lieutenant J.L. Capston by Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin in July 1863. Capston was to travel to Ireland and use legitimate means to counteract the work of Federal agents in the Country. Benjamin’s efforts to halt a perceived flow of Irish immigrants into the Union army did not stop there however. In September of the same year, with Capston now operating in Queenstown (Cobh) in Co. Cork and Dublin areas in particular, Benjamin sent a letter to Irishman Father John B. Bannon, who had been serving as a chaplain with the First Missouri Confederate Brigade. Like with Capston Benjamin had also identified Bannon as a very potent asset probably as he could identify with the Catholics who may well be on the point of emigrating and who knows was aware that as a Catholic priest and with probable close links to both the Catholic Archbishop of St. Louis and many friends at Maynooth College Ireland he had a lot of contact potential, so much so he was able to go directly to the Vatican and gain access to the Pope no less. As seen below Bannon would appear to have influenced the Pope a lot.
Department of State,
Richmond, September 4, 1863.
The Secretary of War having relieved you temporarily from service in the army and placed you at the disposal of this Department for the purpose mentioned in our conferences, I now proceed to give you the instructions by which you are to be guided. With this view I copy the following passages of the instructions heretofore given to Lieutenant Capston, who was sent out by this Department in July last on a similar mission to that now confided to you.
The duty which is proposed to entrust to you is that of a private and confidential agent of this government, for the purpose of proceeding to Ireland, and there using all legitimate means to enlighten the population as to the true nature and character of the contest now waged in this continent, with the view of defeating the attempts made by the agents of the United States to obtain in Ireland recruits for their armies. It is understood that under the guise of assisting needy persons to emigrate, a regular organization has been formed of agents in Ireland who leave untried no method of deceiving the laboring population into emigrating for the ostensible purpose of seeking employment in the United States, but really for recruiting the Federal armies.
The means to be used by you can scarcely be suggested from this side, but they are to be confined to such as are strictly legitimate, honorable, and proper. We rely on truth and justice alone. Throw yourself as much as possible into close communication with the people where the agents of our enemies are at work. Inform them by every means you can devise, of the true purpose of those who seek to induce them to emigrate. Explain to them the nature of the warfare which is carried on here. Picture to them the fate of their unhappy countrymen who have already fallen victims to the arts of the Federals. Relate to them the story of Meagher’s Brigade, its formation and its fate. Explain to them that they will be called on to meet Irishmen in battle, and thus to imbrue their hands in the blood of their own friends, and perhaps kinsmen, in a quarrel which does not concern them, and in which all the feelings of a common humanity should induce them to refuse taking part against us. Contrast the policy of the Federal and Confederate States in former times in their treatment of foreigners, in order to satisfy Irishmen where true sympathy in their favor was found in periods of trial. In the North the Know-Nothing party, based on hatred to foreigners and especially to Catholics, was triumphant in its career. In the South it was crushed, Virginia taking the lead in trampling it under foot. In this war such has been the hatred of the New England Puritans to Irishmen and Catholics, that in several instances the chapels and places of worship of the Irish Catholics have been burnt or shamefully desecrated by the regiments of volunteers from New England. These facts have been published in Northern papers. Take the New York Freeman’s Journal, and you will see shocking details, not coming from Confederate sources, but from the officers of the United States themselves. Lay all these matters fully before the people who are now called on to join these ferocious persecutors in the destruction of this nation, where all religions and all nationalities meet equal justice and protection both from the people and from the laws.
These views may be urged by any proper means you can devise; through the press, by mixing with the people themselves, and by disseminating the facts amongst persons who have influence with the people.
The laws of England must be strictly respected and obeyed by you. While prudence dictates that you should not reveal your agency, nor the purpose for which you go abroad, it is not desired nor expected that you use any dishonest disguise or false pretences. Your mission is, although secret, honorable, and the means employed must be such as this government may fearlessly avow and openly justify, if your conduct should ever be called into question. On this point there must be no room whatever for doubt or cavil.
If, in order fully to carry out the objects of the Government as above expressed, you should deem it advisable to go to Rome for the purpose of obtaining such sanction from the sovereign pontiff as will strengthen your hands and give efficiency to your action, you are at liberty to do so, as well as to invite to your assistance any Catholic prelate from the Northern States known to you to share your convictions of the justice of our cause and of the duty of laboring for its success.
You will, while engaged in the service of this Department , be provided with funds at the rate of £20 sterling per month for your personal expenses. Your passage to and from Europe will be provided at the expense of the Department, and you will receive herewith a letter of introduction to our private agent in London in which, as you perceive, he is instructed to provide at his discretion any small sums that you may need for the disbursement of expenses connected with your mission, such as costs of printing, extra traveling expenses and the like. He will also provide remuneration for your associate from the North, if you can obtain one entirely trustworthy and you find it advisable to secure his aid.
The Department will expect to hear from you on the subject of your duties and to receive a report from you at least once a month, and you can address your communications through the agent above referred to, and by whom they will be forwarded.
The Department expects much from your zeal, activity, and discretion, and is fully confident that you will justify its anticipations of the good to be effected by your mission.
You will receive herewith the sum of $1,212.50 in gold, to be applied to the expenses of your voyage and to your salary. You will please send an account to the Department with proper vouchers of the amount spent by you for the voyage to London, and the remaining sum will be retained in payment of your salary till exhausted.
I am very respectfully, etc.,
Secretary of State.
Jefferson Davis had realised that Bannon would obvioulsy have greater clout in his mission as compared with Capston so much so he had summoned Bannon to meet him 30th Aug. 1863
In the meeting However Bannon put forward the idea that he could go a step further in that he would take it upon himself to visit Rome and try and get the Papal States throw their weight behind the Southern cause and perhaps other European countries would do the same.
In this connection Bannon left America for Europe on Oct 3rd 1863 and headed for Liverpool and thence to Italy. In Rome he seemed to have contacts and he was able to gain access to and had audiences with Pope Pius IX and put the Confederate cause. Seemingly he impressed the Pope who subsequently wrote and sent a letter addressed "To the Illustrious and Honourable Jefferson Davis President of the Confederate States of America". Needless to say this was not very well received in the North or by the Union forces. Having done this Bannon returned to Ireland in Oct 1863. Here he would continue his endeavours to limit enlistment into the Union forces by young emigrants. He did this by carrying out poster campaigns all over Ireland encouraging non enlistment army in the Union enforcing his arguement with inference that the Pope somehow was in sympathy with the Confederate cause. It worked and it was estimated that recruitment from the Irish emigrants fell about two thirds between Dec. 1863 and May 1864. By the end of May 1864 Bannon reported back to the Confederate Secretary of State Benjamin that his task was completed and his funds had run out. Benjamin subsequently thanked him. Bannon would never return to America no doubt a wise decision!. He subsequently joined the Jesuits and had a distinguished career with them. He died in Dublin July 14th 1913 aged 90. He is buried in the 2nd Jesuit plot at Glasnevin cemetery Dublin. One admirer of Bannon in America was General Sterling Price who called him the "finest fighting man I ever saw". However it is thought that this was in the context of his being in the front line in the thick of the fighting administrating to the wounded and dieing and not as an actual armed combatant.
George and Robert Semple were brothers from Straw townland
near Dungiven Co. Derry. Both fought
in the Civil War one for the Union and the other for the Confederacy.
Prior to the Civil War George fought for independence for Texas from Mexico.
On Christmas Day 1842 three hundred men of the Texas army including
crossed into Mexico and captured the town of Meir. However they
were soon surrounded, bound hand and foot and later marched in
winter weather to prison in Mexico city. In Feb.1843 some of them
overpowered their guards and fled to
the local mountains.
Again they were captured and Mexican General De Santa Ana
ordered that one man in ten should be shot.
Each man was to find his own fate.They were ordered to be blindfolded
and each draw a bean from a jar into which had been placed 150
white beans and 17 black ones.
Those who drew black beans were shot on March 25th 1843.
Luckily George drew a white bean and survived.
He escaped again along with two others.
However his two companions were caught
and shot and George managed to reach
Texas again some 100 miles away. He apparently took part in the
California gold rush in 1849 and perhaps that in Colorado in
1859. Later he would fight in the Civil War and was wounded. He eventually
made his way home to
Dungiven carrying long term wounds from which he never recovered.
Little know on brother Robert except he died in Dungiven in December
1896 aged 81. As now I do not know which sides they fought on. George
with the newly emerging Union army. George is on the left
above and Robert on the right.
It is of interest to note that they came from the same townland where Col. John Haslet of Revolutionary War fame was born.
James Fleming was from the town of Antrim Co. Antrim. A little is known
about him. He enlisted on 27th July 1863 in Albany New York as a 1st Lieut.
On Oct 19th 1863 he was commissioned
into "M" Co. of the New York 16th Cavalry as a 1st. Lieut. and Quarter Master.
He was promoted as a Captain
on the 20th Nov. 1863.
was killed in action by guerillas at Fairfax Station Virginia on August 8th
aged 32. One source states that he was the only officer of this
unit killed in the Civil War.
The image on the left is of the family headstone sadly lying broken along
the outer wall of the old now unused Unitarian Meeting House
on High St. in Antrim town
Co. Antrim. Here is what can be read off the damaged headstone.
The expression "a gang of guerillas" is interesting. One suggestion to me
this may well have a band of Confederate irregulars
under limited control.
The image below shows the old church building. It is no longer used. It is a very old church site going way back to the end of the 18th century. It is thought that the old graveyard to the rear of the church contains graves of some of the United Irishmen who fought in the "Battle of Antrim" in 1798. The Fleming family grave can be seen alongside the outer wall with the low railings just in front of an old headstone under the second window from the left.
James Fleming never did make it back home but he is remembered by his headstone in the cemetery of the Falls Church Episcopal Church cemetery Falls Church City Va. Note the year on his marker is 1864 not 1863 as on the family marker at Antrim town Co. Antrim
Though the ethos of the 69th was very Irish it could be assumed
that it would follow
that the soldiers of the Confederacy did not have this ethos.
Perhaps generally not but
it must be understood that many many soldiers in the army
of the men in
grey were Irishmen with just as strong a love and idealism
for their country as their their
fellow countrymen in the uniform of blue.
Let us note the following soldiers. They were the three Mitchel brothers whose father John Mitchel a leading political activist in the Ireland of the time who was born at Camnish townland close to Dungiven Co. Derry. Here are a few notes of interest on them. John C. Mitchel was born in Newry Co. Down 24.1.1838. He and his two brothers James and William ended up fighting for the Southern cause. The reason for this has basically to do with their fathers anti English politics and is a complex Irish political subject.
John was the first foreign officer in the Army of South Carolina. He was 2nd Lieutenant/Capt. Com. B. C. and I. S.Carolina Artillery. His name first appears on the muster roll at Fort Sumter 24th. May 1861. He was appointed captain 25th March 1862 and assigned to Co. I and assumed command 21st April 1862. He commanded battery Simkins and the artillery at Fort Johnson James Island from 16th July 1863. He went on detached service in command of Fort Sumter on 4th May 1864.
Note: Mitchel and Lieut. Rhett were in charge of the artillery at Fort Moultrie that fired on Fort Sumter in April 1861 thus starting the American Civil War. He went on to become second in command and later commander of the Fort. He was killed on the S.W. angle 20.7.1864. The surround of his grave is in the shape of the outer wall fortification at Sumter. The inscription on his headstone in the Magnolia cemetery Charleston states:
The monument was erected by his comrades well after the Civil War had ended. In fact 1878. The words he is said to have spoken prior to his death paraphrase those of another well known Irish political figure Partrick Sarsfield.
Captain James Mitchel of the S.Carolina Infantry was born in Newry
Co. Down Ireland on Feb.1840. He like his two other brothers joined the
Southern cause probably under the
the influence of their father. James joined as a private in the infantry
at the start of the
Civil War but progressed quickly to the rank of captain.
James enlisted in the Edgefield district April 15th 1861.
He progressed to sergeant and captain in Co. E of the infantry.
He was made 3rd. lieutenant on Oct. 23rd 1861.
He was wounded sometime in 1864 in Virginia. Details are unclear about his
Some sources suggest he lost and arm. Others state that he was
in the Richmond area and also at the battles of Manassas and Chancellorsville.
He is also noted as being on the staff of General Gordon at a time. He is
also noted as fighting at Bull Run
where he led the Montgomery Guards. His name lastly appears on a roll
of May/June 1864.
In the Roll of Prisoners of War it states that Capt. James Mitchel
of Co. E
7th Regiment of S.Carolina Inf. Surrendered at Augusta Georgia May
19th 1865 and was paroled the same day.
He immediately went north to New York and got himself involved in the Irish politics in that city at that time. James married twice and one son Purroy Mitchel was mayor of N.Y.C. in 1914. James died in N.Y.C. 5.10.1908. He is buried in the family plot in the Bronx cemetery along with other family members and his mother Jenny Verner Mitchel. His father John Mitchel is buried in Newry Co. Down.
The youngest brother William also known as "Young Willie" was born in Banbridge Co.Down. In America he joined the army at a very young age. Probably about 17 and probably motivated by the fact that his brothers were soldiers. He joined the 1st Virg. Infantry. As a colour bearer for the regiment he took park in Picketts charge at Gettysburg but was killed there. Probably killed in the initial shelling. He has no known grave and is probably buried near the Cadori House area of the battlefield.
It is difficult to designate this man's role in the Civil War. It was more
a case of his
attending the war for a few days rather than fighting but it is a good story.
Llewellyn was the son of high ranking Anglo Irish landed gentry family whose home was at Castle Saunderson on the Cavan Fermanagh border. Perhaps a more colourful member of the family he was commissioned as a Cornet in the 11th Hussars of the British Army in Dec. 1860. Is is just possible the family bought him a commission in the army a fairly common thing at the time.
He fell in love with socialite Lady Rachel Scott daughter of the Earl of Clonmel. However Lord Clonmel had higher expectations of his daughter and not her marrying a lowly cornet. Llewellyn was very upset by being rejected so much in fact that he decided to leave for America and join the Confederates. He managed to get to America and to Richmond Virginia. Here he made himself available as a volunteer for a regiment of Irish Light Horse being raised by Robert E. Lee.
His war and his adventures could not be said to be a success and shortly after the war ended he headed home. He managed to escape via New Orleans and found his way back to Dublin. He talked a good war and Lord Clonmel was very impressed by Llewellyn's war efforts and he was allowed to marry his daughter. This took place in 1865. Whilst in America and with the Confederates he still held his commission in the British army!. However back in Dublin he sold his commission and he and his bride made their way back to Cavan not a journey for the faint hearted in the 1860's!!!. They lived at Drumkeen Co. Cavan. He became High Sheriff for Co. Cavan but in 1886 during local agitation for Irish Home Rule the locals hissed and booed him and his wife on their way to church. He was very upset and went to live the rest of his life in Dublin. He died in Dublin March 30th 1913 and is buried in Deans Grange cemetery.
With the Confederates he was on the staff of General Fitzhugh Lee a nephew of Robert E. Lee. From what I have read about him he may well have only served only a few days as a soldier in Confederate service.
There are several stories about him. One is that Lee appointed him as one of his gallopers. In one sortie he fell of his horse and lost his sword. As a Union soldier bore down on him Llewellyn regained his sword, stood erect and gave a Masonic salute with his sword to the oncoming Union soldier who was perhaps also a Mason and who returned the secret salute and he simply slipped by and Llewellyn survived!. Another adventure saw him lose all his money in an debacle in Richmond. On the run in New Orleans it is said he escaped out the back door of an hotel as the Union soldiers came in the front. During the American Civil War some soldiers of officer rank in the British Army joined up primarily for experience of action. Llewellyn was known to his friends as Welly.
Thomas was the son of James Murrell who emigrated from Ballyquin townland near Limavady Co.Derry 1830.
Thomas was born 1844 and died at the battle of Franklin Tenn. 30.11.1864. Buried in the McGarvock Confederate Cem. Franklin Williamson Co. Tenn. His grave is close by the Tenn. monument plinth in the cemetery. He brother also fought but survived the conflict.
Johns marker was found by total accident when visiting the old 1830 Church of Ireland at Learmount Park village Co. Derry in early June 2013.
Though I have limited information on John it would apprear he emigrated circa 1840 roughly at the same as Colonel Dennis O'Kane who would have been raised about a mile away from this church. John was rafted and served in the 145th Pa Infantry and was wounded at the battle at Spottsylvania Court House where he lost an arm. He subsequently returned to Ireland. In 1873 he returned to Philadelphia and lived at 2246 Nth. 3rd. St. with Alexander. He again returned to Ireland and married Rachel Shaw in 1881 and had 9 children some of whom emigrated to the U.S and Canada.
This most unusual name is hard to identify. At first glance it seems to suggest a Scottish source. However looking at a possible Scottish connection has not proved much except that there is a small pocket of people with the name in and around the city of Glasgow. These people could in fact have their roots in Ireland as Glasgow was a city many Irish went to through the decades. Trawls in the United States phone listings seems to flag up only about 70 people with this name in all the United States with the greatest percentage in New York and a lesser percentage in Pennsylvania. As regards the island of Ireland there seems only to be a grouping of the name in west Tyrone and mostly close to Omagh. I would be of the opinion that many of the McGrinders in the States have ancestral ties back to Co. Tyrone. However there are also many Grinders in the States.
I have not been able to prove that the name is of Scottish origin.Looking at the etymology of the name does give more positive results. Linking etymology and some knowledge of names in what is the old province of Ulster in Ireland is interesting. As the old province of Ulster was mainly "planted" by Scots in the early 17th century then naturally one seen thousands of well known Scots surnames. However amongst this large number there are quite a few names of people who also came here in the same era having roots in England and western Continental Europe especially Normandy. Names such as Morrell, Beck Haslett, Noblett, etc. Also in amongst these many locative names eg Woodburn, Kirkland etc etc. I feel that the name McGrinder lies in this category. If we look at the old English names we soon find the name Grindere is a person who grinds grain. If we look further knowing that "old English" is in itself sourced from the languages of people eg Anglo-Saxons and indeed Normans who made their way into England through the centuries. In a most interesting book "The Surnames of Scotland" by G.F. Black the name "Grindegreth" is noted. The entry also notes that the name "Grindagret" is noted in the registery of Holm Cultran and the name could possible be the old Norse for door-stone "grindargrjot". We see again reference to stone and it takes little to link the name with the profession of a miller or more likely a grinder of corn. It is noted that there is a small town just N.E. of Oslo in Norway called Grinder and also there are quite a few Norwegians with this surname possibly qualifying the old Norse name.This I am fairly certain is the root of the name. Now why the families added the prefix Mc to the name is not known. Perhaps it was politic to align their name to the Scots they were living amongst. Holm Cultran in Cumbria in northern England was an area that changed hands between England and Scotland in the bitter border wars of dominance between England and Scotland. It may well have been prudent to align oneself with the folks you lived amongst and adding a Mc to the front of the name would be a good idea!.
On balance I feel that the McGrinders or more correctly the Grinderes or Grinders were old English stock with roots going back into the Anglo Saxon, Norman, Norse era. Like so many in the upheaval of the early 17th century Ulster a small perhaps only one or two families of Grinders/McGrinders headed across the Irish sea in search of better times and cheap land and settled initially in east Donegal. They may well have brought their trade with them but most certainly farmed. I also feel that they would not have as would be expected been Presbyterian in faith but more likely members of the Established church later to become the Church of Ireland. Most certainly in my opinion these were not "native" Irish or initially Catholic. Will there be characteristics come down the gene lines from the various blood inputs?. Most certainly.
It is noted in the Griffiths 1848-64 valuations that there was a John McGrinder in Baldoney Parish Meenagorp townland and another John McGrinder also in Baldoney Upper Parish in Tullynadall townland. Also a Joseph is noted as being in Ardstraw in Shandonny West townland.All these areas are relatively close to each other so it would be fair to assume are the same family grouping. Relating to the American Civil War the first trace I have found on emigrant McGrinders is on the passenger list of the sailing ship "Charles Napier" with a passenger named James McGrinder from Letterbrat (which is near Plumbridge Omagh Co. Tyrone). This ship sailed from Derry to St. Johns New Brunswick Canada in 1847 at the height of the mid 19th century Irish famine. It is likely that this ship also called at Philadelphia and New York dropping off passengers before its journey ended at St Johns New Brunswick. Looking at the passenger list of the "Charles Napier" there were more than 400 men women and children aboard an incredible number for a ship not too much larger that the "Jeannie Johnson" described on another webpage. This was truly a voyage of desperation at the height of the 1847 famine. There would be death and disease. Now did James McGrinder die at sea from typhus or did he make it to Philadelphia, New York or St Johns? His body was either thrown overboard at sea or buried in a mass grave at one of the ports named.
A James McGrinders name is recorded on a marker stone at the famine memorial monument at Buffalo New York city. I do not know as now exactly who sponsored this marker or had the information on his demsise.
However some six years later on the passenger list of the sailing ship "Superior" we find two young boys a James McGrinder aged 16 and his brother Joseph aged 14. Each is listed as having a chest for their worldly possessions. Whether they were on their own (which was not uncommon) or with another family who would act as guardians I do now know. Looking at the listing the greater percentage of passengers on this trip in 1853 were from counties Donegal and Tyrone. However other McGrinders could also have emigrated not necessarily via Derry the port listings I am referencing. However Derry was at the time the most probably exit point for them.
Arriving into Philadelphia port in 1853 for two young country lads aged 16 and 14 would have been quite a culture shock. Now what was their next experience?. What they did do between 1853 and 1861 when they enlisted? Although at 16 and 14 additonal education would not have been an option. They could work. Let us look at what information has tuned up on them.
Firstly looking at James McGrinder. From his Pennsylvania card enlistment record it records he enrolled into Co. E of the 3rd Pa Cavalry on the 12th of August 1861 at Philadelphia as a private soldier and mustered in on the 16th Aug. 1861 at Washington D.C. It notes that he was aged 22. It also notes that he was of dark complexion, height 6ft and 1/4ins. blue eyes and black hair. It notes that he resided at Norristown Pa. The last entry states that he deserted 24th May 1863. This is the last piece of information on James on hand as now. What he did between his arrival and enlistment we can only guess at. Probably worked as a labourer as so many others did.
Joseph McGrinder according to his Pennsylvania records enlisted into Co. H of the 97th Pa. Infantry. He enrolled, actually re-enlisted at Fernandina Fla. 29th Feb 1964. However his card states that his 1st enlistment card dates were not available. They were probably lost. The date of 29th Feb 1864 is in fact his re-enlistment date. It is also noted that he had florid complexion, blue eyes. No doubt that if he was re-enlisting in 1864 he would have initially enlisted for three years earlier in 1861. Also noted he had light hair and 5ft 8ins tall. His residence was noted as Downington Pa. Also noted as a labourer.
Finally it states that he was killed at Green Plains Va. on the 20th May 1864. In another documents from the Adjutant Generals Office Wash D.C. dated Sept 27th 1864 relating to Josephs pension it states in one section that Joseph was killed in action near Fosters Plantation Va May 20th 1864.
Other records on hand state that he married a Mary Jane Hawks on March 1st 1861 at the Holy Trinity Church West Chester Philadelphia. (Episcopalian).They were married by the Rev William Armstrong. There were no children from this marriage.This church is still operating.
After Joseph was killed in action May 20th 1864 at Fair Plains near Bermuda Landing Va his widow Mary Jane ( nee Hawks) applied for a widows pension on the 17th Aug 1864 from Downington Pa. She subsequently received $8 dollars per month. One affidavit to enable her get this pension was signed by the then rector of the Holy Trinity Church the Rev John Bolton signed by him July 11th 1864 confirming the marriage of Joseph McGrinder and Mary Jane Howks. in 1861 by the Rev William Armstrong.
To date no grave locations has been found so far for either Joseph or Mary Ann.
Who was Mary Jane Hawks?. Were the Hawks Irish?. Looking at the name Hawks in the N. Ireland phone directory there are some 30 named Hawks families and half are in the area of west Tyrone in the greater Omagh area where the McGrinders came from. Looking at emigration listings from the port of Derry there are several Hawks and Hawkes families listed. It seen that on the ship "Superior" from Derry to Philadelphia in 1847 a George Hawks and his wife Isabella and their seven children aged between 11 years and 6 months left for Philadelphia. It notes they were from the Omagh area. No doubt there were other Hawks families emigrating in the same era but possibly via other ports such as Liverpool,Belfast or Glasgow.
In the June 1860 Federal census of Chester Co. it is noted that an Oliver Hawks a stone mason aged 40 and his wife Jane both born in Ireland. They had living with them a Joseph Grinder aged 22 and a farm labourer. Another family a German and his wife and child were living with them. This is most certainly Joseph McGrinder we looking at. This census taken 26th June 1860. Some nine months later on March 5th 1861 he would marry a Mary Jane Hawks. I feel that most certainly she is the daughter of another immigrant Hawkes relative. Shortly after marrying he enlisted in the army. It also suggests that the two McGrinders aged 16 and 14 on the ship from Derry to Philadelphia had someone on board looking after them on their voyage but on arrival Philadelphia would make their way to the protection of a Hawks family. It looks like the McGrinder and Hawks families has a close affinity to each other back in Ireland and particularly in the Omagh area.
A third McGrinder also a soldier of the Civil war John McGrinder and his wife have been found in the Find a Grave site on memorial No. 27004432 and his wife Ann McGrinder on memorial 27004456. John's memorial has a GAR marker but alas his regiment is not noted. This headstone is in the Hewitt Cemetery Hollywood Clearfield Co. Pa. John lived 5th Aug. 1826 until May 5th 1895 and Ann died aged 76 Dec 6th 1901. There is also a James McGrinder buried in a nearby cemetery. Lived 1862-1928 and buried in the Penfield cemetery also Clearfield Co. He is on Find a Grave Memorial No.27263906. In the 1880 federal census all three of this family are recorded. John McGrinder Jay township Elk Co. Pa was noted as head of household, a labourer by trade and born Ireland circa 1837 . He was noted as aged 53 (which ties up with the dates known). His wife Ann also born in Ireland noted as being 57. Son James born in Pa. is noted as being aged 15 thus born in Pa. in 1865 just as the Civil War ended. A grandaughter Ann Ford noted as aged 1 and born in Pa.
It is interesting to note that there was a note in the local newspaper "The Clearfield Progress" on Mon. Aug 18th 1919 stating that "James McGrinder was transacting business in town yesterday".
NOTE: Because of the uniqueness of the name McGrinder I am of the opinion that these were the only three men in the Union Army in the Civil War with this surname. All three have been positively linked back to Ireland. The only known grave is for John buried in Hewitt cemetery Clearwater Co. Pa. As now I cannot find his regiment.
Can you help?. Thanks. Clearwater and Elk Co are in close proximity in N.W. Pa. state. What relationship existed between John and the already identified Joseph and James can only be guessed at. John was about 10 years older. He could have been an older brother but no doubt from the same area in Ireland.
Not a lot is known on the ancestral history of this man and "his story" has basically been worked back from later events on his life. Most certainly we can connect him back to Magherafelt Co Derry.
John Pigot the above soldier gave his age as 30 when he joined the 42nd New York Infantry on June 1st 1861. Thus his date of birth would have been 1831. As to the year he left for America we do not know but we know Pigot had joined the ‘Tammany Regiment’ on 1st June 1861 to serve for three years. The 30-year-old quickly rose to Corporal in Company E, a role he took up on 22nd June 1861. He received the wound that led to his disability at Bristoe Station, Virginia on 14th October, 1863. He was transferred to an unassigned battalion of the Veteran Reserve Corps in 1864.
He would appear to have quickly applied for a pension after he was wounded as he was awarded a pension of $8 per month in March 1865 for the thigh wound he received to his right leg at Bristow Station. in 1863. As to when he came back to Magherafelt we do not know but we know from the 1883 Pensioners Roll he was in Magherafelt.
The next information we have on John is a death register record that states that a John Pigot an American Army pensioner died at 9 Raby St Belfast on Feb 20th 1901. He was a married man and died aged 70. His wife was named as Mary A. Pigot. Raby St. still exists and is close to where the Ormeau Road and Ravenhill meet in the Rosetta area of the city.
Here are some other Irish born and returned soldiers noted during my research. There are obviously others.
Pvte Joseph Cusack Co A 69th N.Y. Infantry died March 9th 1930. Buried Co. Limerick.
Pvte Philip Mitchel Co K 69th N.Y Inf. Died July 25th 1917. Buried in Co. Waterford.
Pvte. John Noonan Co. E 88 Reg. N.Y Vols. Died April 24th 1915. Buried Knocknalomon Co. Cork.