Posts Tagged ‘19th’

Irish in the American Civil War

Extracts from Irish in the American Civil War

Slaughter in Saunder’s Field: The 9th Massachusetts at The Wilderness

On the afternoon of 5th May 1864 Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick T. Hanley of the 9th Massachusetts Infantry stood with his men in the tangled and confusing wooded landscape that characterised the area known as ‘The Wilderness’ in Virginia. As battle raged, Hanley’s brigade commander Colonel Jacob B. Sweitzer came rushing up to confront the Irishman, loudly asked him ‘Why don’t you take your regiment in?’. Hanley retorted ‘We have been in, and just come out!’. Sweitzer informed him that he should take his men in again, at which the Lieutenant-Colonel turned to his few remaining soldiers with the instructions ‘Fall in, Ninth!’ (1)

Daniel George MacNamara compiled a list of the men of the 9th Massachusetts who were killed and mortally wounded at The Wilderness:

Company B: Private Martin Sheehan.

Donors to the Irish Relief Fund 1863

Sheehan, Michael 63rd New York $2.00 Gettysburg (M.I.A.)
Shehan, Michael 63rd New York $2.00

Reporting the Gettysburg Casualties of the 63rd New York, Irish Brigade

Headquarters, 63d Battalion, N.Y.S.V., 

Near Two Taverns, Penn.,

July 6, 1863.

To the Editors of the Irish-American:

Enclosed I send you the list of casualties of the 63d Battalion, N.Y.S. Vols., during the late engagement with the enemy near Gettysburg, Pa., July, 2d and 3d, 1863, for publication. It is as correct as can at present be ascertained, although some of the men reported missing may yet be found. 

The Battalion fought splendidly, driving the enemy from the position they had taken, and the “Irish Brigade” by their courage and bravery in the late fights, nobly sustained the honor of the land which gave them birth.

KILLED- Company A- Privates Charles Hogan, Patrick Kenny, John O’Brien. Company B- Privates William Moran, Edward Egan.

WOUNDED- Lieut. Col. R.C. Bentley, leg, slightly. Company A- Sergt. Thomas Murphy, abdomen, severely; James Crow, hand, slightly; Hugh Meehan, side, severely; Peter Walsh, side, severely. Company B- Corporal John O’Halloran, hand, severely; Privates John Graham, thigh, severely; Daniel Hickey, hip, slightly; John Hartigan, hand, slightly.

MISSING- Company A- Corporal Daniel E. Looney; Privates Timothy Manly, Patrick McGeehan, Thomas Kelley. Company B- Lieut. Dominick Connolly, Privates Michael Kelley, John Murphy, Michael Sheehan.

RECAPITULATION- Killed, 5; Wounded 10; Missing, 8- Total, 23.

Witnesses to History: A Bounty List of the 170th New York, Corcoran’s Irish Legion

John Sheehan

The 43-year-old enlisted on 11th September 1862. A Private in Company F, he was captured in action on 25th August 1864 at the Battle of Ream’s Station. John died while a Prisoner of War on 20th September 1864 at Andersonville, Georgia. A minor pension was granted based on his service following an application by Dennis Sheehan on 25th June 1866 from No. 167, Seventh Avenue, New York. John Sheehan had been married to his wife Ann (née Callaghan) in Co. Limerick by the Reverend Father Burke on 25th November 1835. Ann contracted meningitis and died at the age of 41 in Bellevue Hospital on 21st September 1863, while her husband was in the service. She was buried in Calvary Cemetery. When John died a Confederate POW the following year, it left their children orphaned. Of the couple’s six children (Joseph, Margaret, Mary, Dennis, Anne and Michael) two were minors when John died. These were Michael, born on 28th September 1856, and Anne, born on 31st July 1860. It was their elder brother Dennis, aged 22 in 1866, who took the two minors in and applied for the minor pensions in their name.

U.S. Military Pensioners in 19th Century Ireland: A Listing and Appeal

Sheehan, Jane (McClintock) Sheehan, Michael 150th Pennsylvania Infantry Widow
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The Cork Examiner, 22 August 1862

AT three o’clock on Tuesday, Mr. Patrick Sheehan, auctioneer, submitted to auction an extensive business- house and premises, situated in the Market-square, held under a lease of 58 years, and yeilding a profit rent of £27 15s. per annum. The sale took place at the reading-room of the Young Men’s Society, before a large number of town and country people. The bidding was opened by Mr. Florence O’Reardon, whose offer was quickly followed by Messrs. C. R. O’Callaghan, Charles J. Daly, Thomas O’Callaghan, and Hugh Keller—and it was finally knocked down to Mr. C. R. O’Callaghan for £300, after being briskly competed for by the foregoing parties. The house was the property of Mr. William Sheehan, and the sale was admirably carried out by Mr. Patrick Sheehan.—Kanturk Correspondent.
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Crime: murder 1877

20/1/1886 William Sheehan – Cork
“There was a nasty smell in the water supply at Castletownroche in County Cork and officials went to check it out. Peering down the well at a local farm they found the source of the problem – the remains of three bodies, all from the same family, rotting in the water.
Incredibly, the trio had been killed eight years previously, on October 22nd, 1877. At that time the Sheehan family, owners of the farm, were about to emigrate to New Zealand when William Sheehan got into a blazing row with his brother Thomas over the division of the land, and beat him to death with a plough in an outbuilding.
When his mother Catherine and sister Hannah arrived to find out what the commotion was all about, Sheehan strangled them both and threw all three bodies down the well.
Sheehan then went off to New Zealand alone, but eight years later, when the bodies were discovered, he was brought back to Ireland. The Crown alleged that his brother-in-law David Browne, who was also charged with the murders, had aided him.
Browne, tried separately, was acquitted, while Sheehan was found guilty after a two-day trial. On Wednesday, January 20th, 1886, just before he was hanged, he admitted his guilt and reiterated that Browne was completely innocent.”

Limerick Surnames

In a Top 100 league table of Surnames of 19th Century Limerick:  The top three were Ryan, O’Brien, and Fitzgerald.

Sheehan came in 14th with 321 households !

Source:  Compiled for article ‘The Surnames of County Limerick’ by Chris O’Mahony in Irish Roots, 1998, No. 4. Based on the Index to Griffith’s Primary Valuation for Limerick 1850 to 1852.