Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Brevet brigadier general, United States Army, b. in Co. Cavan, Ireland, 1832; d. at Washington, 10 June, 1864. He emigrated from his native land to New York in 1844 and five years later enlisted in the regular army of the United States, joining the Second Cavalry, a regiment then commanded by Colonel E. V. Sumner. In this regiment young Byrne distinguished himself in the Indian campaigns in Florida and Oregon. At the breaking out of the Civil War he was, on the recommendation of his old commander, Colonel Sumner, commissioned First Lieutenant in the Fifth Cavalry, one of the new regiments authorized by Congress. During the campaigns of 1861 and 1862 he remained with the regiment of regulars and was then appointed by Governor Andrew, Colonel of the Twenty-Eighth Massachusetts Volunteers, an Irish regiment of which he took command, 18 October, 1862. In the November following, this regiment was attached to the famous Meagher's Irish Brigade and with it participated with special gallantry in all the fierce conflicts in which the Army of the Potomac was subsequently engaged. At its head Colonel Byrne charged up the fatal slope of Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg, and after it, like the other regiments of the brigade, had been almost wiped out in the sanguinary conflicts at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, he was sent back to Massachusetts to recruit its ranks during the winter and spring of 1863 and 1864. When the campaign reopened in May he returned to the front and as the senior officer took command of the Irish Brigade. Two weeks after assuming command, on 3 June, 1864, he fell, mortally wounded, while leading the brigade at the attack on the entrenchments at Cold Harbor, Virginia. He lived long enough to be conveyed to Washington, where his wife reached him before he died. His commission as brigadier general had just been made out by President Lincoln, but he was dead before it could be officially presented to him. His remains were sent to New York and buried in Calvary Cemetery.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 'Body lifted from the ground': Young Central American woman dies ...
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Opium, heroin or cocaine: What drug is YOUR country known for?
  • Pope Francis does the unthinkable following emotional tragedy in ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • St. Eligius: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More