Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Second and eldest surviving son of James Roger Guiney and Judith Macrae; born at Parkstown, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, on 15 Jan., 1835; died at Boston, 21 March, 1877. From his father's people he inherited Jacobite blood, gentle and adventurous, with one French cross in it. James Guiney, impoverished and dispirited after an ill-assorted runaway marriage, brought with him on his second voyage to New Brunswick his favourite child, then not six years old. After some years, Mrs. Guiney rejoined her husband, lately crippled by a fall from his horse; a settlement followed in Portland, Maine, where the boy attended the public schools. Clever, studious, and a capital athlete, he matriculated at Holy Cross College, Worcester, but left before graduating, actuated by a scruple of honour entirely characteristic. His book-loving, sympathetic father having meanwhile died, he went to study for the Bar under Judge Walton, and was admitted in Lewiston, Maine, in 1856, evincing from the first a genius for criminal law. In politics he was a Republican. He won its first suit for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In 1859 he married in the old cathedral, Boston, Miss Janet Margaret Doyle, related to the distinguished "J. K. L.", the Rt. Rev. James Warren Doyle, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. They had one son, who died in infancy, and one daughter. Home life in Roxbury and professional success were cut short by the outbreak of the Civil War. Familiar with the manual of arms, Guiney enlisted for example's sake as a private, refusing a commission from Governor Andrew until he had worked hard to help recruit the Ninth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers. Within two years (July, 1862), the first colonel having died from a wound received in action, Lieutenant-Colonel Guiney succeeded young to the command. He fought in over thirty engagements, and won high official praise, notably for courage and presence of mind at the Battle of the Chickahominy, or Gaines's Mill, Virginia. Here, after three successive colour-bearers had been shot down, the colonel himself seized the flag, threw aside coat and sword-belt, rose white-shirted and conspicuous in the stirrups, inspired a final rally, and turned the fortune of the day. After many escapes, he was struck in the face by a sharpshooter at the Wilderness (5 May, 1864); the Minié ball destroyed the left eye, and inflicted, as was believed, a fatal wound. During an interval of consciousness, however, Guiney insisted on an operation which saved his life. Honourably discharged just before the mustering out of his old regiment, he did not receive his commission as brigadier-general by brevet until 13 March, 1865, although throughout 1864 he had been frequently in command of his brigade, the Second, First Division, Fifth Corps, A. P. Brevet was then bestowed "for gallant and meritorious services during the War ". Kept alive for years by nursing and by force of will, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress on a sort of "Christian Socialist " platform, was elected assistant district attorney (1866-70), and acted as consulting lawyer (not being longer able to plead) on many locally celebrated cases. His last exertions were devoted to the defeat of the corruption and misuse of the Probate Court of Suffolk County, Massachusetts, of which he had become registrar (1869-77). He died suddenly and was found kneeling against an elm in the little park near his home, having answered his summons in this soldierly and deeply religious fashion, as he had always meant to do. General Guiney was Commandant of the Loyal Legion, Major-General Commandant of the Veteran Military League, member of the Irish Charitable Society, and one of the founders and first members of the Catholic Union of Boston. He was notable throughout a brief, thwarted career for the charm of his manner and his chivalrous ideals in public life. A good literary critic, he printed a few graphic prose sketches and some graceful verse.


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 in fifteen hardcopy 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


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 36:23-28
23 I am going to display the holiness of my great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
12 Give me back the joy of your salvation, sustain in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:1-14
1 Jesus began to speak to them in parables once ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 21st, 2014 Image

St. Pius X
August 21: On June 2, 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto saw the light of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter