Born at Lisburn, Co. Antrium, Ireland, 1 April 1839; died at Philadelphia, 17 Feb., 1910. Emigrating to Philadelphia with his parents while a boy, his youthful tastes inclined him to military affairs and he became active in the ranks of the militia. At the breaking out of the Civil War he was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of the 116th Pennsylvania Volunteers which was attached to Meagher's Irish Brigade, and later was made its colonel. He was wounded during the famous charge of the Irish Brigade up Marye's Heights, at the battle of Fredericksburg, 13 Dec., 1862. At the battle of Chancellorsville, 3, 4 May, 1863, he led his regiment and distinguished himself by saving the guns of the Fifth Maine Battery that had been abandoned to the enemy. For this he was complimented in general orders and received the Medal of Honor from Congress. In this campaign he was given the command of the picket-line by General Hancock and covered the retreat of the Army of the Potomac across the Rappahannock.
At Gettysburg his own regiment was so badly cut up in the first day's fight, the he changed to the 140th Penn. Volunteers and led it into action. He was wounded a second time at the battle of the Wilderness, 5 May, 1864, and for this gallant conduct was brevetted brigadier-general. At Po River he was wounded a third time but remained in hospital only ten days, and resuming his command was dangerously wounded again at Tolpotomoy. He recovered rapidly and commanded his brigade in all the actions around Petersburg, particularly distinguishing himself by storming a fort for which he was brevetted major-general 27 October, 1864.
Returning to civil life after the war he was appointed Chief of Police in Philadelphia in 1868, and signalized his administration by the good order in which he kept both the force and the city. President Cleveland appointed him United States Pension Agent, in which office he was continued by Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt. He was considered an authority on the science of penology, and also devoted much of his leisure time to art studies, and as a lecturer and writer on the Civil War and its records. He compiled a history of the 116th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, and another of those to whom Congress voted the Medal of Honor. In the Catholic affairs of Philadelphia he was always active and a leader among the best known and most respected laymen.
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