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Federal (USV)


Thomas Francis De Burgh Galwey

(1846 - 1913)

Home State: Ohio

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 8th Ohio Infantry

Before Antietam

Born to Irish parents in London, he came to the US at age 5, and lived on a farm near Cleveland, OH. He enlisted in Company B, 8th Ohio Infantry at age 15 (giving his age as 19) on 5 June 1861. He was appointed Sergeant, date not given.

On the Campaign

He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on the field at Antietam on 17 September 1862. Of the action there, he noted

The fight goes on with unabated fury. The air is alive with the concussion of all sorts of explosions. We are kneeling in the soft grass and I notice for a long time that almost every blade of grass is moving. For some time I supposed that this is caused by the merry crickets; and it is not until I have made a remark to that effect to one of our boys near me and notice him laugh, that I know it is the bullets that are falling thickly around us! It is wonderful how a man can live through such close danger. I have made up my mind that I shall not, cannot, escape. Strangely this idea causes me no nervousness nor the least bit of inward excitement. I contemplate the prospect of sudden death without flinching. It is not heroism, but cool reason which actuates me ...
He lost the hearing in one ear from an explosion at Antietam.

The rest of the War

Promoted again, to First Lieutenant, on 20 January 1863. Mustered out with his Company on 13 July 1864.

After the War

He continued his education, earning a Ph.D. he was a lawyer, educator, and teacher, and lived in Cincinnati, Galveston, TX, and Harlem, NY.

References & notes

Basic information from State of Ohio1, which has him as Thomas F. Galway. Details from his own Valiant Hours2, drawn from his wartime diaries, and quoted above. His gravesite is on Findagrave.


04/15/1846; London, ENGLAND


02/20/1913; New York City, NY; burial in Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, Westchester County, NY


1   State of Ohio, Roster Commission, Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, 12 Volumes, Akron: The Werner Company, 1893-95, Vol. 2, pp. 239 - 243  [AotW citation 14716]

2   Galwey, Thomas Francis, and W.S. Nye, editor, The Valiant Hours, Harrisburg (PA): The Stackpole Company, 1961  [AotW citation 14735]