(1840 - 1902)
Home State: New York
Branch of Service: Artillery
Born in Glasgow, he became a naturalized American citizen in October 1852. On 13 December 1857, giving his age as 21 and occupation as engineer, he enlisted as a Private in Battery M, 2nd US Artillery at New York City and had service in the West. He was promoted to Corporal and Sergeant by September 1862.
On the Campaign
He was in action with the battery at Antietam on 17 September 1862. Lieutenant Hains later reported:
... We crossed the [Middle] bridge at the Antietam Creek, moved forward, and immediately engaged the enemy. One section, under command of Lieutenant Hamilton, was placed in position on the right of the road, the other, under Sergeant Reilly, on the left ... First Sergeant Reilly ... performed his duties with remarkable coolness.
The rest of the War
He reenlisted as First Sergeant in December 1862 at Belle Plains, VA, was appointed brevet 2nd Lieutenant on 19 February, and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant to date from 19 March 1863. He was promoted to First Lieutenant on 18 July 1864. He was honored by brevets to Captain and Major, USA for his war service, in March 1865, but was cashiered and discharged from the service on 21 December 1865 for his part in a drunken brawl.
After the War
By 1880 he was a stationary engineer in Newark, NJ and had the same job in Jersey City in 1900.
References & notes
His service from the Registers 1 and Heitman.2 Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1880 and 1900, and the New Jersey State Census of 1885. He's also seen as Terence Riley and similar with birth in 1838. His memorial is on Findagrave. His fuzzy picture from a photograph of the officers of the Horse Artillery at Culpeper, VA in September 1863, online from the Library of Congress
He married German-born Frances "Fannie" Schwartz (1843-1927) in Scotland in July 1866 and they had 7 children.
Thanks to Jim Rosebrock for the pointer to Reilly and his photograph.
More on the Web
See much more about Reilly in a bio sketch by Jim Rosebrock on the Antietam Battlefield Guides Facebook page.
03/01/1840; Glasgow, SCOTLAND
04/24/1902; in NJ; burial in Woodland Cemetery, Newark, NJ
1 US Army, Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914, Washington, DC: National Archives, 1956, Vol. 053, pg. 205 [AotW citation 26253]
2 Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 823 [AotW citation 26255]