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Federal (USV)


John Kavanaugh

(1826 - 1862)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 63rd New York Infantry

Before Antietam

Though quite young he became an active member of the Irish Confederation, and was unanimously chosen president of the Fitzgerald Club, Dublin. He was a devoted, zealous patriot, and was ably sustained by the patriotic enthusiasm and deep affection of his devoted young wife. After the suspension of the habeas corpus act he followed the fortune of Smith O'Brien in Tipperary, and was rather severely wounded in the leg at the Farrinrory fiasco. As soon as he was able to travel he made his way to [Le] Havre, and even there the English authorities made numerous efforts to arrest him. He fled to America, where he arrived in the fall of 1848.

Captain Kavanagh was one of the principal organizers of the Thirty-seventh Regiment New York Volunteers. He was subsequently transferred to the command of Company I, Sixty-third Regiment, Irish Brigade, in conformity with his own desire to serve under his friend and fellow-exile, General Meagher.
Age 35 at enrollment, he mustered in as Captain, Company I, 63rd New York Infnatry on 3 January 1862.

On the Campaign

He was killed in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862. Lieutenant Colonel Fowler later wrote:

I hastened to the left ... and here lay the slender form of Captain Kavanagh, Company I, cold in death ...

References & notes

Basic information from McLernon1, with quote above from Conyngham2. John Kavanagh is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Woodside, Long Island, New York, as John Cavanaugh, in Section 4 Range or Avenue 6 Plot V Grave Number 9.


1826; Dublin, IRELAND


09/17/1862; Sharpsburg, MD; burial in Calvary Cemetery, Woodside, Long Island, NY


1   McLernon, Robert, Casualty List, 63rd New York Volunteer Infantry, Meagher's Irish Brigade, Antietam, Maryland; September 17, 1862, Springfield (Va): R. McLernon, 2001  [AotW citation 2450]

2   Conyngham, David Power, The Irish Brigade and Its Campaigns, New York: William McSorley & Co., 1867, pg. 568  [AotW citation 2484]