site logo
J. Cavanagh

J. Cavanagh

Federal (USV)


James Cavanagh

(1831 - 1901)

Home State: New York

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 69th New York Infantry


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

He emigrated to New York when he was sixteen years old and went to work as a carpenter. In 1852 he enlisted as a private in the 69th Militia Regiment, and was captain of Company C at the start of the War in April 1861. When the regiment was reorganized as the 69th New York Infantry, he mustered as its Major on 8 November 1861.

On the Campaign

He commanded the 69th after Lieutenant Colonel James Kelly was wounded in the area of the Sunken Road on September 17th.

The rest of the War

At Fredericksburg, 13 December, 1862, he was shot in the hip while leading the regiment in one of the charges up Marye's Heights, and was then discharged from the army on disability from his wound.

After the War

The NY State Militia was reorganized as the National Guard, and he rejoined the regiment as Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1867 he was elected Colonel, which command he held for more than twenty years. In 1894 he retired. For a number of years before his death he was a special customs inspector. He died at his home in Brooklyn.

References & notes

Bio details from the Catholic Encyclopedia (Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908) online. His photograph from one in Joe Bilby's Remember Fontenoy! The 69th New York and the Irish Brigade In the Civil War (1995), as James Cavanaugh, crediting the US Army Military History Institute.


1831; County Tipperary, IRELAND


1/7/1901; Brooklyn, NY