(c. 1819 - 1863)
Home State: Louisiana
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
A merchant and expatriate Irish Republican from New Orleans, he enlisted for service with the First Louisiana Infantry in April 1861, and was Captain, Company E - the Montgomery Guards. By June 1862 he was in command of the Regiment by virtue of being the senior officer present, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel by "seniority" to date from 30 April 1862.1
On the Campaign
In command of the Regiment, he was wounded in action at the Hagerstown Pike near the Miller Cornfield early in the morning of 17 September at Sharpsburg. 2
The rest of the War
By October he had returned to command of the Regiment and served with them on the campaigns of the ANV .
He was killed in action at Gettysburg on 2 July 1863 in an assault on Culp's Hill:
... At dusk the roaring guns fell silent, and orders were given to advance up the steep, rocky slope... as the Tigers picked their way through the trees and rocks, the hilltop suddenly exploded in smoke and flame... Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Nolan, one of the first to fall, was killed leading the 1st Louisiana up the slope... 3
References & notes
Thanks to Dr. T. W. Fitzmorris at Tulane for correcting the cemetery location, and for the following:
[His] tomb is a memorial. Nolan's body was never recovered from Gettysburg, his body was blown apart by a twelve pound ball, according to archive material at Tulane University. According to Gregory Coco, there is no record of his interment and disinterment at Gettysburg. Mr.Coco's conjecture is that what was left of him was placed in unmarked graves near Rock Creek.
Nolan arrived in New Orleans in November, 1843 at the age of 24. A good estimate is that he was born in 1819. His death certificate, dated September 29,1863 and issued to his wife, makes no mention of his date of birth, only that he was about 44 when he was killed.
c. 1819; County Tipperary, IRELAND
07/02/1863; Gettysburg, PA; burial in St Patrick Cemetery (#1), New Orleans, LA
1 Booth's Index online from RootsWeb.
Booth, Andrew B., Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Louisiana Confederate Commands, 3 Volumes, New Orleans: State of Louisiana, 1920 [AotW citation 597]
2 From the Confederate Order of Battle, Antietam (via Antietam National Battlefield).
US War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR), 128 vols., Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, Vol. 19/Part1 (Ser #27) [AotW citation 598]
3 Jones, Terry L., Lee's Tigers: The Louisiana Infantry in the Army of Northern Virginia, Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2002, pg. 170 [AotW citation 599]