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T. F. Meagher

T. F. Meagher

Federal (USV)

Major General

Thomas Francis Meagher

(1823 - 1867)

Home State: New York

Command Billet: Brigade Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Corps


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

He was an Irish independence activist, served time as a (British) convict in Tasmania (Australia), and escaped to the US in 1852. Here he was a lawyer, lecturer, and political leader for Irish immigrants. In 1861 he organised a company in the 69th New York Militia and was appointed Major. He fought at First Bull Run. He then organised the Irish Brigade in New York, and in February 1862 was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers commanding the 2nd ("Irish") Brigade/ 1st Division/Second (II) Corps at Yorktown, Seven Pines, Seven Days, and Second Bull Run.

On the Campaign

He continued in command of the the 2nd ("Irish") Brigade in the First Division of Richardson's Second (II) Corps. During the assault of his Brigade on the Sunken Road, he reported that his horse was shot out from under him and he was stunned in the fall. Army and newspaper rumors suggested that whiskey caused the fall. Whichever it was, he was relieved in Brigade command by Col J. Burke of the 63rd New York. You may also want to see Meagher's Official Report about the battle, and a special Feature here at AotW.

The rest of the War

He led the Brigade at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and resigned in May 1863 (not accepted). He later held various positions in the West, and commanded a Provisional Division in the Carolinas campaign.

After the War

He was Territorial secretary (acting governor) for Montana for a year until his death.

More on the Web

For a more detailed biography see also the Meagher Biography at Shotgun's Civil War page.


1823; County Waterford, Ireland


1867; burial in unknown: drowned in Missouri River, Montana