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Civil War Soldiers - Corcoran

Corcoran, Michael, brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born in Carrowkeel, Ireland, Sept. 21, 1827. His father, a captain in the British army, gave him a good education, and procured for him a commission in the Irish constabulary in 1845. This he resigned, being unwilling to oppress his people, and in 1849 he emigrated to America, locating in New York. He joined the militia there as a private, rose through the grades to the rank of colonel, 1859, and when Prince Albert of Wales visited this country, he refused to order out the regiment, the 69th, to do honor to the prince. For this he was subjected to trial by court-martial, that was still pending when the Civil war began. Upon the first call for troops, he led the 69th to the seat of war, and, being ordered to Virginia, built Fort Corcoran on Arlington Heights, and then led it into the battle of Bull Run, where he fought with impetuous gallantry. He was wounded and captured, and spent nearly a year in various Confederate prisons, refusing to accept a release conditional upon his promise not to take up arms again in defense of the Union. Upon being exchanged, Aug. 15, 1862, he was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers to date from July 21, 1861, and organized the Corcoran legion, which he commanded in the battles on the James, near Suffolk, in April, 1863, and in checking the advance of the Confederates upon Norfolk. The legion was attached to the Army of the Potomac, in Aug., 1863, and Gen. Corcoran was killed by the falling of his horse upon him while riding in company with Gen. Thomas Francis Meagher, Dec. 22, 1863.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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