Hinkletown's Patrick Monaghan - "Irish Volunteer"
Iowa County Civil War Soldier Wounded at the Battle of Black River Bridge.
Monaghan, Patrick: Born in Ireland in 1839, Patrick Monaghan was the son of Michael and Catherine Monaghan. According to the 1860 Federal Census, Patrick, 21, was the oldest son living at home in Fillmore Township, just north of Hinkletown, Foote P.O., and worked as a laborer. Neighbors were Patrick Rock, George W. Henkle, Harmon Henkle, Andrew Rock, Oscar Carter, Thomas Parker and William Wallace.
Height: 5’ 8 ½”, Hair: Black, Eyes: Blue
Enlisted August 22, 1862
22nd Iowa Infantry
When young Patrick Monaghan departed Foote for the Civil War, it is said his boots left deep impressions in the mud in front of the Monaghan home. His mother gathered boards and laid them over the depressions to preserve his shoe prints, fearing this would be the last physical memory of her son.
Shot at Black River Bridge, Miss.
“On the 17th of May, 1863, while on a charge against the enemy occurred a gun shot wound, which caused him to fall to the ground, the ball entering the neck just above the collar bone on the left side, passing down into the chest through the right lung and lodging
near about the second rib on the right side where it still remains inside the rib.”
Mustered Out: July 25, 1865
When young Patrick Monaghan departed Foote for the Civil War, it is said his boots left deep impressions in the mud in front of the Monaghan home. His mother gathered boards and laid them over the depressions to preserve his shoe prints, fearing this would be the last physical memory of her son. He joined the 22nd Iowa Infantry, Company K, on August 22, 1862, leaving his parents, and siblings, John, Charles, Michael and Ellen. At the age of 23, he mustered in at Iowa City, along with many of his friends from Foote. His physical profile described him as 5 feet, 8 1/2 inches tall, dark complexion, black hair, and blue eyes.
The 22nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry was comprised primarily of Johnson County boys, except a company each raised from Poweshiek, Jasper and Wapello counties, and the dozen and a half from Foote (Fillmore and Greene townships) in Iowa County who went to Iowa City and signed up together. By the time the boys from Foote joined up, Camp Pope, at the intersection of Summit and Bowery streets, had replaced the Iowa City Fairgrounds for drilling and preparing men for war. They drilled and performed dress parade there for three weeks. The camp was located by the railroad, and on September 15, 1862, the regiment was ordered into active service.
After leaving Camp Pope at Iowa City, the 22nd Iowa Infantry moved by rail to Davenport, then traveled by steamer to St. Louis, Benton Barracks, then to Rolla, Missouri, where they garrisoned the fort for about four months. In late March 1863, they began marching, moving to West Plains to join the Army of Southeast Missouri, as part of the First Brigade, First Division, commanded at the time by General Stone, and included the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd Iowa Infantry and the 11th Wisconsin, these regiments being braided together for several successful battles. Prior to seeing any battle, the 22nd Iowa endured many hardships, marching many miles in poor conditions, many troops without shoes or in worn out footwear. One such march was from West Plains to Iron Mountain, halting to camp for a few days at each place.Monaghan fought his first major engagement with the 22nd Iowa Infantry at Port Gibson, before midnight on April 30, 1863. Their first regimental battle was a success for the Union. About 20 troops were killed that night. At the Battle of Champion Hill, the 22nd Iowa acted as reserve forces, but joined toward the culmination to pursue the retreating rebels, and captured many prisoners. The next day came the Battle of Black River Bridge, also known as the “The Big Black.” This was also the day before the great assault at Vicksburg. While the 23rd Iowa Infantry was the most actively engaged in open combat, the 22nd Iowa was shielded by the riverbank, covering the 23rd with fire upon the Rebel Army. Only two men of the 22nd Iowa were wounded that day, those being Patrick Monaghan and George W McCall.
Private Patrick Monaghan was severely injured at the Battle of Black River Bridge, Mississippi. According to the Adjutant General’s report, “On the 17th of May, 1863, while on a charge against the enemy occurred a gun shot wound, which caused him to fall to the ground, the ball entering the neck just above the collar bone on the left side, passing down into the chest through the right lung and lodging near about the second rib on the right side where it still remains inside the rib.” He rejoined his unit after recovering at a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. According to records his treatment began on June 1, 1863 and continued through July 15, 1863. The bullet stayed in his body and eventually played a part in his death.
Patrick Monaghan (seated) and brother Mike
As with many who were wounded in battle, Patrick returned to his Company when sufficiently healed, and participated in many more battles before mustering out at Savannah, Georgia in August 1865. He would see action in several states, including Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, Maryland, and fought in the notable battles of Winchester and Fisher’s Hill. After his own battle injuries, Monaghan would see nearly half of his 22nd Iowa comrades from Foote killed, wounded or captured during the remainder of the war.
Patrick married Bridget McCann, daughter of Patrick and Catherine McCann, February 16, 1871, after his return from the Civil War. They set up house in Section 2, Liberty Township, slightly west and approximately ¾ mile south of Hinkletown, Foote Post Office, on land owned by Patrick’s parents, Michael and Catherine Monaghan. This was directly south of where St. Patrick’s Catholic Church at Little Creek would be built in 1875, on land donated by Patrick McCann, Bridget’s father. A Monaghan child was the first child baptized at the new church. Patrick spent much of his life farming by occupation, and raising his family, including seven children.
The injuries he received while serving his country in the Civil War continued to plague Monaghan throughout his life. For the bullet wound in his chest that remained lodged by his lung, Patrick was supposed to have received a disability pension of $4.00 per month beginning on July 26, 1865. Documents show that he reapplied for a pension on November 30, 1870. Of Patrick Monaghan’s case, the Assistant Adjutant General at the office of The Commissioner of Pensions in Washington, D.C. makes the following statement: “On the Muster Roll of Company K of that Regiment (22nd), for the months of May and June 1863, he is reported wounded in battle at Black River, May 17, 1863 in hospital at Memphis, shot in breast. The Muster Out Roll of Company dated July 25, 1865 reports him severely wounded at Black River Bridge, Mississippi, May 17, 1863, a priv. M.O. with Co., as of the date of Muster Out of Co., July 25, 1865.”
It appears likely that Monaghan was caught up in bureaucratic red tape and was not receiving a pension through 1874, as he enlisted the services of attorney W. B. Chapman of Iowa City, claiming “that he has not received a pension.” In this document, a Declaration for Original Invalid Pension, the attorney and witnesses stated, “That prior to his entry into the service above named he was a man of good, sound, physical health, being when enrolled a Private. That he is now wholly disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor by reason of his injuries, above described, received in the service of the United States, and he therefore makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the invalid pension roll of the United States.”
It appears the $4.00 a month pension began in late 1874, nearly ten years after his discharge from service. This was increased to $8.00 a month on September 30,1878. On June 9, 1884, Monaghan went before Matt Fischer, Justice of the Peace of Keokuk County, to appeal for a Difference in Pension, witnessed by Solomon Shafer and Samuel Correll, also of Keokuk County. The claim stated, “he thinks he was rated too low at first and claims difference in pension. At some point thereafter Monaghan received a regular pension of $16.00 a month.
In September 1886, Monaghan traveled to Iowa City to participate in two days of festivities of the Reunion of the 22nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He was one of approximately 200 living members who attended the grand ceremonies. Patrick joined the group for a formal photograph on the steps of the Old Capitol Building on the University of Iowa campus. He was also photographed with his comrades from Company K at Elite Studios. On the steps of the Old Capitol, he stood under the front entrance doorway, with the name of his beloved adopted State carved in stone above him. The veteran soldiers attended a parade and formal dinner in their honor. Another reunion was held in 1897, but Monaghan was too debilitated to attend.
After a prolonged sickness related to his war injuries, Patrick Monaghan died on November 21, 1897 at the age of 58. As was common at the time, his body was laid out in the home overnight with constant and caring vigil by family and close neighbors through the hours of darkness. He was buried at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery at Little Creek. His attending physician later testified by affidavit: “I am a regular physician and have practiced medicine two years. I was Patrick Monaghan’s physician and attendant on him in his last sickness. The date of his death was November 21, 1897, the cause of death consumption resulting from irritation caused by a bullet lodged in right lung received by Patrick Monaghan while a soldier in the service of the United States as I have been informed. The body of this affidavit is in my hand writing and that in making the same I have not been aided or prompted by any person in any manner and I have no interest direct or indirect in the prosecution of this claim.” Signed – F.E. Corwin, M.D.
The claim was to secure a “widows pension” for Bridget Monaghan, age 47, who was left to raise four minor children upon Patrick’s death. These were Anna, Joseph, Ellen T, and Rose M. Monaghan, the youngest being just under two years of age. Others who supported Bridget’s claim included longtime family friend, Thomas Rock, a resident of Fillmore Township, north of Hinkletown. He submitted the following affidavit: “I, Thomas Rock have known Bridget Monaghan since 1866 when she was a girl about 16 years old and that I have lived within three and one half miles of her ever since, that I know she was never married until her marriage with said Patrick Monaghan and I know that she was never divorced from said Patrick Monaghan but lived with him as his wife until his death November 21st, 1897. I further say that I knew said Patrick Monaghan above named from boyhood; except the time he was in the army. I lived within three and a half miles from him. I know that he was never married until his marriage with said Bridget Monaghan, and I know that they were never divorced but lived together as husband and wife until his death November 21, 1897.” Witnesses to Thomas Rock’s testimony were Thomas McCann and N.H. Feldavert, Liberty Township. Whether or not Bridget received the widow’s pension has not been researched, and assumed she received it. Bridget died at 3:00 A.M. on February 23, 1937, at the age of 86. Nearly 40 years after Patrick’s death, she was buried next to her beloved husband on February 26, 1937 at Little Creek cemetery, ½ mile south of Hinkletown.
After a prolonged sickness related to his war injuries, Patrick Monaghan died on November 21, 1897 at the age of 58. As was common at the time, his body was laid out in the home overnight with constant and caring vigil by family and close neighbors through the hours of darkness. He was buried at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery at Little Creek, 1/2 mile south and slightly west of Hinkletown, at the Irish settlement. His wife Bridget died 40 years later and is buried with him at this gravesite. A G.A.R. marker also graces the grave.
Headstone of Patrick Monaghan and wife Bridget - 2009
For Patrick Monaghan, the burdens and results of the Civil War would haunt him for much of his life. When he marched off to Iowa City on that day in August 1863, his mother in tears, he had voluntarily committed his life to the Union cause. History shows that he joined one of the most notable regiments sent by Iowa to the Union cause. The 22nd Iowa Volunteers were celebrated nationwide for their bravery and valor. To understand the pride and honor Patrick was experienced as an Irish American, we offer this tribute of musical verse that was popular at the time, which was found among the family papers of his descendants:
Union Irish Civil War Song, "The Harp of Old Erin & Banner of Stars"
"Oh, long may our flags wave in union together,
And the Harp of Green Erin still kiss the same breeze,
And Brave every storm that beclouds the fair weather,
Till our Harp, like the Stars, floats o'er rivers and seas.
God prosper the bold hearts on both land and ocean,
Who go in defiance of danger and scars,
And send them safe home to their wives and their sweethearts,
With the Harp of old Erin and the Banner of Stars."
Union Irish Civil War Song, "Opinions of Paddy Magee"
"When Ireland was needing, and famine was feeding,
And thousands were dying for something to eat,
'Twas America's daughters that sent over the waters
The ships that were loaded with corn and wheat:
And Irishmen sure will forever remember
The vessels that carried the flag of the Free;
And the land that befriended, they'll die to defend it,
And that's the opinions of Paddy Magee."
In 2004 the story of Patrick Monaghan was shared with Hinkletown resident-musicians, Bob and Kristie Black. Kristie was touched by the handed-down story of Patrick’s mother laying down barn boards over his footprints left in the mud as he went off to war, and how he lived the rest of his life with a bullet lodged in his lung. She put the story to poignant lyrics and music. In the winter of 2007 - 08, the Banjoy band recorded Kristie’s song, The Ballad of Patrick Monaghan. The following lyrics are a bitter-sweet tribute to the heroism of Pat Monaghan:
BALLAD OF PATRICK MONAGHAN
I’ll tell you a story of Patrick Monaghan.
Our Civil War Hero, Our Hinkletown son.
He joined Lincoln’s Army in the Fall of ’62.
He was 21 and handsome and his eyes were so blue.
His eyes were so blue.
She held her boy close as she bid him Goodbye.
And prayed to the Dear Lord please don’t let me cry.
She stood at the gate as he walked down the lane.
Then her tears flowed like the South Fork in the Hinkletown rain.
The Hinkletown rain.
Oh nothing was left of a dear mother’s son.
But memories and footprints in that muddy ol’ ground.
So she laid some old barn boards on his footprints that day.
And she prayed as she knelt in the Hinkletown clay.
The Hinkletown clay
Oh Father it’s thy will not my will be done.
But I pray that you bring back my Hinkletown son.
My Hinkletown son.
INSTRUMENTAL VERSE - Fiddle/Guitar Split
He was shot in the battle of Black River Bridge.
And as he laid there his thoughts turned to old Hickory Ridge.
He longed for Green Valley in beloved Ioway.
Not the red mud and the red blood of the Blue and the Gray.
The Blue and the Gray.
Oh Father it’s thy will not my will be done.
But I pray that you bring back my Hinkletown son.
My Hinkletown son
INSTRUMENTAL VERSE - Fiddle/Guitar Split
Oh months they went by and she heard not a word.
So one day she pulled up those worn out old boards.
She knelt in the black dirt but his footprints were gone.
Then she heard the sweet voice of her Hinkletown son…..
The Irish Volunteer - Adapted from Traditional
My name is Patrick Monaghan,
I'm a native of the Isle,
I was born among old Erin's bogs
when I was but a child.
My father fought in " 'Ninety-eight,"
for liberty so dear;
And he fell upon old Vinegar Hill
like an Irish volunteer.
Then raise the harp of Erin, boys,
the flag we all revere--
We'll fight and fall beneath its folds,
like Irish volunteers!
When I was driven form my home
by an oppressor's hand,
I cut my sticks and greased my brogues,
and came o'erto this land.
I found a home and many friends,
in I-O-Way so dear;
Be jabbers! I'll stick to her
like bricks and an Irish volunteer.
Then fill your glasses up, my boys,
and drink a hearty cheer,
To the land of our adoption
and the Irish volunteer!
Now when the traitors in the south
commenced a warlike raid,
I quickly then laid down my hoe,
to the devil went my spade!
To a recruiting-office then I went,
that happened to be near,
And joined the Twenty-second,"
like an Irish volunteer.
Then fill the ranks and march away!--
no traitors do we fear;
We'll drive them all to blazes,
says the Irish volunteer.
We love the land of Liberty,
its laws we will revere,
"But the divil take nobility!"
says the Irish volunteer!
Now if the traitors in the South
should ever cross our roads,
We'll drive them to the divil,
as Saint Patrick did the toads;
We'll give them all short nooses
that come just below the ears,
Made strong and good of Irish hemp
by Irish volunteers.
Then here's to brave McClellan,
whom the army now reveres--
He'll lead us on to victory,
the Irish volunteers.
Now fill your glasses up, my boys,
a toast come drink with me,
May Erin's Harp and the Starry Flag
united ever be;
May traitors quake, and rebels shake,
and tremble in their fears,
When next they meet the Yankee boys
and Irish volunteers!
God bless the name of Washington!
That name this land reveres;
Success to Meagher and Nugent,
and their Irish volunteers.
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