23rd Illinois Mulligans Brigade

coffey2016

Cadet
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Location
Dublin Ireland
I am just new to the site and I am trying to get some information on the 23rd Illinois Brigade.I know very little about the Civil War, but I have just got interested when I discovered a relative was Captain of H Company the Ottawa Guards. I have googled the regiment and I have looked on the fold3 site but the is very little information about his Company or himself. I was wondering if there was a book on the Regiment. There is some details on the engagements of the other companies but H Company I cant find out anything.

My relatives name was Captain Charles Coffey[sometimes shown as Coffee}.I know he took part in the Mexican War [Sappers or Engineers Corps}and was involved at the Siege of Lexington in the Civil War. I found out he is buried in Butler County Iowa and he had a brother called Peter Coffey who served in the US Navy in the Civil War on board a ship called "The Dawn". Peter was from St Louis Missouri. They were both born in Ireland.
If there is anyone researching the 23rd Illinois I would love to know where they were especially H Company or if there is any records on Captain Charles Coffey/Coffee I would like to know any information. I am in Ireland
What I know!
Captain Charles Coffey was born Dublin Ireland in 1821,he emigrated to New York in 1842 and studied Engineering in West Point. He took part in the Mexican War and was in the Sappers Corps. When the Civil War started he raised H Company the Ottawa Guards in the 23rd Illinois Infantry. He supervised the defenses at the Siege of Lexington.He served from 15/6/1861 until 1864 when his term expired.
He had a brother Peter Coffey who served on the Ship The Dawn during the Civil War, Peter was also born in Dublin Ireland. He had also a sister called Mary Ann Coffey she married a Mr. Joseph Etherington in La Salle Illinois. She later moved to Butler Iowa where Captain Coffey had a farm.
Captain Charles Coffey died while building a Church in Butler he was transporting lumber on a wagon when the horses got fright and bolted, the wagon hit a tree stump and overturned and killed Captain Coffey. He died in 1871 and is buried in Coldwater Cemetery Butler County Iowa.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
I am just new to the site and I am trying to get some information on the 23rd Illinois Brigade.I know very little about the Civil War, but I have just got interested when I discovered a relative was Captain of H Company the Ottawa Guards. I have googled the regiment and I have looked on the fold3 site but the is very little information about his Company or himself. I was wondering if there was a book on the Regiment. There is some details on the engagements of the other companies but H Company I cant find out anything.

My relatives name was Captain Charles Coffey[sometimes shown as Coffee}.I know he took part in the Mexican War [Sappers or Engineers Corps}and was involved at the Siege of Lexington in the Civil War. I found out he is buried in Butler County Iowa and he had a brother called Peter Coffey who served in the US Navy in the Civil War on board a ship called "The Dawn". Peter was from St Louis Missouri. They were both born in Ireland.
If there is anyone researching the 23rd Illinois I would love to know where they were especially H Company or if there is any records on Captain Charles Coffey/Coffee I would like to know any information. I am in Ireland
What I know!
Captain Charles Coffey was born Dublin Ireland in 1821,he emigrated to New York in 1842 and studied Engineering in West Point. He took part in the Mexican War and was in the Sappers Corps. When the Civil War started he raised H Company the Ottawa Guards in the 23rd Illinois Infantry. He supervised the defenses at the Siege of Lexington.He served from 15/6/1861 until 1864 when his term expired.
He had a brother Peter Coffey who served on the Ship The Dawn during the Civil War, Peter was also born in Dublin Ireland. He had also a sister called Mary Ann Coffey she married a Mr. Joseph Etherington in La Salle Illinois. She later moved to Butler Iowa where Captain Coffey had a farm.
Captain Charles Coffey died while building a Church in Butler he was transporting lumber on a wagon when the horses got fright and bolted, the wagon hit a tree stump and overturned and killed Captain Coffey. He died in 1871 and is buried in Coldwater Cemetery Butler County Iowa.

Welcome !

P397117.gif


Report of Col. James A. Mulligan, Twenty-third Illinois Infantry.
FEBRUARY 21-22, 1864.--Scout from New Creek to Moorefield, W. Va.
CUMBERLAND, MD., February 22, 1864.

(Received 11.30 p. m.)
The following telegram from Col. Mulligan just received. Capt.
Wallace is the hero of Greenland Gap, where he was captured with his
company last May by Gen. Jones, and take to Richmond by his
prisoner, Parker. Capt. Kuykendall was captured a few days since in
Hampshire County.

NEW CREEK, W. VA., February 22, 1864.
Capt. MATHEWS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-GEN.:

Capt. Wallace just in from a scout to Moorefield. He captured
Lieut. Parker, 2 privates, and 3 horses. Parker is first lieutenant
of Kuykendall's company, and the same officer who guarded Wallace
to Richmond.
JAS. A. MULLIGAN,

B. F. KELLEY,
Brig.-Gen.

Brig.-Gen. CULLUM,
Chief of Staff.

Source: Official Records
CHAP. XLV.] SKIRMISHES NEAR CIRCLEVILLE, VA., ETC. PAGE 158-60
[Series I. Vol. 33. Serial No. 60.]
...............................................................................................................................................................................................
ILLINOIS
TWENTY-THIRD INFANTRY.
(Three Years)
The organization of the Twenty-third Infantry Illinois
Volunteers commenced under the popular name of the "Irish
Brigade," at Chicago, immediately upon the opening of
hostilities at Sumter. It served until the war had fully
closed, and among the officers whom it was compelled to mourn
as lost in the battle was its illustrious Colonel, James A.
Mulligan, of Chicago, who fell while commanding a division of
the Army of West Virginia at Kernstown, in Shenandoah valley,
July 24,1864, and perished while in the hands of the enemy,
July 26, of three desperate wounds, received while at the
head of his own Regiment to which he had galloped in the
confident and justified expectation that he would be able to
make it the steady rear-guard of an overwhelming rout, caused
by the advance of all of Early's army upon an unsupported and
merger force.

The formal muster of the 23rd was made June 15,1861, at
Chicago when the Regiment was occupying barracks known as
Kane's brewery on West Polk street, near the river. From a
barrack encampment on Vincennes road it moved July 14, 1861,
to Quincy, Illinois, and thence, after a few days encampment,
to the arsenal at St. Louis. On the 21st of July it moved to
various excursion into the surrounding country. Brigadier
General Grant superseded Colonel Davis as commander of the
post at Jefferson City, and on the 18th of September the 23d
commenced a march of 120 miles on Lexington, Mo., where the
first notable siege of the war of the Rebellion occurred.
Lexington, reinforced by the 23d, which arrived on the
evening of the 11th , became a post of 2,780 men, Colonel
Mulligan commanding. General Price with the Missouri State
guards was marching upon the town, a convenient location near
which Colonel Mulligan's command engaged actively in
fortifying. The rebel advance under Rain's with a battery of
six guns assaulted the fortifications on the 12th but were
repulsed. The post was then regularly invested by an army of
28,000 men with 13 pieces of artillery. For nine days the
garrison sustained an unequal conflict, not alone against the
vastly superior forces of the enemy tent against hunger and
thirst, for provisions, hastily gathered in from the
surrounding country, were inadequate and the water supply
wholly failed. No reinforcement appeared, nor was there
promise or hope of any. On the 20th the most determined and
systematic of the enemy's assault was made, and repeatedly
repulsed, tent in the afternoon it was determined to
surrender. The killed and wounded of the Regiment numbered
107, while General Price officially reported his loss at 800.

The officers and men, with the exception of Colonel
Mulligan, who was detained as a prisoner and accompanied
Price in his march into Arkansas, were paroled. On the 8th
of October the Regiment was mustered out by order of General
Fremont, but upon the personal application of Colonel
Mulligan, who had been exchanged for General Frost, General
McClellan, then commanding the army, directed that its
organization be retained and that it should be considered as
continuously in the service from the date of its original
muster. Reassembling at Camp Douglas in Chicago, the camp
being commanded by Colonel Mulligan, it guarded the rebel
prisoners there until June 14, 1862, when it was ordered to
Harper's Ferry, Virginia. Its service thence forward was in
both Virginias. From Harper's Ferry it moved to New Creek
Virginia. It was at Clarksburg, Virginia, in September and
later at Parkersburg, in both cases saving the towns from the
menace of lmboden. November 10, 1862, companies B, D and K
under Major Moore attacked General Imboden on the South Fork
of the Potomac, capturing forty prisoners and large supplies
on the hoof. January 3, 1863, the Regiment made a forced
march of 40 miles in 10 hours from New Creek to Morefield to
the relief of the Union force there attacked by General
Jones, who thereupon withdrew. In April, 1863, being then at
New Creek, the Regiment was assigned to the 5th Brigade, 1st
Division, 8th Corps, Colonel Mulligan commanding the Brigade
and Lieutenant Colonel Quirk the Regiment. The Regiment
moved to Grafton on the 25th of April, and Captain Martin
Wallace, commanding Co. G, as a detachment in Greenland Gap,
occupying a block house, had a spirited engagement with
General Jones and did not surrender until the block house was
in flames. April 25th the Regiment was engaged with Imboden
at Phillippi. In 1863 the Regiment was on the flank of Lee
in his retreat from Gettysburg, and had an engagement with
Wade Hampton at Hedgeville. Having re-enlisted as veterans
at New Creek in April. 1864, the Regiment was reorganized at
Chicago and the month's furlough having expired returned to
Virginia.

Daring the month of July, 1864, the Regiment participated
in the following engagements: 3d, Leetown, 5th to 7th,
Maryland Heights, Md.; 17th to 20th, Snicker's Gap, Va.; 23d
and 24th, Kernstown, Va., where Colonel Mulligan was killed.
In the battle of Kernstown on the 24th, the Regiment lost in
killed and wounded about one-half of those engaged therein.

From early in August, 1864, to December 25 1864, during
which time General Sheridan was in command of the Shenandoah
Valley, the Regiment was actively engaged therein, and took
part in the following battles and skirmishes: Cedar Creek,
August 12th to 16th, Winchester, August 17th Charlestown and
Halltown, August 21st to 28th; Berryville September 3d
Opequan Creek, September 19th; Fisher's Hill, September 21st
and 22nd Harrisonburg, October--; Cedar Creek, October 13th;
Cedar Creek, October 19th. About December 30th, 1864, the
Regiment was transferred to

Army of the James, and during January, 1865, was in
front of Richmond, and was afterwards assigned to the
defenses of Bermuda :Hundreds. March 25, 1865, rejoined
Twenty-fourth Army Corps north of the James River, and thence
moved to the left as far as Hatcher's Run, where was encaged
March 31st and April 1st, and on April 2nd assisted in the
assault and capture of Fort Gregg in front of Petersburg, and
thereafter took part in the pursuit of Lee's Army until the
surrender thereof at Appomattox C. H., April 9, 1865.

In the months of January and February 1864, while
stationed at Greenland Gap, W. Va., First Lieutenant John J.
Healy, as special recruiting officer, re-inlisted about 300
of the Regiment as veterans, and in May following they came
to Chicago on thirty days' furlough, as the Twenty-third
Regiment Illinois Veteran Volunteers.

In August, 1864, the 10 companies of the Regiment, then
numbering 440, were consolidated into five companies, and was
designated "Battalion Twenty-third Regiment Illinois Veteran
Volunteer Infantry," and Lieutenant Colonel Simison assigned
to command. in March, 1865, Colonel Simison returned to
Illinois, leaving Captain P. M. Ryan in command, to have five
new companies assigned by the Governor to fill the Regiment,
and in this he was successful, but the new companies did not
meet the Veterans until the surrender of Lee.

The Regiment was thanked by Congress for its part at
Lexington, and was authorized to inscribe Lexington upon its
colors. Two medals, authorized by Congress, were given
members of the command for gallant conduct. They were
bestowed upon Private Creed, Company C who, at the battle of
Fisher's Hill, knocked down a rebel color-bearer and captured
his flag, and Private Patrick Hyland, Company D, who was the
first soldier to scale the rebel works at Ft. Gregg,
Petersburg, April 2, 1865.
 

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coffey2016

Cadet
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Location
Dublin Ireland
Thank very much for this great information, it allows me now to look deeper into the places the Brigade were present at,it is a very clear picture of Col.Mulligan, any ideas what the cross on his jacket is? im guessing it is some kind of a Papal award.
Thanks again and thanks for the Welcome.

Fág an Ballagh
David Coffey
 

coffey2016

Cadet
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Location
Dublin Ireland
Thanks for all you kind welcome I have found some new info
Came across this on the internet im just getting to grips with the Civil War, has anybody got anything on Fort Fuller,what was the bigger picture of Civil War was this part of?Where exactly was/is Fort Fuller?





Fort Fuller was constructed, by Captain Coffey Co.
" H," Irish Brigade, and which the regiment garrisoned
until September 1, when it moved toward Clarksburg, —
menaced by the enemy at that time, — and, by rapid
movements, saved both that town and Parkersburg
from an attack. In October, an expedition under Lieu-
tenant Colonel Quirk, with Companies " A," " C " and
" D," of the 23d, a small cavalry force, and a section of
Rourke's Battery, was sent out to Greenland Gap, on the
Ridgeville road, to intercept a force of Stuart's cavalry,
which was advancing towards Petersburg with supplies
for the enemy. This force was reached when within
about five miles of Petersburg, and a charge made upon
the camp, which resulted in routing the squadron, with
a loss of three killed, sixteen taken prisoners, and a
large number of horses and cattle captured. On No-
vember 10, Mulligan was ordered to attack a rebel
force, which, under Imboden, was raiding the valley.
Companies " B," " D " and " K," of the " Brigade,"
under command of Major Moore, attacked the rebel
camp, on the south fork of the Potomac, that night,
capturing forty prisoners and a large quantity of army
supplies.

On the 26th of December, Colonel Mulligan having
been assigned to the command of a brigade, Lieuten-
ant-Colonel Quirk commanded the regiment, under
whom it moved, on January 3, 1863, to the relief of
Colonel Washburne, at Moorefield, Va.; arriving, after
a forced march of forty miles in nineteen hours, to find
that the rebels had fallen back, on hearing of the ap-
proach of reinforcements. The command returned to
"Camp Fuller," on New Creek, where, on April 3,
1863, it was assigned to the Fifth Brigade, Colonel Mul-
ligan commanding, First Division, Eighth Army Corps —
Lieutenant-Colonel James Quirk having command of
the regiment.

On the 25th of April, the command moved to Graf-
ton, and, on the same day, Co. " G," Captain Wallace,
stationed at Greenland Gap, was attacked by General
Jones, with some three thousand cavalry. Greenland
Gap is a pass through the Knobley Mountains, only
wide enough for the road and a small mountain stream.
Captain Wallace was left with a detachment of his own
company, and a few men of Co. " H," 13th Virginia
Infantry, under Captain Smith, to guard the western
entrance to the pass. Wallace occupied a wooden
church commanding the mouth of the gap, and Smith
a log house near by.

General Jones could not enter the pass without
dislodging them, and made three successive charges on
the little force, which maintained its position stoutly
for five hours. After dark, the rebels succeeded in
firing the church, and just as the roof was falling upon
him, Captain Wallace, ordering his men to throw their
arms into the burning building, surrendered his com-
mand. The prisoners were sent to Richmond, and
some months later were exchanged and re-joined their
regiment. The killed and wounded of the rebels in
this affair were more in number than the entire Union
force. Five out of the eight rebel officers engaged
were either killed or wounded.

The 23d Illinois was engaged in the battle with
Imboden's forces at Phillippi, April 26, and three days
later with the enemy under General Jones, at Fair-
mount.
 

The Gael

Private
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Thank very much for this great information, it allows me now to look deeper into the places the Brigade were present at,it is a very clear picture of Col.Mulligan, any ideas what the cross on his jacket is? im guessing it is some kind of a Papal award.
Thanks again and thanks for the Welcome.

Fág an Ballagh
David Coffey
I have never been able to learn what this "Maltese Cross" represents or why it was worn.
 

The Gael

Private
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Thanks for all you kind welcome I have found some new info
Came across this on the internet im just getting to grips with the Civil War, has anybody got anything on Fort Fuller,what was the bigger picture of Civil War was this part of?Where exactly was/is Fort Fuller?





Fort Fuller was constructed, by Captain Coffey Co.
" H," Irish Brigade, and which the regiment garrisoned
until September 1, when it moved toward Clarksburg, —
menaced by the enemy at that time, — and, by rapid
movements, saved both that town and Parkersburg
from an attack. In October, an expedition under Lieu-
tenant Colonel Quirk, with Companies " A," " C " and
" D," of the 23d, a small cavalry force, and a section of
Rourke's Battery, was sent out to Greenland Gap, on the
Ridgeville road, to intercept a force of Stuart's cavalry,
which was advancing towards Petersburg with supplies
for the enemy. This force was reached when within
about five miles of Petersburg, and a charge made upon
the camp, which resulted in routing the squadron, with
a loss of three killed, sixteen taken prisoners, and a
large number of horses and cattle captured. On No-
vember 10, Mulligan was ordered to attack a rebel
force, which, under Imboden, was raiding the valley.
Companies " B," " D " and " K," of the " Brigade,"
under command of Major Moore, attacked the rebel
camp, on the south fork of the Potomac, that night,
capturing forty prisoners and a large quantity of army
supplies.

On the 26th of December, Colonel Mulligan having
been assigned to the command of a brigade, Lieuten-
ant-Colonel Quirk commanded the regiment, under
whom it moved, on January 3, 1863, to the relief of
Colonel Washburne, at Moorefield, Va.; arriving, after
a forced march of forty miles in nineteen hours, to find
that the rebels had fallen back, on hearing of the ap-
proach of reinforcements. The command returned to
"Camp Fuller," on New Creek, where, on April 3,
1863, it was assigned to the Fifth Brigade, Colonel Mul-
ligan commanding, First Division, Eighth Army Corps —
Lieutenant-Colonel James Quirk having command of
the regiment.

On the 25th of April, the command moved to Graf-
ton, and, on the same day, Co. " G," Captain Wallace,
stationed at Greenland Gap, was attacked by General
Jones, with some three thousand cavalry. Greenland
Gap is a pass through the Knobley Mountains, only
wide enough for the road and a small mountain stream.
Captain Wallace was left with a detachment of his own
company, and a few men of Co. " H," 13th Virginia
Infantry, under Captain Smith, to guard the western
entrance to the pass. Wallace occupied a wooden
church commanding the mouth of the gap, and Smith
a log house near by.

General Jones could not enter the pass without
dislodging them, and made three successive charges on
the little force, which maintained its position stoutly
for five hours. After dark, the rebels succeeded in
firing the church, and just as the roof was falling upon
him, Captain Wallace, ordering his men to throw their
arms into the burning building, surrendered his com-
mand. The prisoners were sent to Richmond, and
some months later were exchanged and re-joined their
regiment. The killed and wounded of the rebels in
this affair were more in number than the entire Union
force. Five out of the eight rebel officers engaged
were either killed or wounded.

The 23d Illinois was engaged in the battle with
Imboden's forces at Phillippi, April 26, and three days
later with the enemy under General Jones, at Fair-
mount.
As to the location of Fort Fuller, I offer this from the West Virginia Encyclopedia:

Potomac State College of West Virginia University is located in Keyser, the county seat of Mineral County. The college was founded in 1901 when the West Virginia legislature created the Keyser Preparatory Branch of West Virginia University. Col. Thomas B. Davis, a local businessman, donated 17 acres of land for the school on Fort Hill, formerly the location of Fort Fuller. During the Civil War, this fort had played a critical role in maintaining Union control of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Today the site, on high ground overlooking the town, provides a beautiful location for the college.
 

hueltersis

Cadet
Joined
Oct 7, 2016
My third great grandfather Edward Higginson was under this unit Company A. I also have had a hard time finding much information on him and the unit itself. This has helped me a lot. I would love to find an image of him, but that has yet to come. Maybe someday....
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
A company from Detroit joined this regiment. There is a fair amount in letters and such from the Michigan company can be found in Michigan newspapers. I am interested mostly in uniforms so have not copied the various letters. I will share the uniform info from my data base.


The Jackson Guards a.k.a. Detroit Jackson Guards (Detroit, Wayne County) was formed in 1860 by a group of patriotic Irish-American citizens from Detroit. They had an image of their namesake, Andrew Jackson, on their flag. They decided that they would wear gray uniforms with buff facings and some appropriate color trim befitting their name [green?].https://civilwartalk.com/#_edn1 Captain Mark McGraw was the first commander. In 1860 they were known to carry Minnie rifles.

Soon after the start of the Civil War the company believed they were selected for inclusion in one of the state’s first two regiments. James McGrath came to their armory and measured the men for uniforms. The McGrath supplied uniforms mirrored those of the 1st Michigan Three Month Volunteer Infantry Regiment and 2nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment to include dark blue 9-button roundabouts and dark blue trousers and caps. They also received dark blue overcoats with capes.

They were disappointed when they were not accepted in either of the first two Michigan Regiments. They were also unable to secure a position in any of the other regiments forming in Michigan in early 1861, so they traveled to Chicago to join the Irish-American Regiment currently forming there. They became Company A of the 1st Illinois Infantry Regiment (Mulligan’s Irish Brigade a.k.a. 1st Irish Brigade a.k.a. Irish Brigade of the West). Just prior to departing from Detroit, Captain McGraw was preparing to issue new “suits of clothing”, but if these uniforms were of the same style as their original uniforms, copies of the 9-button roundabout uniforms or a new style is not known.[ii] At the time of their departure Michigan had stopped issuing the dark blue 9-button roundabouts and was issuing dark blue 5-button sack coats, so perhaps the company obtained these.

The Mulligan’s Irish Brigade a.k.a. 23rd Illinois Infantry Regiment issued different uniforms to different companies. Mulligan’s Irish Brigade was issued M1855 rifled muskets by Illinois. When the Jackson Guards departed Chicago for the seat of war as part of the 23rd Illinois, a local newspaper stated that the 23rd Illinois Infantry Regiment wore dirty worn-out ‘country suits’ [This might indicate that the Jackson Guards have never received new uniforms from Illinois prior to departing Chicago].

In July of 1861 The 23rd Illinois Infantry Regiment had received “dark blue jackets with green facing, dark blue kepis, grey shirts, and gray pants with green stripes”[iii] . The jacket had green trim around the collar, around the epaulettes and a green lower sleeve chevron. Rank was shown by green inverted chevrons that mirrored the standard federal style. The jacket appeared to have nine buttons.

“The men of the 23rd Illinois, Mulligan's Irish Brigade, procured green shirts while organizing at "Fontenoy Barracks”, an old brewery on Polk St. Chicago. They were uniformed in late June 1861.The uniform as proposed was a gray shirt and pantaloons trimmed with green cord, blue jacket with green collar and cuffs and blue army regulation cap. However, the uniform when delivered lacked the green stripe on the trousers and the green cuffs on the jacket. The caps arrived and were issued on July 1.” One Chicago newspaper indicated that the "Irish Brigade" left Chicago in "green shirts". Their newly issued uniforms they sold for liquor.

23rd Illinois Irish Brigade uniform

The Irish Brigade-- The Irish Regiment is now full. The number is 844. The contract for uniforms for one thousand men was let yesterday by the county War Committee....the fatigue dress is to be of a gray shirt, and gray pantaloons, trimmed with green cord; blue jacket with green facings and blue army regulation cap.

CHICAGO EVENING JOURNAL- JUNE 14TH, 1861.
THE IRISH BRIGADE UNIFORM-

The uniform of the Irish Brigade was delivered at the Barracks Saturday afternoon. They consist of gray pants, and a navy blue cloth jacket, with green collar and green stripes on the shoulders....the shoes furnished look to be good and serviceable, the socks are of wool and the best articles to be obtained.

REPUBLICAN AND TELEGRAPH--JULY 11, 1861. [DIXON, ILLINOIS].

They also received Army Regulation blankets-- Fred Todd has them issued 1855 rifled muskets--1,000.

The uniform of the Irish Brigade was delivered at the Barracks Saturday afternoon. They consist of gray pants, and a navy blue cloth jacket, with green collar and green stripes on the shoulders....the shoes furnished look to be good and serviceable, the socks are of wool and the best articles to be obtained.

Most of the 23rd Illinois was captured on September 20 1861. After being paroled in early 1862 the reorganized 23rd received Illinois issued fatigue dress, which included nine-button dark blue jackets, sky blue trousers and dark-blue kepis. In June of 1862 the regiment began to replace the Illinois uniforms with uniforms from the federal government.

This company should not be confused with the Jackson Guards which was on the 1845 Michigan Uniformed Militia rolls. Also it should not be confused with the guards at Jackson Prison who were sometimes referred to as the Jackson Guards. These prison guards received old militia weapons.


https://civilwartalk.com/#_ednref1 Military Movement, Detroit Free Press, August 22 1860, p. 1, col. 2.

[ii] “Jackson Guard,” Detroit Daily Tribune, December 31 1861, p. 1, col. 6.

[iii] Rodgers, Thomas G., Irish-American Units in the Civil War, Osprey Pub. Ltd., Oxford, England, 2008, p.

7.
 

SJU5

Private
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
My third great grandfather Edward Higginson was under this unit Company A. I also have had a hard time finding much information on him and the unit itself. This has helped me a lot. I would love to find an image of him, but that has yet to come. Maybe someday....
 

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Katsch

Cadet
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
I am just new to the site and I am trying to get some information on the 23rd Illinois Brigade.I know very little about the Civil War, but I have just got interested when I discovered a relative was Captain of H Company the Ottawa Guards. I have googled the regiment and I have looked on the fold3 site but the is very little information about his Company or himself. I was wondering if there was a book on the Regiment. There is some details on the engagements of the other companies but H Company I cant find out anything.

My relatives name was Captain Charles Coffey[sometimes shown as Coffee}.I know he took part in the Mexican War [Sappers or Engineers Corps}and was involved at the Siege of Lexington in the Civil War. I found out he is buried in Butler County Iowa and he had a brother called Peter Coffey who served in the US Navy in the Civil War on board a ship called "The Dawn". Peter was from St Louis Missouri. They were both born in Ireland.
If there is anyone researching the 23rd Illinois I would love to know where they were especially H Company or if there is any records on Captain Charles Coffey/Coffee I would like to know any information. I am in Ireland
What I know!
Captain Charles Coffey was born Dublin Ireland in 1821,he emigrated to New York in 1842 and studied Engineering in West Point. He took part in the Mexican War and was in the Sappers Corps. When the Civil War started he raised H Company the Ottawa Guards in the 23rd Illinois Infantry. He supervised the defenses at the Siege of Lexington.He served from 15/6/1861 until 1864 when his term expired.
He had a brother Peter Coffey who served on the Ship The Dawn during the Civil War, Peter was also born in Dublin Ireland. He had also a sister called Mary Ann Coffey she married a Mr. Joseph Etherington in La Salle Illinois. She later moved to Butler Iowa where Captain Coffey had a farm.
Captain Charles Coffey died while building a Church in Butler he was transporting lumber on a wagon when the horses got fright and bolted, the wagon hit a tree stump and overturned and killed Captain Coffey. He died in 1871 and is buried in Coldwater Cemetery Butler County Iowa.
I'm also related to an officer in the 23rd Illinois Brigade - Capt. James Fitzgerald of Co. I (Shield Guards) is my connection. Capt Fitzgerald was born in Co. Limerick, Ireland.
I would recommend reading "Shades of Green: Irish Regiments, American Soldiers and Local Communities in the Civil War Era" by Ryan Keating. That book focuses on the Irish ethnic units from Chicago, Wisconsin and Connecticut. I'm in the middle of reading it myself and am excited to find this resource. I see Keating actually mentions your relation on the chapter re: Mulligan's Brigade..."...Although the company eventually filled their ranks with men from Chicago, Detroit, and Milwaukee, Ottawa residents Charles Coffee, Thomas Hickey, and James Hume retained command of the unit."...and he also quotes a letter that Charles Coffee wrote home..."Hearing of these efforts, Charles Coffee wrote home that 'the Havelocks which you propose to send us will be a welcome gift our company now numbers ninety men, out of which sixty four are from LaSalle County." Furthermore he noted, 'the ladies of Chicago are now preparing the same article for all the Companys of the Brigade that were organized in this City - and I do assure you sir, and through you the Ladies of Ottowa, that it is with no small pride that we know that the 'Ottawa City Guards' are not forgotten by the fair daughters of the City from which we proudly take our name.'"
I live in Iowa. If you'd like me to go to Butler County to see if I can find Charles Coffee's gravestone, I'd be happy to do that for you.
 

coffey2016

Cadet
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Location
Dublin Ireland
Hello Katsch,
Thanks for your message good you hear from you. I have only being on the site a few times as I only started to research like yourself. I came across the name Fitzgerald several times when looking up my own relative.
Most of my information came from good old Google. The best source I came upon was

https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/
The digital newspaper section I searched under Capt Coffey,Mulligan 23rd illinois,Irish Brigade Siege of Lexington.I looked under Illinois on the drop down menu and set the years from 1860 to 1865. It turned up a lot, Your relative was mentioned at a meeting that was held. I must get a look at the book you mention,I got one on the Seige of Lexington. Thanks fo offering to check out the head stone I managed to get a photo on find a grave.com. if you send me your email address I can send you son stuff I came across.
My email is [email protected] take it your relative was born here in Ireland?

David

https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/
20210112_083510.jpg
 

StraboSE

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Apr 10, 2021
Location
Washington, D.C.
I am a fellow descendant of this unit, from Lt. Lane of Company K. I am especially interested in their service after Camp Douglas but before the Valley Campaign of 1864. I do not know that much about the guerilla warfare in WV and I am curious about their role against guerillas. What exactly did that entail? Where they often engaged in actual fighting or was there presence more of a deterrent? Also their official history lists many "reliefs", again were these active battles or merely the unit arriving in a town during or immediately after a battle to reinforce it? Finally, where would I look, book wise, to learn about Camp Douglas as well as the battles they engaged in post Lexington?
 

StraboSE

Cadet
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Location
Washington, D.C.
Also, (sorry to double post) I know that the sister of Lt. Lane, my ancestor in the unit, married their Adjutant Colonel, James Cosgrove (hence him laying in our family plot in Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Chicago). I have also come across a muster out record of the unit that seems to say that after the 23rd mustered out, he transferred into the 40th(?) USCT as a white officer in the late summer or fall of 1865. Seeing as this is after the traditional end date of the war, I am having trouble discovering any information on his time with them. Sadly, I have also lost track of the scanned source of this record. Living in DC I visited the African American Civil War Memorial to try to find a lead, but unlike the other white officers, he was not in their records, again due to his late transfer date. Any information on Col. Cosgrove and his time with the USCT would be greatly appreciated.
 

lupaglupa

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Location
Upstate New York
Also, (sorry to double post) I know that the sister of Lt. Lane, my ancestor in the unit, married their Adjutant Colonel, James Cosgrove (hence him laying in our family plot in Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Chicago). I have also come across a muster out record of the unit that seems to say that after the 23rd mustered out, he transferred into the 40th(?) USCT as a white officer in the late summer or fall of 1865. Seeing as this is after the traditional end date of the war, I am having trouble discovering any information on his time with them. Sadly, I have also lost track of the scanned source of this record. Living in DC I visited the African American Civil War Memorial to try to find a lead, but unlike the other white officers, he was not in their records, again due to his late transfer date. Any information on Col. Cosgrove and his time with the USCT would be greatly appreciated.
@StraboSE I'm sorry for the slow reply. I was away and couldn't answer.

Cosgrove is an interesting guy! I'm attaching the records of his time with the 40th, which shows where they were somewhat. It mentions that he was assigned to "special duty" but doesn't say what that was. The National Archives showed some records from the 40th in their collection but they are not digitized. Everything that I could find about the 40th said they spent nearly all their time guarding railroads.
 

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Katsch

Cadet
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Also, (sorry to double post) I know that the sister of Lt. Lane, my ancestor in the unit, married their Adjutant Colonel, James Cosgrove (hence him laying in our family plot in Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Chicago). I have also come across a muster out record of the unit that seems to say that after the 23rd mustered out, he transferred into the 40th(?) USCT as a white officer in the late summer or fall of 1865. Seeing as this is after the traditional end date of the war, I am having trouble discovering any information on his time with them. Sadly, I have also lost track of the scanned source of this record. Living in DC I visited the African American Civil War Memorial to try to find a lead, but unlike the other white officers, he was not in their records, again due to his late transfer date. Any information on Col. Cosgrove and his time with the USCT would be greatly appreciated.
I apologize for not replying sooner - but it's very exciting to learn of another descendant of one of Mulligan's officers! Who is your ancestor? You say "Lt. Lane", but what was his full name? I was just at Calvary Cemetery in Chicago last week, researching my ancestor, Captain James J. Fitzgerald. He is buried with some people by the last name of Lane, but I don't know why. Have you ordered Lt. Lane's military records from the US archives?
 

StraboSE

Cadet
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Location
Washington, D.C.
I apologize for not replying sooner - but it's very exciting to learn of another descendant of one of Mulligan's officers! Who is your ancestor? You say "Lt. Lane", but what was his full name? I was just at Calvary Cemetery in Chicago last week, researching my ancestor, Captain James J. Fitzgerald. He is buried with some people by the last name of Lane, but I don't know why. Have you ordered Lt. Lane's military records from the US archives?
Lt. James H Lane
 

StraboSE

Cadet
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Location
Washington, D.C.
@StraboSE I'm sorry for the slow reply. I was away and couldn't answer.

Cosgrove is an interesting guy! I'm attaching the records of his time with the 40th, which shows where they were somewhat. It mentions that he was assigned to "special duty" but doesn't say what that was. The National Archives showed some records from the 40th in their collection but they are not digitized. Everything that I could find about the 40th said they spent nearly all their time guarding railroads.
Luckily I am a short metro trip from the Archives here in DC, so if you give me the lead I can report back to you soon.
 

Katsch

Cadet
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Lt. James H Lane
Are you sure it was Cosgrove that the Lane sister married, and not my James J. Fitzgerald? Here is his internment card from Calvary Cemetery...and he is buried in an unmarked grave with a James Lane and family. I have quit a bit of information about James Fitzgerald, but only recently discovered that he may have been married due to a pension file on record...but I don't know who his wife was. I have a request in with Gopher Records to get Fitzgerald's pension records for me (hoping that will be faster than waiting in line for the Archives backlog to get cleared)...but of course, the archives are closed to everyone right now. A lot of questions may be answered once I get those pension & medical records?

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