Mulligan's Brigade Officers photo

Katsch

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Joined
Jan 12, 2018
I'm hoping that this group an help me match names with faces in this photo. I believe the original photo is at the Chicago History Museum. Their archive notes describe it as: "Photographic print collage consisting of portraits of Colonel James A. Mulligan and other officers of the 23rd Illinois Infantry Regiment, known as the Irish Brigade, in uniform during the Civil War, including Capt. David Moriarty, Adj. Jas. F. Cosgrove, Lieut. Allen, Capt. Michael Gleason, Dr. William D. Winer (surgeon), Dr. Thaddeus J. Butler, Lieut. Fitzgerald, Maj. Chas. C. Moore, and Liet. Col. James Quirk." The notes go on to say that, although there were two officers by the name of Fitzgerald, "This portrait is probably Capt. James Fitzgerald."

I'm particularly interested in knowing which one is likely Capt (or Lieut) Fitzgerald, as I would be a great-great-great niece of his, and I've never seen a photo of him before. Is there a way to sort it out based on uniform style - or are there good databases to help with identification? I believe Col Mulligan is front-center...and perhaps Lt. Col Quirk is in the back at Mulligan's right shoulder. I believe Fitzgerald would have been about 23-25 years old at the time of this photo.
I've sent an e-mail to the Chicago History Museum archive, but haven't heard back yet. Thank you so much for any help!

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steamboater

Private
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
, iMy first time seeing Mulligan in uniform!
Some years back Military Images Magazine published a pic of him wearing a 4 button frock with a 10 button overcoat. MI November-December 1990: volume XII, Number 3. Very unruly hair!

MI also published the above officer's photo (reversed) as an example of a rare backdrop; he double photoed the backdrop to accommodate the large collage. Why is Mulligan wearing a zouave jacket in the pic? MI May-June 1991: volume XII, number 6
 

Katsch

Cadet
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Thank you everyone for your replies. What a great group! I just sent a message to the Illinois State Military Museum in hopes that they have some photos to cross-reference with this one. I'm guessing James Fitzgerald will be the tall fellow with the mustache in the back right with the single row of buttons? I am absolutely enthralled with his story. I ordered his military records from the National Archives and abstracted a timeline of his service. James Fitzgerald mustered out shortly after Mulligan was killed, apparently became an enthusiastic member of the Fenian Brotherhood (The Shields Guards were a hotbed of Fenian loyalties - so likely he was involved before/during/after the Civil War), and then he died in November 1869...apparently with no wife or children. He's buried in an unmarked grave in Calvary Cemetery - same location as Mulligan. I think it's a great shame that he has no marker, and no Civil War Veteran recognition. Hopefully someday I can correct that.
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steamboater

Private
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Thank you everyone for your replies. What a great group! I just sent a message to the Illinois State Military Museum in hopes that they have some photos to cross-reference with this one. I'm guessing James Fitzgerald will be the tall fellow with the mustache in the back right with the single row of buttons? I am absolutely enthralled with his story. I ordered his military records from the National Archives and abstracted a timeline of his service. James Fitzgerald mustered out shortly after Mulligan was killed, apparently became an enthusiastic member of the Fenian Brotherhood (The Shields Guards were a hotbed of Fenian loyalties - so likely he was involved before/during/after the Civil War), and then he died in November 1869...apparently with no wife or children. He's buried in an unmarked grave in Calvary Cemetery - same location as Mulligan. I think it's a great shame that he has no marker, and no Civil War Veteran recognition. Hopefully someday I can correct that. View attachment 386902
 

steamboater

Private
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Two bits of info that may help in your search. While the archive notes state "Lt. Fitzgerald". the record of Illinois: Roster of Officers and Enlisted men state he initially enlisted as a Captain, and shows no record of him serving at another rank. source www.civilwardata.com

Surprisingly, there were 12 "Fitzgerald" in the 23rd, and several James. The only other Fitz who may have been an officer is Maurice, who enlisted as a private on 4-21-1861. He was promoted to 2nd Louie on 7-9-1862, then further promoted to 1st Louie on 9-2-1862. He resigned on 3-6-1863. Civilwardata does not list him as receiving commissions, possibly an oversight by them.

It would be helpful to know when the last portrait in the oval collage was taken. If before 7-9-1862, or after 3-6-1863, then Maurice could be eliminated from the pic, leaving only your James.

Good Luck!
 

Lusty Murfax

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Location
Northwest Missouri
I first encountered Mulligan while visiting Lexington, Mo., and the Battle of the Hemp Bales. It is the first time I have seen a picture of him in uniform, otherwise he was always in civilian dress.
When the 23rd Ill. arrived at Lexington one of their first official acts was to rob the Bank of Lexington of about $900,000 held in local depositor's accounts. After Mulligan surrendered and his men were disarmed by the MSG, Gen. Price ordered the recovered funds be returned to the bank. However, the Illinois regiment came up about $30,000 short. TTBOMK, the shortfall was never resolved.
 

James N.

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Mulligan.jpg


Mulligan's usual portrait - does anyone know what the unusual and gaudy medal is?? Strictly guessing, I'd suppose it to have some sort of Fenian connection.
 

Katsch

Cadet
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
M in
What I want to know is - why did they call him Saxie?
I'd like to know the same thing! Fitzgerald seemed to be fairly close with Mulligan. I'd like to know more about their relationship. I believe they were both deeply involved with the Fenian Brotherhood...so it may go back to that. Maybe someday I can read Mulligan's diary and get a clue to that question :smile:.
I found this citation in a graduate thesis paper that makes me curious to know more...
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Katsch

Cadet
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
As his passing on was at 31 years of age, do you know the cause of death?
Thanks,
Lubliner.
I don’t know. I haven’t found anything to indicate what happened to cause James’ death or explain why he was buried in an unmarked grave with people I think were strangers.
I wish I had more knowledge of researching these things...but I just dabble, talk to people who know more than I do, and every once in a while we find treasures.
The thing is...seems like each step forward brings new questions...like how/why did he die, why did they call him Saxie, why did he not receive a pension, was he appointed or elected as an officer by his men, why would they threaten him with a dishonorable discharge after he had dutifully completed his contracted term of service...and from all accounts, served that time with distinction?
Further questions I also really want to know...what was his hometown in Ireland, who was his mother and did she perish in the famine, how deeply involved was James with the Fenian Brotherhood and what motivated him to join their cause?
I’ve enjoyed getting to know bits and pieces of James Fitzgerald’s life...and I can’t help but sit in awe and admiration for the courage and strength he must have had to press ahead and strive for justice in a world that offered him no end of challenges.
 

lupaglupa

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
I don’t know. I haven’t found anything to indicate what happened to cause James’ death or explain why he was buried in an unmarked grave with people I think were strangers.
I wish I had more knowledge of researching these things...but I just dabble, talk to people who know more than I do, and every once in a while we find treasures.
The thing is...seems like each step forward brings new questions...like how/why did he die, why did they call him Saxie, why did he not receive a pension, was he appointed or elected as an officer by his men, why would they threaten him with a dishonorable discharge after he had dutifully completed his contracted term of service...and from all accounts, served that time with distinction?
Further questions I also really want to know...what was his hometown in Ireland, who was his mother and did she perish in the famine, how deeply involved was James with the Fenian Brotherhood and what motivated him to join their cause?
I’ve enjoyed getting to know bits and pieces of James Fitzgerald’s life...and I can’t help but sit in awe and admiration for the courage and strength he must have had to press ahead and strive for justice in a world that offered him no end of challenges.
Please don't think your method of research is wrong or that experts do it differently - we all sift through tons of false info before we find something good and we all rely on advice and help of other people. Every great fact I've found came after hours of painful time spent finding nothing.

One place that might help - and I apologize if this is something you've already explored and exhausted: newspapers. You can find great stuff in old papers. Some are online and searchable, a lot are on microfilm at a state library or archive. Some local history centers and historical societies have albums of them - a local person cut out obituaries or similar. It's a slow process to read old papers but they have great, hidden stuff in them. When I'm reading without a search function. I try to focus on known dates - obituaries are terrific sources and I try and get the central person and all their immediate family. The three online sources I like best are:

Library of Congress Chronicling America - https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/

Fulton Postcards - https://fultonhistory.com/

Newspapers - https://www.newspapers.com/
 
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