There is no doubt Pat brought problems of his own perhaps from his family of origin, but his CW experience was very destructive. He came home with rheumatism, habitual diarrhea, kidney sclerosis, and chronic fatigue. He was unable to work in a consistent fashion doing the only work he knew how to do, unskilled heavy labor, 66 hours a week. He abused alcohol, ruined his marriage, and the lives of his children.
Bill, who is Pat? I seem to be missing something here.
Pat Donohue was my great grandfather who served in the Civil War with his brother, John. Pat is the protagonist of my book. Cf.www.billdonohue.ws.
General Michael Corcoran organized Corcoran's Irish Legion from New York State Irish. He had been captured at the First Battle of Bull Run and remained in jail for 13 months rather than sign a parole and agree never to fight against the Confederacy again. Corcoran was appointed brigadier general retroactive to July 21, 1861 and began cutting deals with his future colonels, one of whom was John E. McMahon. McMahon raised a regiment in Buffalo designated as the Third Regiment of the Corcoran Legion. In early October 1862 Corcoran was assigned to Major General John A. Dix's VII Corps and ordered to move his brigade to Newport News, VA. On Nov. 8 as the five Corcoran regiments were en route, NY State military headquarters ordered Corcoran to reorganize into regiments of appropriate size, McMahon was made commander of the 164th Regiment NYV. William McEvily became commander of the 155th. Both regiments were composed of men from Buffalo, Rochester, Potsdam, and Lockport, as well as NYC. A riot ensued as soon as the men were notified. There was little love lost between the Irish of Upstate and those from NYC. James K. McMahon, age 26, was mustered in Nov. 7, 1861 as the captain of K Company, 69th Regiment. On Oct. 21, 1862, James was promoted to Lt. Colonel of the 164th and provost marshall of the Corcoran Brigade. He would replace his brother, John, as commander of the 164th when he died in Buffalo in March 1863. James would die heroically leading a charge of the 164th at Coid Harbor on June 3, 1864.
What happened to John, Bill. Fascinating history here -- might you flesh it out via a blog post on WG? Any photos available of your ggrandfather and great uncle?