This story starts with James and Hannah McLaughlin of Donegal Ireland. They had at least eight children in Ireland before deciding their future would be better spent and longer lived in America.
Donegal is the second largest province in Ulster and the fourth largest in all of Ireland. It is a pretty area that lies in the north of the country and boarders the Northern counties of Londonderry, Tyrone and Fermanagh. It is a mountainous area with two low mountain ranges; the Derryveagh mountains in the north and the Bluestick mountains in the south. Farming of one type or another was the most common means of employment. Many of the Irish people lived on landlord held estates and farmed for a portion of the crop. In 1841, prior to the Irish potatoe famine, Donegal had a population of 296,000 people. Donegal was one of the worst effected by the potato famine. by 1851 the population, from death or emigration, was reduced to 255,000, a reduction of 41,000 people. by 1861 that number fell to 237000, the loss of yet another 18000 people.The McLaughlin's were among those that chose to emigrate.
The following photos come compliments of Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/County_Donegal:
In 1860 William's farm was valued at $840. He was the functioning head of the household with a personal property value of $525. There were two houses on the farm land, William, Mother Hannah and sister Elizabeth lived in the main house. Siblings ; James, Hannah ( Honorah), Ellen, Charles and Anna, and Hannah's two children Charles and James McCarty, and Mary's daughter, Hannah McGinley, lived in the house down the road.
Hannah passed away in 1861. She and James were both laid to rest in Saint Mary's Cemetery in Corning, Steuben NY.
Charles McLaughlin, born in Donegal Ireland in 1838 was a strapping 22 year old when the American Civil war started. He and his family had left their homeland behind with to get away from the ravages of war. When war broke out in America he saw his chance to gain citizenship and fight for his right to remain free and to build a better life in the US. Perhaps he felt a kinship with the struggles of the black man, perhaps not. Perhaps he was grieving over the recent death of his mother and the loss of his father. The only thing certain is that on September 5,1861 young Charles McLaughlin went down to Havana ( Montour Falls) Schuyler county and enlisted in the civil war. He was officially mustered into the 89th Infantry, Company A on September 21,1861.
The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
The Hon. J. S. Dickinson received authority, August 29, 1861, to recruit a regiment of infantry; this regiment was organized, under Col. Harrison S. Fairchild and Lieut-Col. J. C. Robie, at Elmira November 26, 1861, and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years December 4, 5 and 6, 1861. At the expiration of its term of enlistment those entitled thereto were mustered out, and the regiment retained in service.
The companies were recruited principally: A at Havana; B and H at Binghamton; C at Mount Morris; D at Rochester; E at Norwich and Oxford; F at Whitney's Point; G at Windsor; I at Delhi; and K at Corbettsville.
The regiment left the State December 6, 1861; served in the Provisional Brigade, Casey's Division, Army of the Potomac, from December, 1861; with General Burnside's Expeditionary Corps in North Carolina from January, 1862; in 4th Brigade, at Roanoke, N. C., from May, 1862; in 1st Brigade, 3d Division, 9th Corps, from July, 1862; in Suffolk, Department of Virginia, from April, 1863; in Alford's Brigade, Getty's Division, 7th Corps, Department of Virginia, from May, 1863; in same brigade, 2d Division, 18th Corps, in North Carolina, from July, 1863.; in same brigade, Vogdes' Division, 10th Corps, on Folly and Little Folly Islands, S. C., from October, 1863; in 1st Brigade, 2d Division, 10th Corps, Army of the James, from April, 1864; in the 1st Brigade, 2d Division, 18th Corps, from May 30, 1864; in the 3d Brigade, 2d Division, 18th Corps, from: June 24, 1864; in the 4th Brigade, 1st Division, 24th Corps, from December, 1864; in the 3d Brigade, 1st Division, 24th Corps, from May, 1865; in the 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 24th Corps, from June, 1865; and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, August 3, 1865, commanded by Capt. Henry H. Epps, at Richmond, Va.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 4 officers, 49 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 2 officers, 52 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 1 officer, 158 enlisted men; total, 7 officers, 259 enlisted men; aggregate, 266; of whom 13 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.
The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II. http://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/89thInf/89thInfMain.htm
Eighty-ninth Infantry.—Col., Harrison S. Fairchild; Lieut.-Cpls., Jacob C. Robie, Nathan Coryell, Theophilus L. England, Wellington M. Lewis, Henry C. Roome; Majs., Daniel T. Everts, Wellington M. Lewis, Henry C. Roome, Frank ; W. Tremain, Jeremiah Remington. The 89th, called the Dickinson Guard, and composed of companies from Havana, Binghamton, Mount Morris, Rochester, Norwich, Oxford, Whitney's Point, Delhi and Corbettsville, was mustered into the U. S. service at Elmira, Dec. 4 to 6, 1861, for three years. It left the state for Washington, Dec. 6, was stationed for a few weeks in the defenses of the capital in the provisional brigade, Casey's division, and in Jan., 1862, became a part of Burnside's expeditionary corps, with which it embarked for Roan-oke, N. C. In July, 1862, the regiment returned from Roanoke and with the 1st brigade, 3d division, 9th corps, participated in the Maryland campaign. It was active at South mountain, and at An-tietam lost 103 in killed, wounded and missing. It participated in the battle of Fredericksburg, went into winter quarters near Fal-mouth, and in April, 1863, was transferred to the Department of Virginia at Suffolk, where it was attached in May, to Alford's brigade, Getty's division, 7th corps. It was active during the siege of Suffolk and remained in that vicinity until July, when it was transferred to the 18th corps, proceeded to North Carolina, where it was assigned to the l0th corps and stationed at Folly island, S. C. The regiment was present at the siege of Fort Wagner and the following operations in Charleston harbor and returned to Virginia early in 1864. A large number of the men reenlisted and the veteran regiment became a part of the l0th corps, which was present . during May, 1864, at Swift creek, Proctor's creek, Drewry's bluff and Bermuda Hundred. At the end of that month the 89th was assigned to the 1st brigade, 2nd division, 18th corps and served in that corps until December. It lost heavily in the opening assault on Petersburg, where Lieut.-Col. England was killed, and also lost 139 in killed, wounded and missing at Fair Oaks in October. In December, the command was transferred to the 2nd division, 24th corps, with which it remained until the end of the war, sharing in the final assault on Petersburg and the pursuit of Lee's army to Appomattox. Maj. Tremain was mortally wounded April 2, 1865, in the assault on Petersburg. The 89th was mustered put at Richmond, Aug. 3, 1865, having lost during its term of service, 107 by death from wounds and 159 from other causes.
(a poem published
Correspondence of the Delaware Express.]
Camp of the 89th N. Y)
"Tread lightly, tread lightly, disturb not his sleep,
From his pains he's released, tho' friends o'er him weep;
Speak softly, speak softly, for he whom we love
Has gone to the regions of glory above."
Companion, beloved thy memory shall twine
As close round our heart, as some evergreen vine;
For sweetly and gently, thou sank to thy rest,
A spirit by Deity called to the blest."
Charles Thomas McLaughlin died July 4,1863 in Virginia following the siege of Suffolk. Charles drown in the James river while leaving the battle field after the battle. He had served his adopted country well and proudly. He never rose above the rank of private but was honored in death by his country. A marker for Charles was placed in Virginia at the Hampton National Cemetery grave 64. Charles body was returned home and laid to rest in St. Mary's cemetery in Corning , Steuben NY, along side his parents.
Tomorrow we take a look at Charles siblings to see what life had in store for the rest of the McLaughlin children.