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This biography is from HEROES OF ALBANY, by Rufus W. Clark, D. D.

Capt. John Sullivan

This brave young man was born in the town of Belturbet, county Cavan, Ireland, in the year 1837, and was the son of Ann and Francis Sullivan, who are still living in Ireland. The father of John was a small farmer, and possessed of too limited means to be able to do more for his children than give them a good common education, and then leave them to seek their fortunes as best they could.

At the age of nineteen, John emigrated to America, and came at once to Albany, N. Y., and entered the employ of Mr. Michael Crummey, his brother-in-law, as a baker.

Soon after he came to Albany he joined the Albany Montgomery Guards. He took great interest in the improvement of the company in discipline and efficiency, and became an excellent soldier himself. On the breaking out of the rebellion, this company being attached to the Twenty-fifth Regiment New York Militia, he was ordered with that regiment to the defence of the National Capital, and on the 22d of April, 1861, he left Albany with his company, as Orderly Sergeant, and served three months, when he was mustered out, the term of service of the regiment having expired.

In September, 1861, he joined the Sixty-third Regiment New York Volunteers, and was, upon the organization of that regiment, appointed First Lieutenant of Company K. He was at once ordered to Virginia, where his command was assigned to Gen. Meagher's Irish Brigade. He passed through the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, in 1862, in Virginia, being engaged in most of the battles fought under Gen. McClellan, from Yorktown to Richmond. At the battle of Antietnm he was in command of his company, and fought with great gallantry, losing more than half of his men, killed and wounded, and all the officers of his company.

He was soon after promoted to the position of Captain, and next fought at the battle of Fredericksburg, where, on the 19th of December, 1862, he fell mortally wounded, just as the fight was closing. He died on the 21st of December. His remains were brought to Albany, where he was buried with military honors.

In his native land, and during his residence in Albany, Capt. Sullivan bore an irreproachable character, and was greatly esteemed by his associates, and respected by all who knew him. He was a sincere and devoted Christian, and received, at his death, the consolations of the faith of his fathers.

His love and affection for his parents were conspicuous even in his last moments, when he rememered them with words of tenderness in his dying prayer.

Such is the brief history of one of our adopted citizens, who laid down his life to preserve and perpetuate the American Republic. All honor to his memory!

The following account of this gallant officer appeared at the time in one of our papers:

"The circumstances attending the death of this gallant and much regretted officer are peculiarly afflicting. He had escaped without a scratch the bloody field of Antietam, and in the terrible slaughter before the enemy's works back of Fredericksburg, he also escaped uninjured; but while marching at the head of the remnant of his regiment, in the afternoon of this fatal day, it was ordained that he should fall. He was struck on the upper part of the right thigh, by a round shot (twelve-pounder), shockingly fracturing the bone, rendering amputation impossible. He was told by the attending surgeon that he must die; that if the limb was disjointed at the hip, he could not survive the operation. He received the solemn announcement with the courage and firmness for which he was distinguished in the fearful ordeals he had passed through, and declared he would not consent to lose the limb, but "would prefer to die with both legs on." He lived about fifty hours after receiving his wound, when his gallant spirit forsook its frail tenement, and sped its way to brighter realms. No officer in the Irish Brigade was more sincerely loved or respected than Capt. John Sullivan. By his cheerful and unassuming manners he endeared himself to all, and in the Sixty-third Regiment his loss is deeply and sincerely deplored. His body was embalmed, and his friends telegraphed to of the melancholy event. His relative, Mr. Michael Crummey, immediately proceeded to the camp, near Falmouth, to perform the melancholy duty of taking it home. The respect he was held in by the brigade was evinced by their spontaneous turn out at his funeral. The remnant of the officers and men of the Sixty-ninth, Eighty-eigth, Twenty-eighth Massachusetts, One Hundred and Sixteenth Pennsylvania and Sixty-third, formed the escort from the camp to the cars. The following officers acted as pall-bearers: Capt. Saunders, commanding Sixty-ninth, and Quartermaster Sullivan, same regiment; Capt. McNamara, commanding One Hundred and Sixteenth; Capt. Smith, commanding Eighty-eighth, and Capts. Cartwright and Gleeson, of the Sixty-third. Lieut. Col. Cartwright, and officers of the Twenty-sixth Massachusetts, were among the others of the brigade who followed in the sad cortege, testifying by their presence their admiration of the gallant dead, and sympathy with their brothers of the Sixty-third, in the loss of a true and brave soldier."

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