Summary

Conflict Period:
Civil War (Union) 1
Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Colonel 2
Birth:
25 Mar 1837 2
County Cavan, Ireland 2
Death:
02 Jul 1863 2
Battle of Gettysburg 2
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Patrick Henry O'Rorke 2
Full Name:
Patrick H O'Rorke 1
Also known as:
Paddy O'Rorke 2
Birth:
25 Mar 1837 2
County Cavan, Ireland 2
Death:
02 Jul 1863 2
Battle of Gettysburg 2
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Civil War (Union) 1

Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Colonel 2
Discharge Rank:
Colonel 1
Enlistment Rank:
Colonel 1
Military Unit:
140th Infantry 1
State:
New York 1

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Sources

  1. Civil War Service Index - Union - New York [See image]
  2. Contributed by bruceyrock632
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Stories

Patrick O'Rorke March 28, 1836 - July 2, 1863 "I have been trying to make my men believe that there is no reason why they should not be at least equal, if not superior to the regular troops"

Natives of County Cavan, Ireland, the O'Rorke family emigrated to Rochester, New York when Patrick was between the ages of two and four. After completing an education in the city's public schools, he was appointed to the US Military Academy at West Point, from which he graduated first in his class (Second Class of 1861) and subsequently accepted a commission in the Engineers.

O'Rorke was assigned to duty on the staff of Brigadier General Daniel Tyler. He saw action at the First Battle of Bull Run where a horse was killed under him and a bullet passed through his coat. Following Bull Run, O'Rorke took up engineering duties in the defenses of Washington. During the Fall of 1861, O'Rorke found himself assigned to the engineering staff of the Port Royal Expedition. In March of 1862, he was breveted to Captain. In September of the same year, bored with the slow paced duties of an engineering officer, he accepted command of the 140th New York Volunteer Infantry. Patrick O'Rorke was 26 years old.

At Gettysburg, O'Rorke sacrificed himself and his men to save the Union right on Little Round Top. Summoned to Little Round Top by Gouverneur K. Warren and seeing that the 4th and 5th Texas were breaking through the right flank of the 16th Michigan, O'Rorke threw his men into the breech. O'Rorke was killed in one of the first volleys. A bullet cut through his neck, ending a promising carrer; but, the men he had trained were able to secure the flank and very possibly the battle.

For further information see also The Supreme Event in its Existence, The 140th New York on Little Round Top and Addendum. Also, The Beau Ideal of a Soldier and a Gentleman: The Life of Col. Patrick Henry O'Rorke From Ireland to Gettysburg. All written by Brian A. Bennett.

140th New York Monument

From the front of the monument:

 

Fraternity

 

Col. Pat'k H. O'Rorke
Killed July 2, 1863

 

From the left (north) side:

Valor

 

140th 
N.Y. Infty. 
3rd Brigade
2nd Division
5th Corps 
July 2 & 3, 1863

 

From the right (south) side:

Duty

 

Number engaged 
526
----
Casualties
26 killed
89 wounded
18 missing

 

From the rear:

Patriotism

 

July 2nd and 3rd
1863

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