Posts tagged ‘General Michael Lawler’

November 16,

Today in Irish History: 61 Year Old Olympian Jerry Millner, Death of Siobhan McKenna

TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by For the Love of Being Irish)

1814: Michael Kelly Lawler  who served as a Brigadier General in the Union army in the civil war was born in County Kildare. He also fought in the Mexican War of 1846-1848 when he quite possibly fought against some fellow Irishmen the famous San Patricios, the Saint Patrick’s Battalion who fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American War.

Michael Lawler Union General

Michael Lawler Union General

In his memoirs, Ulysses S. Grants writes of Lawler’s bravery during the Vicksburg campaign and specifically at Big Black. “(A)n officer from Banks’ staff came up and presented me with a letter from General Halleck, dated the 11th of May. It had been sent by the way of New Orleans to Banks to be forwarded to me. It ordered me to return to Grand Gulf and to co-operate from there with Banks against Port Hudson, and then to return with our combined forces to besiege Vicksburg. I told the officer that the order came too late, and that Halleck would not give it now if he knew our position. The bearer of the dispatch insisted that I ought to obey the order, and was giving arguments to support his position when I heard great cheering to the right of our line and, looking in that direction, saw Lawler in his shirt sleeves leading a charge upon the enemy. I immediately mounted my horse and rode in the direction of the charge, and saw no more of the officer who delivered the dispatch; I think not even to this day.”

1931: Death of Olympic gold medalist Joshua (Jerry) Millner. Millner was born in Dublin in 1847 and represented Britain in 1908 in the free rifle event which he won at the age of 61!

1986: Death of famous Abbey actress Siobhan McKenna. Married to actor Dennis O’Dea, their son Donncha is a professional poker player who represented Ireland in 1968 Olympic games and is the first Irishman to swim the 100 metres in less than one minute. O’Dea’s son (McKenna’s grandson) is also a professional poker player who reached the final 9 in the World Series of Poker Championship in Las Vegas.

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