Pvt. John Kelley

Co. F – 6th Regiment Vermont Volunteers

On October 30, 1842, in Ireland, John Kelley was born to Julia Hynes and Patrick Kelley.

John Kelley is my great-great grandfather. I remember hearing stories about him from my grandparents and my mother when I was a child, "The man who fought in the Civil War and lost his arm". I remember Beatrice Quinn, my grandfather's cousin who also was a daughter of John Kelley. She told me how John Kelley was picked up from the battlefield and put on the dead wagon because they thought he was dead. She did not say what battle it was. Beatrice also told me that John Kelley's arm was buried, and that he never received a pension because you collected a pension according to your wounds. The doctor died before all of John's wounds were verified. Though I was told that I do not know if it was true. She also told me that he was listed as a fireman on the birth record of his daughter Elizabeth (sister to Mary) in 1873. On John's death certificate his occupation is listed as a laborer.

John Kelley enlisted into the Union Army on August 30, 1862 in Burlington, Vermont. He was mustered in on September 15, 1862. He was in Co. f, 6th Regiment Vermont Infantry, part of the Army of the Potomac.

According to the list of names in the 6th Regiment it shows he was wounded May 3, 1863, July 10, 1863 and April 2, 1865. On his muster sheets that I have it shows he was wounded on July 10, 1863, May 5, 1864 and May 11, 1864.

May 3,1863, Chancellorsville Campaign, Chancellorsville, Virginia: From the book titled "The Civil War, Day by Day," published by Bromton Books Corporation 1989, the following is written (Fighting at Chancellorsville, Virginia continues as the Confederates pound away at the Northern positions. The latter are forced to pull back to Chancellor's house as General Lee's troops steadily shell the area from a position known as Hazel Grove. Late in the evening, General Hooker orders General Sedgwick to fire on Confederate positions at Fredericksburg and the ensuing engagement becomes known as Second Fredericksburg. The Federals at first appear to gain the upper hand, but as they push through the weakened Confederate defense, General Lee opens a new attack on Sedgwick's men at Salem Church, Virginia halting any further Union advance.)

July 10, 1863, Eastern Theater, Gettysburg Campaign. From the book entitled "The Civil War, Day by Day," published by Bromton Books Corporation 1989, the following is written: (Meade's army begins to move with more determination toward Lee's forces, now gathering in Williamsport, Maryland; skirmishes erupt in several nearby towns, including a serious encounter at Falling Water).

Information taken from the muster roll show that on July 10, 1863, John Kelley was admitted to Regimental Hospital in Frederick, Maryland. He was transferred to General on July 12, with gunshot wound to right thigh.

May 5, 1864, Eastern Theater, Battle of the Wilderness. From the book entitled " The Civil War, Day by Day," published by Bromton Books Corporation 1989 the following is written: (Federal General Warren notifies Grant and Meade of an enemy force – Ewell's – on the Orange Turnpike; thinking that this is only a division, Grant orders Warren to attack. These forces quickly join in a fierce battle, and it becomes clear that Lee's army is opposing the Federals in force. Because of the thick woods, the men often grapple at almost point-blank range: the battle lines become confused in the smoke-filled forest, regiments losing contact with one another. Soldiers and leaders follow the battle by the sound of firing, and often finding themselves shooting at an enemy they can see only by the flashing of guns. Late in the afternoon Confederate General Hill's advance along the Plank Road is met by Hancock: a separate and equally desperate contest ensues. Again the fighting is at close quarters, often hand-to-hand with bayonets and clubbed muskets, the artillery silent for the fear of doing harm to unseen friendly troops. All day the fighting surges back and forth, but as evening falls nothing significant has been gained by either side, and the forces retire to await the next day's battle. During the night, troops of both sides frequently wander into enemy lines.)

On the muster sheet it shows that John Kelley was admitted to Regimental Hospital on May 5, 1864 with wounds of the arm and breast, received at the Battle of Wilderness. On May 11, 1864 he was admitted to Campbell General Hospital in D.C. with a simple flesh wound of the left forearm, (wounded May 5, 1864).

April 2, 1865, it states that John Kelley was wounded, but I do not have any information on this. He was mustered out on June 19, 1865.

I have written on the above different battles because it shows what was going on in the battles where John Kelley was wounded.

John Kelley died on August 22, 1917 at the Fanny Allen Hospital in Winooski, Vermont.