John Sullivan, Civil War Soldier


John Sullivan
Born in Ireland_Son of Thos. Sullivan_By occupation a Laborer_Single_This man enlisted three (3) times.
First Enlistment
At the age of 21 years, prior to the first battle of Bull Run, he enlisted for two (2) years in the 15th Reg. New York Volunteer Engineers, and was assigned to Company “C”. Rank Private, with no subsequent changes. During the battle of Bull Run, was with his Reg. At Fr. Ellsworth Defences of Washington, but marched for the reinforcement of our troops, and encountered them on their retreat. During the summer of 1861, eas on duty at Monson’s Hill, Va. He participated with his Reg. in the Peninsula Campaign, doing the service peculiar to the engineer corps of the army. After the retreat from the Peninsula the Reg., laid at Fortress Monroe for two weeks, whence was ordered to Ft. Lyon, near Alexandria. Engaged on picket duty for the Defences of Alexandria when the second engagement at Bull Run was fought. At the 1st Battle of Fredericksburgh, laid the pontoons across the Rappahannock for the passage of the {Left} Grand Division of the Army. In this service his Reg. lost heavily in killed and wounded, the bridge having been laid under a heavy fire and after the abandonment of the perilous duty by another Reg., the 50th N.Y. Engineers. Checked at first by the murderous fire, the 16th was ordered to man the boats and {???} across the Regs of Infantry, which duty having been successfully achieved the attempt at fleeing the bridge was made a success. After the retreat from Fredericksburgh, the duties Sullivan {???} his part manfully. Till Burnsides second attempt at a passage, in Feb’y 1863, lay in camp with the Army of the Potomac. In the second attempt, the Reg. lost men though because of unfavorable weather as bridges could be laid. At Chancellorsville, when the 6th Corps were well nigh cut off, the 15th laid the pontoons at {???} by which a retreat was achieved. Sullivan took active part in the arduous and dangerous duties of his Reg. was never sick, was unwounded, was never furloughed, and was always on duty with his Reg. His command was relieved 30 days after expiration of term of service.
Sullivan was discharged early in July, and reached Chicopee on 4th July, 1863.
Second Enlistment
On Aug. 7, 1863, he enlisted as landsman, in N.Y. City, for one (1) year in the U.S. Navy. From the receiving ship North Carolina to which he was first sent, he was drafted to the gun-boat Ft. Jackson. Under Admiral Porter, Sullivan did blockade duty off {Wilmington}, N.C. and took part in many expeditions sent out, such as the destruction of {???}, etc. During the summer of 1864 the “Ft. Jackson” had a {rooming} Commission, and {carried} to the West Indies. Before learning the Southern waters captured a British blockade runner loaded with {???} rifles and two (2) locomotive engines. Many incidents which Sullivan could not recall occurred during his term of service in the Navy. He was neither ill nor wounded.
By reason of expiration of term of service he was honorably discharged Aug. 5, 1864.
Third Enlistment
On Aug. 28, 1864, he enlisted for one years in the 6th N.Y. Heavy Artillery, Company “M”. Joined Reg. at Ft. {Reas}, near Washington, Aug. 31. In the campaign of the Shenandoah, the Reg. participated. Engaged at Cedar Creek Octo. 19th, lost heavily. After this on provost duty in Winchester. In Dec’r 1864, was ordered to Bermuda Hundred. It took part in {Sunday} skirmishes. On the fall of Richmond was ordered to Petersburgh on provost duty; thence was sent to {Lunenburg} Court, for the protection of the freedmen. On duty there a few weeks. Thence came to Pocahontas near Petersburgh where Sullivan was mustered out.
Discharged in N.Y. City in July after a career both {excellent} and honorable.
Thereafter returned to Chicopee.


ca. 1861-1865


Public Domain




“John Sullivan, Civil War Soldier,” Chicopee Archives Online, accessed January 16, 2018,