Jeremiah D Sheehan is an Irishman who likely enlisted in the War of the States in order to provide food and shelter for his family. Since he had already obtained Citizenship through Naturalization in 1859, he did not NEED to enlist in order to obtain Citizenship.
Company C, 3rd Infantry Regiment
On 25 July 1861, at the age of 38, Jeremiah D Sheehan enlisted in Company C as a Private. At the time of his enlistment, he resided in Boscawen, New Hampshire, with his wife and his first five children.
Company C, 3rd Infantry Regiment was organized in Concord, New Hampshire on 23 Aug 1861. They quickly moved to Camp Scott, Long Island, N.Y. on 3 Sep 1861, thence onto Washington, D.C., on 18 Dep 1861, and finally onto Annapolis, Maryland. on 4 Oct 1861. On 19 October 1861, just two months after arriving in Annapolis, Jeremiah received a disability discharge from Company C, 3rd Infantry Regiment in Annapolis, Maryland. He had served just 86 days (2 months, 24 days).
Company K, 10th Infantry Regiment of New Hampshire
317 days later (10 months, 13 days) at age 39, Jeremiah re-enlisted, this time in Company K, 10th Infantry Regiment New Hampshire on 1 Sep 1862. He resided and was credentialed in Manchester. The Company mustered on 5 Sep 1862. Company K, 10th Infantry left State and moved to Washington, D.C., September 22-25; thence to Frederick, Md., September 30; to Sandy Hook, Md., October 4, and to Pleasant Valley on 6 Oct 1862.
Company K, 10th Infantry Regiment, likely participated in the Battle of Fredericksburg. This battle was fought December 11–15, 1862, in and around Fredericksburg, Virginia, between General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside. The Union army’s futile frontal attacks on December 13 against entrenched Confederate defenders on the heights behind the city is remembered as one of the most one-sided battles of the American Civil War, with Union casualties more than twice as heavy as those suffered by the Confederates.
Company K, 10th Infantry Regiment, then participated in what was known as Union Army Major General Ambrose Burnside’s Mud March. Burnside had been trying to approach the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, by crossing the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg but had been soundly defeated. The so-called Mud March was his second attempt at a river crossing. The strategy was sound, but it failed because of dissension between generals, compounded by severe winter storms.
Jeremiah received a disability discharge from Company K, 10th Infantry Regiment New Hampshire on 28 Apr 1863 while in Suffolk, Virginia. This time he served 235 days (7 months, 23 days). Company K, 10th Infantry attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac shortly after his discharge. He most likely came home to Concord, New Hampshire, to continue building his family.
Company C, 11th Regiment U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps
251 days after his last discharge, at the age 41, Jeremiah enlisted in Company C, 11th Regiment U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps on 4 Jan 1864, leaving his wife, who had just given birth to his fifth child. John J Sheehan was born 12 Jan 1864 In Concord, New Hampshire.
The Veteran Reserve Corps (originally the Invalid Corps) was a military reserve organization created within the Union Army during the American Civil War to allow partially disabled or otherwise infirmed soldiers (or former soldiers) to perform light duty, freeing able-bodied soldiers to serve on the front lines.
The corps was organized under the authority of General Order No. 105, U.S. War Department, dated April 28, 1863. A similar corps had existed in Revolutionary times. The Invalid Corps of the Civil War period was created to make suitable use in a military or semi-military capacity of soldiers who had been rendered unfit for active field service on account of wounds or disease contracted in line of duty but who were still fit for garrison or other light-duty, and were, in the opinion of their commanding officers, meritorious and deserving.
Jeremiah received a disability discharge from Company C, 11th Regiment U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps on 2 Dec 1864 at Point Lookout, MD. He served an additional 333 days (10 months, 28 days).
Eighteenth Regiment of the New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry
Jeremiah’s final stint with the U.S. Military occurred on 10 Mar 1865, when he enlisted for a period of one year as a private. It is not clear what happened, but he deserted just three days later.
The War Has Ended
It looks like Jeremiah and Mary tried again to have another child after his return. A Catherine Sheehan was born sometime in 1865 but sadly died sometime in 1867. Catherine’s name appears on the family headstone in Manchester, New Hampshire.
U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers
On 11 Aug 1870, Jeremiah was admitted and treated at the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Maine for a hernia that he developed during the Civil War. His wife, Mary Sullivan Sheehan died shortly there after on 15 Oct 1870 at the age of 45.
Clearly it was a hard life for Jeremiah and his wife, Mary. Was it the stress of being a single mom for multiple years that contributed to her early death? Maybe.
Jeremiah clearly battled physical disabilities as he enlisted multiple times in the U.S. Army. But being a part of the North effort was clearly important to him, as is mentioned on his headstone.