Patrick De Lacey MOH

b. 25/11/1835 Carbondale, Pennsylvania. d. 27/04/1915 Scranton, Pennsylvania.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 06/05/1864 Wilderness, Virginia.

Patrick De Lacey MOH

Born Nov. 25, 1835, to William and Catherine (O’Boyle) DeLacy, in Carbondale, PA. His father William hailed from county Wexford, Ireland, and his mother Catherine from Kilkenny, Ireland.

DeLacy’s father and mother, both of French descent, were prominently identified with the rebellion of 1798 in Ireland. Second child of seven. He had three brothers and three sisters.

His father was a shoemaker who emigrated to the U.S. when he was 19 and was among the early settlers of Carbondale, PA. He lived and worked there until 1839, when he moved to Tamaqua, Schuylkill County, and subsequently to Hazleton, Luzerne County, and moved to Carbondale in 1840, and in 1842 to Scranton. After residing in Scranton (then Slocum Hollow) one year he moved to Covington township and purchased a farm, where he lived until 1861. That year he returned to Scranton, where he died in 1862. Patrick De Lacy grew up on the farm, his education primarily at the common school.

At 17, he became a coal miner and a year later in 1853, learned the tanner and currier trade under the instruction of John Mehan from Covington, PA. He worked with Mehan for two and a half years, rising to become foreman of the business. DeLacy trained for one year in the currier trade with his future father-in-law, Jeremiah Wonder. Afteward, he worked as a journeyman in the area of Kingston, PA, until 1858. On January 9, 1858, DeLacy married Rebecca Elizabeth Wonder. The daughter of Jeremiah and Sarah A. Wonder, of Wyoming, Rebecca was born on April 11, 1840.

The DeLacys had seven children: Sarah Catherine, born June 1, 1861; Mary Elizabeth, born April 9, 1863; Anna C., born February 14, 1866; William P., born March 15, 1868; Nellie, born December 19, 1870 (died when two years and six months old); Julie (died in infancy) and Susan, born December 19, 1873 (died November 8, 1876).

After marriage, DeLacy and his family moved to Newark, NJ, where he worked as a foreman currier in the tannery of A.G. Hull, in Bushkill, Pike County. After a year and a half, he moved to Truxville, Luzerne County, and leased a tannery that he ran for a short time. In 1862, he enlisted in the 143rd PA Infantry and began his journey through the Civil War.

In 1862, Patrick DeLacy left his wife and infant daughter behind in Luzerne County, PA, and enlisted in the 143rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company A. He fought in every battle of that regiment throughout the war – including epoch contests like Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor and Petersburg.

Soldiers from Luzerne, Susquehanna, Lycoming and Wyoming counties comprised the 143rd PA. Deemed one of the Fighting 300 Regiments – so named because it lost more than 130 men killed or mortally wounded in Lt. Col. William F. Fox’s “Regimental Losses of the American Civil War” (1889).

According to an 1880 biography, DeLacy was under fire at one time during the war every day for 30 days. He was promoted from private to sergeant major to lieutenant, when he was mustered out of service with the regiment in June 1865. An intended promotion to captain did not materialize until his granddaughter secured it many years after his death.

DeLacy received the Medal of Honor for action at the Wilderness, but perhaps the best tribute to his reputation as an outstanding soldier and officer came from his comrades, who elected him president of the Veteran Soldiers’ Association for the 143rd, 149th and 150th Pennsylvania regiments for 14 years in a row.

Patrick DeLacy served as president of the 143rd PA’s Survivors Association for 45 consecutive terms–its only leader until his death in 1915 (other than the first year’s honorary president, Gen. Edmund Dana, original colonel of the 143rd PA). An officer in the Pennsylvania Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), he served as its Commander in 1908-1909. DeLacy became president of the First Corps Association in 1892-1893 and also became commander of the Legion of the Medal of Honor in 1906-1907 after serving in several staff appointments in the organization.

From 1867-1871, DeLacy served as U.S. Deputy Marshal for western Pennsylvania. He was appointed by Gen. Thomas A. Rowley, his commander and comrade from the war. He was elected to the PA State Assembly as a Democrat in 1871 and 1872. DeLacy ran for the PA State Senate in 1874, but due to a split in the Democratic party, a member of the opposing faction defeated him. Appointed Deputy Sheriff in 1875 for one year, he also served as the appointed county auditor for two years. He also was appointed Scranton’s Chief of Police and served eight years in that capacity. DeLacy also was Assistant Postmaster of Scranton for seven years and Alderman of Scranton’s 7th Ward for many years. Patrick DeLacy died April 27, 1915, at age 79.



Running ahead of the line, under a concentrated fire, he shot the color bearer of a Confederate regiment on the works, thus contributing to the success of the attack.