Patrick Henry Monaghan MOH

b. 19/11/1843 Belmullet, County Mayo, Ireland. d. 22/10/1917 Girardville, Pennsylvania.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 17/06/1864 Petersburg, Virginia.

Patrick H Monaghan MOH

Patrick Henry Monaghan was born on November 19, 1843 in Belmullet, County Mayo in Ireland and in 1848, his family emigrated to the United States and settled in Schuylkill County.

In August 1861, Monaghan was mustered in as a private in Company F of the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry. After the unit completed its training, in November 1861 they were sent to Hatteras Island. In February 1862, they were involved with the capture of Roanoke Island. By August of 1862, the regiment was moved into Northern Virginia where they were involved in a series of battles: Second Battle of Bull Run, Battle of South Mountain, and Antietam before arriving at Fredericksburg in December 1862.

At the start of 1863, the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry was sent to Lexington, Kentucky as a part of the Western Theater. While serving during this time, Monaghan was promoted to corporal. At the end of the year, Monaghan was mustered out of service, but reenlisted on January 1, 1864 – he was promoted to sergeant in Company F of the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry. The regiment would see action in the Battle of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House and Cold Harbor.

In June 1863, the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry was headed toward Petersburg, Virginia. It would be during the advance on Petersburg when Monaghan would perform the action which would be remembered with the Medal of Honor.

On June 16, the 48th Pennsylvania was involved in a push to overtake the Confederate breastworks. The Union army was pushed back and in the process of the clash, the 7th New York Heavy Artillery lost its battle flag during the charge. The next morning, the Union army again rushed the breastworks. In the process of overcoming the enemy, the battle flag of the 7th New York Heavy Artillery was recovered.

The 48th Pennsylvania Infantry would use the knowledge of the miners and would be a part of digging a shaft that would be filled with explosives for the Battle of the Crater in June and July of 1864. The end of 1864 and the beginning of 1865 saw the regiment at Fort Sedgwick, which was located near Petersburg, Virginia.

It was while at the fort that Monaghan would receive his Medal of Honor on December 1. It was presented to Monaghan on December 16 by Major General George. The citation for his Medal of Honor reads: “The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Corporal Patrick H. Monaghan, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on June 17, 1864, while serving with Company F, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry, in action at Petersburg, Virginia, for recapture of colors of the 7th New York Heavy Artillery.” He would receive his Medal on December 1, 1864. 

In April 1865, the regiment occupied Petersburg, where they remained until the end of the war. Monaghan and the regiment were mustered out of service on July 17, 1865.

After the war ended, Monaghan returned to Schuylkill County, married and raised a family, settling first in Minersville and then in Girardville. Monaghan would be a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard. He was mustered into service on July 24, 1872 and would eventually be promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1880. In addition to serving in the National Guard, Monaghan taught in the Schuylkill County schools from 1873 until 1916. Less than a year after his retirement – on October 22, 1917 – Monaghan would pass and was buried at Saint Joseph’s Cemetery.

Sadly, Monaghan’s bravery would be forgotten. Other the years, trees and shrubbery covered the hillside and the graves of those resting there. It would not be until 2021 that his gravesite was restored and a proper military stone, which remembers him as a Medal of Honor recipient, was placed at his grave.



Recapture of colors of 7th New York Heavy Artillery.