Letter and Obituary

Robert Walsh

Company G, 25th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Submitted by Robert Doherty

Robert Walsh was the brother of my 2nd great grandmother Mary Walsh. As you are clearly a historian who knows a great deal about the Illinois regiments I thought you would like to see this. I had the obituary in a scrapbook given me to my great aunt Katherine Doherty and the letter is in the possession of my cousin Pat Doherty Foley. I saw the letter a few months ago for the first time and finally was able to figure out his connection to my family. None of us ever knew we had ancestors in the civil war never mind fighting for the North and South. I am going to go to the National Archives to see his records next week and I hope to eventually find out what regiment his brothers Patt and John fought for in the South. It is clear they were in Louisiana at the start of the war but when you look at his letter and it talks about all the b! rothers being all mixed in battles in the vicinity of Spring Hill Tennessee.. The only Confederate regiments I see fighting at Spring Hill are Tennessee regiments. If you have any ideas about how I could find his borthers regiments please let me know. At any rate I want you to know that Robert Walsh's nephew Patrick that he wrote to was the first detective on the scene when Lizzie Bordens mother and father were killed. He and his testimony were just featured in the July edition of the Lizzie Borden Quarterly.

Frank J. Burnett Deputies
County Clerk and Recorder Ray Baxter
Thomas H. Garrett
O. B. Robbins
G. Reed Miller
Leroy Baxter

Office of
County Clerk and Recorder
Larimer County
Fort Collins, Colorado

Jan 24, 1898

Dear Nephew,

I suppose you think I am an ordinary cad/cuss (?) for not writing and answering your kind letter of Dec. 4. I was away from home at the time down in Ark. at Hot Springs. I went there in Nov.

I thought I might get relief by taking the baths. I am troubled with Rheumatism and I think it will help anyone that will stay with it long enough but I had to get back… (page is torn). The weather was the worst I had seen for a long time and I had to get out. I found your letter and Police book here for which I thank you very much. I thought when I went East I would stay till Spring and go to Ohio and Illinois and see the folks but I got scared at the weather and came back home, but you see I am always thinking of making those trips and never do it. I am mighty glad to know that all of the friends in the east are doing well and sincerely hope that their good luck will continue. I had a letter the 22nd of this month from Mamie Stokes. She is a daughter of your Aunt Nora and lives in Ohio on Kelly’s Island. She was out here to see me two years ago. I think she is a nice bright girl. I was very sorry she could not stay but her ticket called for her return the day after she found out where I was living. I had a letter from Sister Maggie Gleason(sp) she lives in Cleveland, Ohio. I think she has rather poor health. She says she has heart trouble. Well you folks have lots of namesakes for me. I did not know I had one on the earth outside my son and you can tell any of the boys (cannot make out the words, on crease of paper). You wanted to know where I was when you were born. I was living in Louisiana with your uncles John and Pat(t) Walsh, it was the year before the Civil War started. I stayed there till the next spring. The other boys joined the Southern Army, I left and went north and joined the Northern Army. Brother John was killed in a fight – we were all mixed in at a place called Spring Hill in Tennysee. Patt was captured in an other fight - we were in afterwards, and I stood guard over him all night but did not know it till I met him a good many years after. He comeby near dying in prison, I was shot and left for dead on the Battlefield. So you can see the Walsh family was mighty close neighbors to old man trouble back in the Sixties.
Well my dear boy, I can’t write a letter to anyone that would interest them and I hate to bother them. That is the reason I keep putting it off till I think they don’t know I am living and don’t bother them anymore. Please give my love to your family and all the relatives you run into.
I do not wish to flatter you but I feel satisfied you have a supply of brains and backbone to get you where you are in the police force. I have tried it in a small way and my experience has been that between the outlaws and crooks on the outside and the ____ ones on the inside it keeps a man busy taking care of them.

Hoping this will find all of you in good health I will say goodbye for the present.

Your Uncle,

Robert Walsh
Address Fort Collins Colorado

Transcript of correspondence between Robert Walsh and his nephew Patrick H. Doherty, January 1898.


Robert Walsh was born in Tipperary County ,Ireland on the 29th day of September, 1839, and died at Grand Island, Nebraska, on the first day of January, 1929, at the age of eighty-nine years , three months and twenty eight days. He came to the United States with his parents at the age of eight years of age. On the sixth day of July ,1865 he was united in marriage to Harriet E Richardson and to the union was born one son Robert G Walsh of this city.

When Mr. Walsh received the news of the firing on Fort Sumner, he left his home in Concordia Parish, La, and after many retreats and skirmishes through Arkansas and Indian Territory , landed in Iroquois county, Illinois. He served for three years or until the end of the war at first being a private in in Captain Tom E Williams Company "G" 25th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. ------(cannot read this part of the newspaper)Brigade,third division,20th corps, later to the 14th corps, army of the Cumberland. He took part in a number of battles and skirmishes. During the battle of Stone River, Tennessee he was wounded by a gunshot in both the left and right hip, but this did not take him away from the regiment. At Chickamaugua, Georgia, he was again wounded in the left hip, the ball passing through the right hip after shattering the bones of both. He was taken to the barracks and later sent to the hospital at Murfreesboro , Tennessee where he remained until the close of the war.

He traveled 4,962 miles with his regiment and at the time of his injury was corporal. He rendered faithful service to his country and was honorably discharged at Springfield , Illinois, on the first day of September,1864.

Mr Walsh was an early settler of this part of the country moving to Torrington from Fort Collins in 1887 and has lived in this vicinity since that time.

He has held many public offices among them are: ordinance sergeant of Illinois, state armory; assistant Warden of Southern Illinois, state prison; Deputy U.S. Marshal; City Marshal of Fort Collins; and superintendent of the county hospital and poor farm of Larimer county, Colorado.

He was a member of the George A Thomas Post , No. 7, Department of Colorado and Wyoming, Grand Army of the republic in which he held the offices of Officer of the day, Commander and Surgeon.

At the time of his death he was spending the winter months at the soldiers home in Grand Island, Nebraska. He leaves to mourn his passing his son and family who are well known as leading members of our own city, and many friends. Funeral services were held in the home of his son, at 10:30 this morning conducted by Rev.LW. Bratt, after the body was laid to rest in Forest Lawn cemetery.

The many friends of Mr. Walsh extend sincere sympathy in this hour of sorrow.

(Obituary taken from the Morril Mail newspaper of Morril, Nebraska)}

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