On December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, the Association will unveil a commemorative plaque, paying tribute to the valor often Kerry born Congressional Medal of Honor recipients: Pvt. John P. Murphy, 1862; Sgt. John Brosnan, 1864; Pvt. Timothy Spillane, 1865; Cpl. Thomas P. Murphy, 1869; Pvt. James Lenihan, 1873; 1st Sgt. James L. Morris, 1873; Pvt. John O’Sullivan, 1874; Pvt. John S. Donnelly, 1876; Pvt. William Evans, 1876 and 1st Sgt. David Roche, 1877. We are most appreciative to these men for their heroic service during the American Civil War and the Indian War Campaigns, and we are most grateful to Donal O’Sullivan and his firm, Navillus, for their generous sponsorship of this event. We say thank you to them and to the members of our MOH committee, Co-Chairs Gerry O’Shea & Chris O’Sullivan, members Maurice Brick, Sean Brosnan, John Halpin, Chris Keane, Tom Kennedy, Jim Mulvihill, Mike Purtill, & Pat Scanlon, as well as musicians Mary Courtney & John Redmond of Morning Star for performing @ the event. From the Book of Deeds and other sources, here is a litany of one John Brosnan's record of valor that earned him the Medal.
SERGEANT JOHN BROSNAN born in Kerry in 1844; was in command of US Army Co. E, 164th New York Infantry, (aka “the Zouaves”) one of four regiments forming the brigade of Irish soldiers known as “Corcoran’s Legion” (named after Brigadier General Michael Corcoran, a leading figure in the Fenian Brotherhood) because so many of Brosnan’s superior officers had been either killed or wounded during the campaign, At the 1st Assault of Petersburg, Va., June 16, 1864, the struggle was desperate and, after repeated charges, the Federal line began to waver. Sergeant Brosnan sprang to the front and called on his men to renew the charge. They did, but were forced into a ravine, where they made a fierce rally. When night closed in on the worn-out soldiers and they were shielded from the enemy by the impenetrable darkness, they threw up breastworks. Early the following morning, Brosnan's attention was called to loud groans coming from a direction exposed to a very heavy fire. Investigation showed that a Union soldier had been wounded by concealed rebels. Sergeant Brosnan decided to rescue him. Exposed to the fire of rebel sharpshooters, he succeeded in reaching the dying soldier, who proved to be Corporal Michael Carroll, of Company E. “For God's sake, Sergeant, lie down or you will be killed," the moribund whispered feebly. The plucky Sergeant lifted his comrade upon his arms and with great difficulty carried him out of reach of the enemy's fire and behind the breastworks. During this heroic rescue he himself was struck above the right elbow, entailing the loss of the arm. Thus Sergeant Brosnan became a cripple while saving a wounded comrade. Sgt. Brosnan is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn.