Col. Patrick O'Rorke

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Rochester's Own
“Here they are men, commence firing” 


Patrick H. O’Rorke was born in County Cavan, Ireland, immigrated to Rochester NY with his family at age 1, attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduated first in his class of 1861 and fought valiantly for his adopted homeland for two year until he died while leading a charge of the 140th New York Infantry Regiment in the defense of Little Round Top on July 2, 1963 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.


Petition to award the Medal of Honor to Col. Patrick H. O’Rorke of the 140th New York Infantry Regiment for his conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty at the cost of his life in an action with the enemy on July 2, 1863 on Little Round Top in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 

To access petition click link below:
Col. O'Rorke Medal Of Honor Petition

Military Career

O’Rorke took part in the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run where a bullet went straight through his coat and horse shot out from under him.Later, he was reassigned to various engineering duties in Washington City. Fort Marcy, Fort Davis, Fort Stevens and Fort Washington were all established to protect the federal capital.In March of 1862, he was given command of the “Rochester Raiders” of the 140th New York Volunteer Infantry. He was only 26 years old at the time.During the Battle of Little Round Top, O’Rorke led his men, after “orders” from General Gouvernor K. Warren up the north slope to the crest of the rocky hill. O’Rorke grabbing his regiments colors shouted “Here they are men, commence firing”.These would be his last words as he was mortally wounded in one of the first volleys.

Internment

 O’Rorke was initially buried by members of the 140th in Gettysburg but was later returned to Rochester, NY by his widow.A funeral for Colonel O’Rorke was held on July 15 bringing together hundreds of Protestants and Catholics as well as a range of various ethnic groups.He was laid to rest in the old Catholic cemetery on Pinnacle Hill but was ultimately interred at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery where he lies in rest to this day.

   O’Rorke Society

 The O’Rorke Memorial Society was formed to honor the life of Colonel O’Rorke and to keep his unrelenting spirit alive.Several projects including a memorial bust and the O’Rorke Bridge have been coordinated by the society. Investigation is currently underway in hopes the Medal of Honor could be awarded to Colonel O’Rorke.

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