Title: Army Corporal, Civil War; leather worker
Birthdate: June 1, 1833
Death Date: April 14, 1913
Plot Location: Section 1, Lot 97
Thomas was born June 1, 1833 of Irish immigrant parents and grew up in Philadelphia. In the 1860 census he was a farm laborer. He enlisted in the US Army on Dec 28, 1861 and was promoted to Corporal, Company H, 91st Pennsylvania Infantry on May 20, 1862. A year later Thomas was seriously wounded in his left arm during the Battle of Chancellorsville and spent the next nine months in the hospital. He was discharged from the Army on May 23, 1865, which means he probably served the rest of his time in the Veteran Reserve Corps, a unit that allowed disabled soldiers to continue working in a non-combat capacity.
After the war, he continued his residence in Philadelphia and married Maria Donaldson, an Irish immigrant, on Aug 8, 1864. Together, they had 12 children, born between 1865 and 1886, five of whom survived to adulthood. Census reports list his occupation in 1879 as “Morocco finisher,” which means someone who works with a high-quality leather to make wallets or bookbindings. In other reports he was a laborer, a “capitalist,” and “own income,” perhaps from running a boarding house.
He and his wife Maria lived in Philadelphia for the rest of their lives. She died 13 years after he did and most from this large family were buried in Section 1, Lot 97.
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