Lt. Patrick H. O’Rorke, ADC to Brig. Gen. Daniel Tyler, On the Aftermath, With Biographical Sketch

9 05 2020

Letter from Lieut. P. H. O’Rourke.

Washington City. July 23, ‘61

* * * I have passed safely through the battle of Bull Run. I have not seen your brother Tom,* but I heard this morning that he was safe. Charley Buckley was very severely wounded, but will recover. He has had his arm broken and has a shot through his neck. My horse was shot dead under me, as were those of two others of our staff. So yo can judge of how hot a place we were in. I will wrote you more as soon as I have time. Good bye.

Yours affectionately,

– During Mt. Tracy’s visit to the field of operations at Bull Run, he had frequent opportunity of seeing Lieut. O’Rourke, and hearing the freely expressed opinions in reference to the young officer, current in the Division. HE was a leading aid on the staff of General Tyler, and his praise was on all lips. He was in the first battle of Bull’s Run, on Thursday, and in a letter since, he says he had always felt a curiosity as to the sensations he should experience upon being brought under fire for the first time. The test proved that he felt perfectly cool and collected.

Lieut. O’Rourke’s family came to this city during his infancy, and settled near where they still reside, in the northeast part of the city. His father met with an untimely death when Patrick was quite young, and the care of his widowed mother and fatherless sisters devolved principally upon him. He pursued the business of marble-cutting for several years, and performed all his duties with unflinching fidelity. This quality in his character – faithfulness to duty, combined with the most scrupulous truthfulness, modesty of demeanor, and no common degree of talent, will, if no accident befal him, yet earn for him the highest distinctions.

He received his education in our Public School; and having attended No. 9, and been promoted through all its grades to the High School, he was finally graduated by that Institution with distinguished honors, and was one of those selected to become free students at the Rochester University.

The career of Lieut. O’Rourke is a fine example of the beneficence of the Free Public School system of Rochester. He reflects honor on the schools and on the city of his boyhood.

His appointment to a cadetship at West Point was made by Hon. John Williams, upon the recommendation of Hon. Samuel G. Andrews. He was graduated in June at the head of his class, four years from the time he entered, and one year sooner than is the rule at the institution.


* The letter was written to Miss Bishop, and the reference is to Thomas E. Bishop, here brother, son of Mr. Edward Bishop, of No. 15 Ward street. Charles C. Buckley is a son of Mr. James Buckley, residing at No. 5 Hand street. Both of the young men are members of Co. A, Captain Putnam.

Rochester (NY) Evening Express, 7/26/1861

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Contributed by John Hennessy

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