More on that Photo of James McKay Rorty

3 12 2020

L to R, Peter Kelly (Co. J), James McKay Rorty (Co. G), and O’Donoghue (Co. K) as officers of units in the Irish Brigade, post Bull Run and 69th NYSM

Reader (and host of The Significant Word) Jason Cheol Spellman has done a little more legwork on the above photo of John McKay Rorty and friends, all members of the 69th New York State Militia, all captured at First Bull Run.

I attach said legwork right here. I’ll also attach it to this post I made a while back about the photo.

Read more about Rorty’s experience at First Bull Run here.

Read about Rorty later in the war here.



3 responses

3 12 2020

Many thanks for this update, Harry. Great work on this and with an impartial conclusion. Nicely researched and presented.

Liked by 1 person

1 02 2021
David Rorty

I have known of this photo for quite some time now. With it’s provenance I agree the man in the middle is most likely my great uncle. Your research and conclusion also helps my belief. I do have two very clear photos of my Great Grandfather, Richard McKay Rorty, James’ brother, who retrieved his brother’s body at Gettysburg. The photo shows him at app, 50-60 years old. The photos make for an interesting comparison of the two brothers. I’m not sure how or where to post them. Perhaps my sister could help in that regard as I am a tad digitally challenged. Thank you – Dave Rorty


8 11 2021
Matthew T Regan

The photo was passed down through generations of my family with the assertion that it was the three escapees. We have other photos of Peter Kelly and he is definitely the man on the left of the picture. If a confirmed photo of William O’Donoghue could be located I think that would be almost proof positive that Rorty is the man in the center.

Liked by 1 person

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