Bryan Drew(1839-1862) was born in County Westmeath, Ireland, the son of Irish Catholicpeasants, John Drew and Rose Reilly Drew.
There are many documents(including his Civil War records) which spell his name "Bryan." Butthe McGee family bible spells his nephew-namesake as "Brian." Hewas baptized "Bernard" ...but competent sources indicate that, in Ireland,the names Bernard, Brian, and Barney, are all synonymous. Atany rate, this brother made the trip to America as a 7 year old. During the family's 10 year stint in Kentucky (info being sought) he wouldhave spent his "formative years" ...which probably included some schooling. At age 19, he apparently accompanied his father and elder sister, CatherineDrew McGee and the McGee family to Pettis County, Missouri in 1858 andwas baptismal sponsor ("godfather") to Catherine's son, John William ("Will")McGee in 1859.
Following the deathof his father in Missouri that same year (1859) Bryan apparently returnedto Kentucky (most likely Louisville) where he probably had many friends. On July 1, 1961, at age 21, he enlisted as a Corporal in D company of thenewly re-organizedFIFTH KENTUCKY Volunteer Infantry... known asthe "Louisville Legion." This was a UNION organization. Itis a mystery why Bryan was able to obtain the rank of Corporal at entlistment,as the usual "entry level rank" is private. Perhaps, at 21, he wasolder than most of the new recruits... or perhaps had some schooling, skill,or "connection" which earned him the rank of Corporal.
The Civil War historyof this unit is given athttp://www.civilwararchive.com/Unreghst/unkyinf1.htm#5th The history shows that the unit began training in September 1861at CampJoe Holt in Indiana... just accross the Ohio River from Louisville. Bryan's records show that he enlisted July 1, 1861. Perhaps, beinga Corporal (non commissioned officer) his enlistment was 2 months "earlier"than the unit's training began. At any rate, the unit began its warparticipation after only a short period of training... being moved to Muldraugh'sHill, Ky., September 17, 1861.
Most noteworthy ofthis unit's actions during Bryan's service was their very important roleat the BATTLE OF SHILOH [Also called the Battle of Pittsburg Landing.] The battle of Shiloh occurred April 6-7, 1862; and, I believe, was secondonly to Gettysburg in terms of its intensity and casualty counts. It was also an important Union Victory. A copy of the CommandingGeneral's report on the Battle of Shiloh is at http://www.civilwarhome.com/mcclerna.htm If you don't have time to read the whole report, the salient passage is:
|"About the same time information was brought that the enemy were advancingin strong force to turn the left of my line. To prevent this I orderedmy command to move by the left flank, which, being promptly done, confrontedthe opposing forces. Here one of the severest conflicts ensued that occurredduring the two days. We drove the enemy back and pursued him with greatvigor to the edge of a field, a half mile east and to the left of my headquarters,where reserves came to his support. Our position at this moment was mostcritical and a repulse seemed inevitable, but fortunately the LouisvilleLegion, forming part of General Rousseau'sbrigade, came up at my request and succored me. Extending and strengtheningmy line, this gallant body poured intothe enemy's ranks one of the most terrible fires I ever witnessed. "Thusbreaking its center, it fell back in disorder, and henceforth he was beatenat all points until our successful pursuit was staid. The generous responseof General Rousseau to my request for succor, no less than the gallantbearing of himself, Colonel Buckley, Lieutenant-Colonel Berry, and MajorTreanor, officers of the same command, challenge my gratitude, while commandingmy admiration. Crossing the field referred to, portions of my own andother divisions again encountered the enemy, who had rallied and offeredobstinate resistance. Some of our men temporarily retired, while otherspersisted until the enemy was again driven back......" --MajorGeneral John McClernand|AN AWESOME CONNECTION
Duringmost of their combat service, including at Shiloh, Bryan and his unit foughtunder Brigadier General Lovell Rouseau. General McClernand's reportabove mentions Rousseau and the great contribution of the "LouisvilleLegion."
Amazingly, another of our ancestors, gggrandfather,John Ryan also fought at Shiloh (with 36th Indiana Infantry) and was promotedfor bravery... and also died during the war. Although Bryan had nodecendants we know of, his brother James's son, James H. Drew would latermarry John Ryan's granddaughter, Blanche Greenen.
While visiting the grave of our gggrandfather,John Ryan, at CaveHill Cemetery in Louisville 140 years later (in 2001) we were amazedto discover General Rousseau's grave just a few yards from John Ryan'sgrave.
Rousseau's memorial is shown at right.
Click on the photo to see it infull size
Following the battleof Shiloh, the Louisville Legion was involved in continuous "hazzardousduty" and frequent hard marches. Again, the summary is at: http://www.civilwararchive.com/Unreghst/unkyinf1.htm#5th Their "actions" during the summer and fall of 1862 included the famous"Buell's Campaign." Most of the fall was taken up with the "Pursuitof Bragg" [Bragg's Confederate Army] which ultimately took both Armiesto the city of Murfreesboro Tennessee where an inevitable 5 day battleoccurred... beginning December 30, 1962.
Bryan Drew was killed12/31/62 at the battle of Murfreesboro [also called the Battle of StonesRiver] It is thought that he mightbe buried in the military cemetery in Murfreesboro; but the records theredid not have him listed when we visited about 1975. We filled outpapers and asked them to update their records; but I have never been backto see if they did. His personal record on file in Washington, however,is clear that he was "killed 12/31/62 at the Battle of Murfreesboro. Altogether,over 25,000 men died in that battle... one of the bloodiest of theCivil War. It is hardly a surprise that all the dead and missingcould not be accounted for with 100% accuracy.
The following documentsfrom HDS show Bryan's military records in internet format: More detailedrecords are being sought from the U.S. Government archives and will beadded to this page if and when they arrive.
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