Col. John G Kelly of Kelly's Irish Brigade



We trust you enjoyed the video made to the war vintage song Kelly's Irish Brigade.  You will notice the refrain in this version differs slightly from the other version of this song utilized in the Missouri Minutemen playlist. 

Colonel John G. Kelly was born in Dublin Ireland, January 10, 1834. His parents died when he was an infant, and he was raised by his maternal uncle. He made the decision to leave for America and did so in 1850 without advising his relatives. He organized the Washington Blues in 1857, St. Louis finest militia unit. In 1860 Kelley's men went to Western Missouri to repel the Jayhawking hordes from Kansas. When the Civil War began he enlisted in a cavalry company and was elected it's Captain.

In 1861 as a regiment within the 6th Division of the Missouri State guard, they fought at Carthage, John Kelley was wounded at Wilson's Creek, saw action at Lexington and Pea Ridge. Many of the regiment joined the 5th Missouri CSA. Kelly frist went to General Mosby Parson's staff. At the battle of New Madrid Missouri John Kelley joined General Jeff Thompson, was attached to his staff and promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel. 

A civil engineer by trade, Lt. Col Kelly was placed in charge of the erection of Fort Thompson. Before the fort was completed Island #10 fell. His command then joined General Price at Memphis, Lt. Col. Kelly was given command of the heavy guns on a gunboat. Then he was transferred to the staff of General Hebert of Louisiana, and fought in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Corinth, and the siege of Vicksburg.

During a night raid at Smithville, Kelly was captured by Lt. Cushing and was held as a prisoner of war for thirteen months. John was one of the Confederate officers who were twice sentenced to face execution in retaliation for the treatment of prisoners Andersonville. After the war he married Medora Benson of St. Louis and they had two daughters. He died on June 16, 1903 after battling a prolonged illness. The information in eassay was  originally published by Confederate Veteran magazine in 1903.  

Patrick R. Marquis© Quantrillsguerrillas.com. "Permission should be requested and agreed to before using this copyrighted essay and or image."

Next is an original post war image of Lt. Col John G Kelly which has never been published below. On the reverse of the image in vintage ink is written: "Col John G Kelly taken about 1895 died 1903- June , Mrs MC Benson". Untill this story was published information on Kelley was considered "lost."

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