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Thomas Beaumont Dwan
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Birth: Dec., 1827
Death: Nov. 27, 1906
Wellington, New Zealand

Thomas Dwan was born in Roscrea, Tipperary County, Ireland in December 1827 of an old Irish Baronetage and the son of a civil engineer. . Thomas's primary schooling was attained in Canadian common schools after which his parents sent him to the United States where he attended a notable grammar school called ‘Whitehall'; believed to have been in Wisconsin. After graduating, Thomas attended the West Point Military Academy where he acquired a command in the United States Army and travelled all over the U.S. in different capacities. Thomas participated as a Lieutenant in the United States Cavalry fighting with hostile Indians in the Rocky Mountains, at Salt Lake and in California, and on a number of occasions barely escaped with his life. In 1853 and 1854 Thomas was one of 800 officers with the rank of Captain or higher and was one of only twenty that was offered a commission by Prince Gortschakoff, an eminent Russian general, during the Russian war with Poland and France. He was in San Francisco at the time of the invasion of Nicaragua by General William Walker in 1855 and as Walker offered tempting inducements to regular officers to join his expedition. Thomas Dwan, in common with many others, left Uncle Sam's service and joined the invading army who within a short time effected a landing on Nicaraguan soil at Realeio. He was with Walker's expedition in the siege of Revasm the capture of Granada and participated in the battles of Leon, Viejo, Mannqua and others. He participated in no less than fifteen engagements. After Walker lost control of the country, the larger part of the Corps to which Dwan was assigned, escaped by cutting their way through dense jungle to the Caribbean Sea; fighting as they went. Dwan on several occasions was carried from the battlefield; thought to be dead, but he survived. Eventually Dwan and others were taken aboard a British gunboat and transported to Key West, Florida. Instead of returning to America, Dwan returned to Canada, taking with him his Negro attendant, which he set free upon reaching Canada. Returning to his home in Ireland, Thomas met and married Miss. Catherine Keeshan, often referred to as Kate, on October 24, 1857 at Minchins Glen in the New Chapel of Rosecrea, Ireland. Thomas Dwan next followed the lure of gold and on November 30, 1857 Thomas and Catherine boarded the ship "West Australian" at Liverpool, England traveling in ‘cabin class' and set out for Australia; arriving at Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on March 10, 1858. Upon his arrival, Thomas went into business as a mining speculator, storekeeper and journalist. He also organized and drilled a detachment of the prince of Wales Light Horse in Inglewood and subsequently became a Major. It was in Maryborough, Victoria on December 28, 1858 that Thomas and Kate's son, Alonzo William Dwan was born. In early 1861 Thomas Dwan, for what ever reasons, found himself back in the United States, in the State of New York, and with the outbreak of the Civil War enlisted on September 24, 1861, into Co. "D" 77th New York Infantry. When his term ran out, he re-enlisted on December 26, 1863. He was promoted to Corporal and then reduced in rank back to a Private, on June 20, 1864 and transferred from Co. "D" to Co. "A" on November 19, 1864; being was mustered out on June 27, 1865 at Washington, D.C.. On official records is name is recorded both as ‘Dwan' and ‘Duan'; but both specify his regiment as being the 77th New York Infantry, Company "D". Recently a grandmother descendant in the United States related that she has a picture of Thomas Dwan, astride a horse, dressed in his ‘Confederate' uniform; and in a letter dated September 23, 1993 from Noel Dwan to his cousin Anthony (Tony) Young, he wrote; "One old Photo I remember was of old Thomas in his Confederate uniform on a white horse, sword and all, rather imposing I always thought when I was a boy." In late 1865, Thomas left the United States, sailed to Australia and then with his family sailed aboard the "Shepherdess" to New Zealand. When the great Volunteer Militia Encampment was held at Sunbury, Victoria in 1865, at which some 2,400 volunteers attended and was viewed by some 10-12,000 spectators, Thomas was there and was given command of a corps of military because of his prior military experiences, and was complimented by General Schute for the smart appearance and soldier like bearing of his men. Lamartine, Thomas's last son, was born on October 4, 1865, in Victoria. In 1875 Dwan again left the states and returned to New Zealand, permanently settling down in Wellington, where he again became an auctioneer for a number of years. In 1882 Thomas Sr. was again nominated for political office and a seat on the City Council in the Te Aro Ward; by Mr. Michael Quin and Josheph Whelan. Then in 1883 he was nominated as a candidate for inangahua. Again in 1884 he was in an election against two others in Thorndon. Thomas again returned to American and then again returned to New Zealand. Thomas Dwan suffered for some time with an internal medical problem after his return to New Zealand, and underwent an operation on November 27, 1906 conducted by Drs. James Fell and M'Lean; dieing several hours later. Thomas Dwan died on Tuesday, November 27, 1906 at his residence, No. 15 Nairn Street in Wellington, at 79 years of age.
Karori Cemetery
Wellington City
Wellington, New Zealand
Plot: Area 7, Blk. B, Row 9, Plot 003
Created by: James Gray
Record added: Oct 02, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42630495
Thomas Beaumont Dwan
Added by: James Gray
Thomas Beaumont Dwan
Added by: James Gray
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