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Arthur O'Keeffe
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Birth: Oct. 18, 1840
Saint Johnsville
Montgomery County
New York, USA
Death: Sep. 17, 1862
Washington County
Maryland, USA

Arthur O'Keeffe. Company B of the 34th New York Infantry Regiment. One of "Colonel Suiter's boys". Arthur was born on October 18, 1840 in St. Johnsville, Montgomery County New York. Arthur was the fourth of seven children of Michael and Mary McNamara O'Keeffe, who had emigrated from County Clare, Ireland in 1833. His father moved the family several times before settling in Albany in the mid 1840s.

Enlisted at the age of 20 in Albany, New York on June, 19 1861, to serve two years. Mustered in Company B on the same date. Promoted to Corporal on May 13th, 1862. Writing home when he had the chance, he described life in the 34th with his friends and fellow Company B soldiers. Arthur wrote his last letter home on September 8th, 1862 from Rockville Maryland.

Killed in action during the Battle of Antietam on September 17th, 1862. Buried on the field where he fell.

God be Merciful..Letters of Arthur O'Keeffe 34th New York Infantry, 1861-1862:;col1

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.

This regiment, Col. Wm. LaDue, was accepted by the State May 24, 1861; organized at Albany, and there mustered in the service of the United States for two years June 15, 1861. Part of the 38th Militia entered this regiment. June 8, 1863, its three years' men were transferred to the 82d Infantry.

The companies were recruited principally: A at West Troy; B at Little Falls; C at Graysville and Norway; D at Champlain; E at Addison; F and G at Herkimer; H at Crown Point; I at Hammondsport, and K at Salisbury.
The regiment left the State July 3, 1861; served at and near Washington, D. C., from July 5, 1861; in Stone's Brigade, Division of Potomac, from August 4, 1861; in 2d, Gorman's, Brigade, Stone's Division, Army of the Potomac, from October 15, 1861; in same brigade, Sedgwick's Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from March 13, 1862; in 1st Brigade, 2d Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from May, 1862; and was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Col. Byron Laflin, June 30, 1863, at Albany.

During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 1 officer, 65 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 2 officers, 26 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 1 officer, 67 enlisted men; total, 4 officers, 158 enlisted men; aggregate, 162

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.

Thirty-fourth Infantry.—Cols., William La Due, James A. Suiter, Byron Laflin; Lieut.-Cols., James A. Suiter, Byron Laflin, John Beverly; Majs., Byron Laflin, Charles L. Brown, John Beverly, Wells Sponable. The 34th, the "Herkimer Regiment," was composed of five companies from Herkimer county, two from Steuben, one from Albany, one from Clinton and one from Essex county, and was mustered into the U. S. service at Albany June 15, 1861, for two years. It left the state for Washington on July .3; was quartered at Kalorama heights until July 28, when it moved to Seneca mills and was there assigned to Gen. Stone's brigade. The regiment moved to Edwards ferry on Oct. 21, to Poolesville, Md., Oct. 23, and there established Camp McClellan, which was occupied until Feb. 24, 1862, when orders were received to move to Harper's Ferry. From Oct. 15, 1861, the regiment served in the 2nd brigade of Stone's division, which became in March, 1862, Sedgwick's division, 2nd corps, Army of the Potomac, and in May, 1862, the brigade became the 1st brigade, 2nd division, 2nd corps. The early part of March, 1862, was spent in camp at Berryville, Va., and later in the month the regiment moved to Washington, where it was ordered to the Peninsula. It shared in the siege of Yorktown; lost 97 members killed, wounded or missing at Fair Oaks, and again lost heavily during the Seven Days' battles. It was then in camp at Harrison's landing until Aug. 15, when it was ordered to Newport News, and there embarked for Acquia creek. Subsequently it returned to Alexandria and was again at the front during the Maryland campaign in. September. At Antietam it lost 154 in killed, wounded and missing, of whom 41 were killed or mortally wound-ed—over 13 per cent. of the 311 engaged. On Nov. 21, 1862, the regiment arrived at Falmouth; participated in the battle of Fred-ericksburg; then went into winter quarters near Falmouth; shared in the "Mud March;" returned to camp and remained there until the Chancellorsville movement in the spring of 1863. In April the regiment moved to Banks' ford; was active at Chancellorsville; returned home on June 9, and was mustered out at Albany June 30, 1863, the three years' men having been transferred to the 82nd N. Y. infantry on June 8. The total enrollment of the regiment was 1,016 members, of whom 93 were killed in action or died of wounds during the term of service and 69 died from other causes.

Colonel Suiter's Battle report of Antietam:

Louis Chapin's book: "A brief history of the 34th Regiment"

Family links: 
  Michael O'Keeffe (1809 - 1882)
  Mary O'Keeffe (1812 - 1874)
Antietam National Cemetery
Washington County
Maryland, USA
Created by: Michael J. O'Brien
Record added: Mar 08, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 66653175
Arthur O'Keeffe
Added by: Michael J. O'Brien
Arthur O'Keeffe
Added by: Michael J. O'Brien
Arthur O'Keeffe
Cemetery Photo
Added by: George Varney
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

O'KEEFE, ARTHUR.—Age, 20 years. Enlisted, June 19, 1861, at Albany, New York to serve two years; mustered in as private, Co. B, 34th infantry, same date; promoted corporal, May 13, 1862; missing in action, September 17, 1862, at Antietam, Md.
- D. Curtis
 Added: Aug. 25, 2012

- Veteran's family
 Added: Jun. 24, 2011

- Michael J. O'Brien
 Added: Mar. 8, 2011

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