Michael Lawler was born in Ireland on the 14th November 1814.
When Michael was 2 years of age, his parents John and Elizabeth made the decision to leave their home town of Monastrevin in County Kildare, and to emigrate to the USA. After they arrived in the United States, they first lived in Frederick County in Maryland and afterward settled in Gallatin, in the State of Illinois.
Michael married Elizabeth Crenshaw on the 20th December 1837.
He enlisted in the US Military and commanded two companies in separate deployments during his appointment as a captain in the Mexican War - one in Shawneetown, Illnois and the other at Matamoros Tamaulipas, at the request of Governor Thomas Ford in 1846.
Following his Mexican War experience he returned to his farm in Illinois and established a successful mercantile business, dealing in hardware, dry goods, and footware. He also studied law and used his legal expertise to assist Mexican War veterans claimants.
Major General Michael Kelly Lawler was one of around 150,000 Irishmen who fought in the bloody conflict of the American Civil War, between 1861 and 1865. With the outbreak of War in 1861, he was appointed the first Colonel of the 18th Illinois Infantry Regiment. He was wounded during the Batte of Fort Donelson in February of 1862. That November, he was commissioned as a brigadier general. In 1863, he fought with distinction in the Vicksburg Campaign. During the general assault of May 22, 1863, troops under his command were the only Union forces to enter the Confederate works at the Railroad Redoubt, where they planted the US flag.
“When it comes to just plain hard fighting, I would rather trust old Mike Lawler than any of them” – Ulysses S. Grant, military commander and 18th President of the United States of America.
After the surrendor of Jackson Mississippi, General Lawler served as commander of the 1st Division, XIII Corps in Louisiana. At the end of the Civil War, Lawler received a promotion to Major General for distinguished service in the Union army, backdated to March 13, 1865.
Michael lived the rest of his days in Shawneetown, farming and conducting his legal practice. He died in on the 26th of July 1882 and is buried in the Lawler Family Cemetery near Equality, Illinois,
There are two memorials to Michael Lawler, one in Equality, Illinois, the other is in Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi.
|Date of Birth||14th Nov 1814|
|Date of Death||26th Jul 1882|
|Mother (First Name/s and Maiden)||Elizabeth Kelly|
|Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname)||Elizabeth Crenshaw b 16 May 1820 - d 4 Jul 1908 (aged 88)||VIEW SOURCE|
|Place & Date of Marriage||20th December 1837|
|Names of Children||Sina Elizabeth Lawler Evans 1842–1915 Raphael Edward Lawler 1858–1927||VIEW SOURCE|
|Michael Kelly Lawler's grave in Equality, Illinois||USA||VIEW SOURCE|