Stephen Joseph McGroarty 1830

Place of migration:
Migrated to/Born in USA

Stephen Joseph McGroarty was an Irish American soldier who served in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Early life

McGroarty was born in Mountcharles, Donegal, Ireland, in 1830 and died in College Hill, Ohio on January 2, 1870.

He was brought to the United States when three years of age. His parents settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was educated in St. Francis Xavier College.

After graduation he engaged in the dry-goods business in partnership with an uncle, but left it at the end of five years to study law.

He was admitted to the bar and began practice at Toledo, but subsequently returned to Cincinnati, where he achieved a reputation as a criminal lawyer.

Military Career

When the Civil War began, he was commissioned as a Captain with the 10th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and worked diligently to recruit men to answer the call for volunteers. At the Battle of Carnifex Ferry, his left arm was seriously wounded and was to be amputated. McGroarty refused to leave the battlefield and continued to command his company on horseback. With his wounded arm dangling at his side, he held a saber in his right arm, and grasped the reins of his horse with his teeth. Surgeons attempted to save a portion of his arm which was eventually removed after a third operation in 1864.

Due to injuries that occurred in West Virginia, he resigned in October, 1861, only to return to active duty six months later when he was commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel for the 61st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He commanded the regiment when it was attached to the Army of Virginia under Major General John Pope and was promoted to Colonel after the Second Battle of Bull Run.

The 61st Ohio was engaged in the Battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg in 1863 as part of the XI Corps. He led the regiment during several battles of the Atlanta Campaign and participated in the Battle of Bentonville before his regiment was consolidated into the 82nd Ohio Infantry. According to a medical examiner, and from information gathered from McGroarty's tales, he was believed to have been shot 23 times during the war. He received a promotion to Brevet Brigadier General of U.S. Volunteers on May 1, 1865 for "gallant service".

After the war, he was appointed by President Andrew Johnson as a collector of Internal Revenue until he was elected as Clerk of Courts in Hamilton County. He died before he was able to take office at the age of 39. He was initially interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Price Hill, Ohio. His grave was removed to Spring Grove in 1912 to be buried next to his wife.

Moderated on IrelandXO by: Seamus Callaghan (Kerrykeel) 

Parish of Clondavaddog  

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1830 (circa)  
Date of Death 2nd Jan 1870  
Townland born Mountcharles, in the Parish of Inver, Co.Donegal VIEW SOURCE

References - US Grave Memorial USA VIEW SOURCE


  • WOW! What a guy!!! Great story,,,,and i love his picture!! --- it's great that you have it.

    Mary Neff

    Saturday 22nd September 2018, 04:28PM
  • Great photo- brave man and because of his many injuries I will assume they had something to do with his death before he turned 40 yrs. of age.

    Waterford City, Waterford

    Monday 10th December 2018, 12:11AM
  • yes totally agree.  What a brave and gallant soldier. 


    Tuesday 11th December 2018, 08:19AM
  • That is an amazing story! Thank you for sharing it.


    Barbara K

    Friday 20th December 2019, 06:03PM
  • My goodness what tenacity this man had for leading his men.   Thank you for sharing this story of your ancestor during the Civil War.  

    Waterford City, Waterford

    Saturday 21st December 2019, 12:47AM
  • A Patroit . I have a feeling that he would wish to be remembered for just that, and his other degrees and titles would mean little. What a Man in every best sense!


    Friday 17th January 2020, 12:46AM

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