Sgt. Patrick Craven


Patrick Craven, my great-great-grandfather, was born in King’s County Ireland in 1833. This is to the best of my knowledge. (King’s County is now known as County Offaly).

He married Mary Kilraine in Minersville, Pennsylvania in 1857. On December 12, 1861, Patrick enlisted in the Union Army and fought in the Civil War. He was a private in the Fifth Regiment of Artillery Company L. Patrick was discharged from the Army on March 14, 1864, and reenlisted at Camp Marshall in Washington, DC.

At war’s end Patrick was stationed at Fort Jefferson in the Florida Keys. Here is information about the fort from Wikipedia:

“The fort remained in federal hands throughout the Civil War. With the end of hostilities in 1865, the fort’s population declined to 1,013, consisting of 486 soldiers or civilians and 527 prisoners. The great majority of prisoners at Fort Jefferson were Army privates whose most common transgression had been desertion, while the most frequent transgression for the civilian prisoners was robbery. However, in July 1865 four special civilian prisoners arrived. These were Dr. Samuel Mudd, Edmund Spangler, Samuel Arnold, and Michael O’Laughlen, who had been convicted of conspiracy in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.”

It was at Fort Jefferson where Patrick Craven died on January 23, 1866. The cause of death was an abscess on the liver. He was a Sergeant in Company L at the time.

I was curious about what causes the liver to become infected. Again from Wikipedia:

“A liver abscess is a pus-filled mass inside the liver. Common causes are abdominal infections such as appendicitis or diverticulitis due to haematogenous spread through the portal vein.”

The journal entry pictured above is from the U.S. Register of Deaths in the Regular Army, 1860-1889.


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