Civil War Veterans


My great-great-grandfather Patrick Craven and his wife, Mary Kilraine, were veterans of the Civil War. Their names, along with Mary’s second husband, Patrick Commuskey, are listed in the booklet prepared for the 100th Anniversary of Williamstown, Pennsylvania. The copy of the booklet I have belonged to my uncle, Thomas Craven. Note the variation in the spelling of Commuskey; I am not sure which is correct.




Here is some biographical information on Patrick Craven:

Patrick Craven was born in Kings County, Ireland in 1833. He married Mary Kilraine in Minersville, PA on June 25, 1857. The priest was Rev. Michael Malone.

On December 12, 1861 in Pottsville, PA, Patrick enlisted in the Army for a period of three years. He was a private in the Fifth Regiment of Artillery Company L. The Company was commanded by Captain Ames. The Regiment Commander was Colonel Henry Stanton Burton.

On the day he enlisted, Patrick’s age was 23 years, 11 months. His occupation was a miner, he was five feet, eight inches tall, had blue eyes and brown hair, and a fair complexion. His medical record showed a history of having small pox.

Some of the questions on the medical form:

Have you ever had the fits?
Have you ever received an injury or wound upon the head?
Are you in the habit of drinking? Or have you ever had the ‘horrors’?
Are you subject to the piles?
Have you any difficulty in urinating?

Patrick signed his enlistment papers with an “X.” It was witnessed by Captain A.V. Delhart of the Fifth Artillery Regiment, Recruiting Officer.

Patrick was discharged from the Army on March 14, 1864. He reenlisted at Camp Marshall in Washington, DC. He died at Fort Jefferson, FL on January 23, 1866. The cause of death was an abscess on the liver. At the time of his death, Patrick was a Sergeant in Company L.

Patrick’s widow married Patrick Commuskey on March 7, 1866.

I was curious about the cause of death. Apparently, an abscess of the liver is the result of infection or trauma. Some of the possible causes are an abdominal infection, such as appendicitis, diverticulitis, or a perforated bowel.

Special thanks to Maggie McCoy Wilson for obtaining the military records from the National Archives & Records Administration.


2 thoughts on “Civil War Veterans

    • It was written by Martha J. Opie and includes poems, a history of the coal industry, other notes of history, list of veterans, advertisements, the names of many community leaders. A snapshot of Williamstown in 1926.

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