Site Logo
Home | Battles | Cemeteries | Descendants | Find A Soldier | Towns | Units | Site Map

Coughlin, John


Age: 25, credited to Williamstown, VT
Unit(s): 10th NH INF
Service: Comn LTCol, 10th NY INF, 9/5/62, pr Bvt COL, 4/9/65, pr Bvt BGen 4/9/65, m/o 6/21/65 (Medal of Honor)

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 1837, Williamstown, VT
Death: 05/20/1912

Burial: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
Marker/Plot: 02/0936-WS
Gravestone photographer: Courtesy of Arlington National Cemetery
Findagrave Memorial #: 6134


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 9/23/1879
Portrait?: Findagrave
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None


(Are you a descendant, but not listed? Register today)


Copyright notice


Arlington National Cemetery, VA

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.


This soldier was awarded the Medal of Honor

John Coughlin

Rank and Organization: Lieutenant Colonel, 10th New Hampshire Infantry.
Place and date: Swifts Creek, VA, 9 May 1864.
Entered service at: Manchester, NH
Born: 1837, Vermont.
Date of Issue: 31 Aug 1893.
Died: 27 May 1912.
Buried: National Cemetery, Arlington, Va. (Section 2, Lot 936, WS).
Citation: During a sudden night attack upon Burnham's Brigade, resulting in much confusion, this officer, without waiting for orders, led his regiment forward and interposed a line of battle between the advancing enemy and Hunt's Battery, repulsing the attack and saving the guns.

NARA File Number: C-533-VS-1863.


John Coughlin was born in Williamstown, Vermont, 1836/7, son of Daniel and Margaret Coughlin. His father and mother were immigrants from Ireland. They settled in Williamstown, Vermont where they leased a farm. When the 1850 census of Manchester, New Hampshire was taken, the Coughlin family was in residence in that city. The enumeration of the family follows:

Daniel Coughlin, b. Ireland, 1799, (age 51, laborer, head of the family), cannot read or write Margaret Coughlin, b. Ireland, 1800 (age 50, wife) cannot read or write
Timothy Coughlin, b. Ireland, 1830 (age 20, son, laborer)
Mary Coughlin, b. Ireland, 1832 (age 18, daughter)
Jeremiah "Jerry" Coughlin, b. Vt. 1834 (age 16, son, laborer)
John Coughlin, b. Vt. 1837 (oage 13, son, in school)
William Coughlin, b. Vt. 1840 (age 10, son, in school)
Ellen Coughlin, b. Vt. 1842 (age 8, daughter, in school)
Winnifred "Winnie" Murray, b. Ireland, 1834 (age 16, boarding)
James Murray, b. Ireland, 1836 (age 14, boarding)
Francis Murray, b. Ireland, 1838 (age 12, boarding)
Bridget Murray, b. Ireland, 1840 (age 10, boarding)

When the 1860 census of Manchester, NH was taken, John Cloughlin was 22 years old, single, and a self-employed grocer, in business with Michael Gillis. John was living with Michael Gillis (age 33), and his wife Johanna Gillis (age 31) and their five children, all born in New Hampshire in 1860. Mr. Coughlin never married.
See also "Incidents in the Life of Gen. John Coughlin, Provost Marshal General of Richmond, Va., on Its Occupation by Federal Troops in 1865 and Intrusted by Lincoln with Plans for Virginia Never Before Related," by Ernest Brown, Manchester [NH] Sunday Union, 16 Oct., 1910 (7 pages)
From: New Hampshire in the Great Rebellion by Otis F. R. Waite (page 428): "When in the summer of 1862 three hundred thousand troops were called for by the President, to meet the emergency in which the country was placed by the defeats of the Union army, it was determined by the Governor and Council to raise an Irish regiment in this State and it was designated the Tenth Infantry. Captain Donohoe, who had distinguished himself as an officer in the Third Regiment, was offered the command of the Tenth, and signified his willingness to accept the responsible position. He was commissioned Colonel on the 6th of August, 1862, and soon came home and assumed the duties. Colonel Donohoe, Lieut. Colonel Coughlin, also of Manchester, and others who had been commissioned in the Tenth Regiment, addressed meetings of citizens in that city and other places, appealing especially to their fellow countrymen, and very soon secured the requisite number of men -- Manchester furnishing the larger part of six companies. The regiment was fully organized, mustered into the United States service, and left the State for the seat of war in September -- but little more than a month after Colonel Donohoe received his commission. He went with his regiment to the field, and its history, with that of the Third, go far toward making up Colonel Donohoe's personal military record.
In the summer of 1863, and during much of the time afterward, until the close of the war, Colonel Donohoe was in command of his brigade. He was wounded severely on the 29th of September, 1864, when in command of the skirmish line in the assault on Fort Harrison. Early in the day his horse was shot under him. He showed great coolness and bravery until wounded late in the day. He was appointed Brigadier General United States Volunteers, by brevet, for gallant conduct in the field, to date from March 13, 1865. His regiment was among the first to enter the city of Richmond." ..... (page 432): During the months of January and February, 1863, the health of the regiment was exceedingly bad, and for a long time there was an average of more than one death per day. On the 5th of February Colonel Donohoe started for home on a leave of absence, and the command of the regiment devolved on Lieut. Colonel Coughlin. ..... (page 440): On the 15th of September, 1864, Colonel Donohoe, after a protracted absence, returned to the regiment, and Lieut. Colonel Coughlin was assigned to the command of the Fifth Maryland Veteran Volunteers, and afterward to a provisional brigade of new troops from Pennsylvania ; and was subsequently Provost Marshal of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, including the Army of the James.
In March, 1866, Lt. Colonel John Coughlin of Manchester, NH signed a petition, along with the leading citizens of Manchester, NH with the Governor, the Attorney General and other Civil War leaders to Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.
It seemed that Captain Cornelius Healy of Manchester, NH, who emigrated to the US in 1847, settling at Manchester and was naturalized, was a valant soldier of the Civil War. Mr. Healy was commissioned as captain of the 8th NH Regiment and served from 1861-1864. He was compelled to resign his position because of ill health. He was advised by his physicain to visit the homeland of his parents, Ireland for benefit. He according sailed for Ireland in the autumn of 1865. Instead of resting to restore his health he was arrested a Tralee, County Kerry in Feb., 1866 by British authorities and thrown into prison. The petition stated that Captain Healy was unjustly imprisoned and unlawfully held in confinement and the petitioners requested that Secreatry Seward use all necessary means to secure his freedom and speedy vindication of his rights as an American citizen. John Coughlin was an Alderman from Ward 5 in Manchester in 1861 under Mayro David A. Bunton. He was also in the New Hampshire legislature. Tracking Col. Coughlin in the census records: -1900 census of District 55, Colesville (Montgomery County) Maryland lists: John Coughlin, born Vermont, June, 1837, age 62, single; his father and mother born in Ireland. John was boarding in the household of Widow Annie E. Miller (age 45, no relation). -1910 census of District 14, 2nd Precinct, Washington DC. lists: John Coughlin, born Vermont, 1837, age 72, single. He was boarding in a boarding house owned by James A. Timberlake and wife and family (no relation)
John's brother Jeremiah Coughlin (also born in Vermont) was a Civil War soldier in the 11th Mass. wounded.
Jeremiah Coughlin of Boston, Mass. enlisted 13 Aug., 1862 (at the age of 25 yrs) as a private in Co. "A", 11th Massachusetts Infantry. He was a "Seaman" He was mustered out 27 July, 1865. Jeremiah Coughlin (b. Montpelier, Vt. age 28), enlisted in the US Army in Boston, 28 Sept. 1865. Sailor by occupation; 5 ft. 11 and ½ inches; died at Brookhaven, Mississippi 2 Sept., 1868.
Courtesy of Linda M. Welch, Dartmouth College.