13th Independent Battery - NY Light Artillery

James Lynch

James Lynch
Courtesy Phil Reisman

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Family History
Courtesy of
Dana Lynch
Phil Reisman



James Lynch enlisted at the age of 44 years on September 7, 1861 in New York City. He was mustered in as a private on that day to serve three years, and was promoted to corporal sometime prior to August 31, 1863. He reenlisted on January 1, 1864, and was killed in action on July 20, 1864 at Peach Tree Creek, Ga.

According to his granddaughter, Virginia Lynch, James is thought to have been born about August 1814 in County Donegal, Ireland, immigrating to New York in April 1834. There he married Anne Drewry, an English women, and together they had eight children, George, Caroline, Sarah, William, Catherine, Charles, Anne, and Franklin.

In 1849 James sold his brick house in Manhattan for $3000 "yielding to the urge to get away from the blasting and digging incident to the laying out of a new park, 'Central Park' and moved to the 'rustic solitudes' of Mott Haven on the corner of Morris Avenue and 142nd Street", now part of the Bronx.

It is believed that Lynch had been a stone mason and that some of the walls in New York's Central Park were his handiwork.

Also according to Virginia Lynch,

"In April, 1861, the sleepy village on the Harlem stirred to Lincoln's call to arms. James Lynch, the father of the house marched away with the 13th New York Artillery. The story of Wheeler's Battery, of that regiment, is the story of the Civil War, for it took part in thirty-eight engagements. After Gettysburg, a joyous welcome awaited the father when he returned for a brief two-weeks furlough. A Virginia creeper which the soldier brought back from Gettysburg Field long shed its green and crimson glory over the old picket fences and the porch.

"Then came Sherman's march to the sea. Every afternoon the village folk gathered in a store to hear the war news read from the New York Herald which some one, each day, made the long trip to the city to get. Little Caroline Lynch, wide-eyed, heard one memorable day, the ominous list thus begun: 'Killed in action -- James Lynch'. Back she sped to tell the grievous news to the bereaved mother and children. A simple stone in Woodlawn records briefly the story: 'Killed at Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, July 20, 1864'. Only echoes of his sturdy step returned; but they seem to have followed on into the lives of his grandsons and great-grandsons for the tradition of military service to the country still persists."

The Lynch family history also recounts a tale of how James "fell nobly daring, at the front of the Great Conflict at Atlanta, pierced by nine balls, five of which went through his heart". The Report of Capt. Henry Bundy dated Sept 7, 1864 refers to the incident. Although Lynch is not mentioned by name, Bundy reports that one of his soldiers was struck and killed by nine bullets at this battle.

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13th Independent Battery - NY Light Artillery
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Updated 9 Jun 2001