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John Brosnan
Born (1846-07-01)July 1, 1846
Died August 7, 1921(1921-08-07) (aged 75)
Place of birth Ireland
Place of death Brooklyn, New York
Allegiance US flag 34 stars.svg United States of America
Service/branch U.S. Army
Years of service 2 August 1862 to 7 February 1865
Rank Sergeant
Unit New York Company E, 164th New York Infantry
Battles/wars Second Battle of Petersburg
Awards Medal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor

Sergeant John Brosnan (July 1, 1846 to August 7, 1921[1]) was an Irish soldier who fought in the American Civil War. Brosnan received the United States' highest award for bravery during combat, the Medal of Honor, for his action during the Second Battle of Petersburg in Virginia on 17 July 1864. He was honored with the award on 18 January 1894.[1][2]


Brosnan was born in Ireland on 1 July 1846. He enlisted into the 164th New York Infantry as a private on 2 August 1862. The 164th, along with the 155th, 170th, 175th, and 182nd, made up a brigade of Irish soldiers referred to as Corcoran's Legion.[2] It was while he was a Sergeant in command of his company that he performed the act of gallantry that earned him the Medal of Honor. On the morning of 17 June 1864, Brosnan responded to the groans of a member of his company, Corporal Michael Carroll, who had been wounded by hidden rebels and lay exposed to heavy fire from the enemy. Under fire Brosnan carried out a successful attempt to rescue Corporal Carroll by lifting him on his arms and out of the line of fire. Brosnan, too, was wounded in this rescue, subsequently losing an arm.[3][4]

After the war, Brosnan resided in New York and died on 7 August 1921. His remains are interred at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.[3]

Medal of Honor citationEdit

Rescued a wounded comrade who lay exposed to the enemy's fire, receiving a severe wound in the effort.[1][2]

See alsoEdit


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