Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MULLIGAN, James A., soldier, born in Utica, New York, 25 June, 1830; died in Winchester, Virginia, 26 July, 1864. His parents were Irish, and removed to Chicago in 1836. He was the first graduate, in 1850, of the University of St. Mary's of the Lake, and in that year began to study law. He accompanied John Lloyd Stephens on his expedition to Panama in 1851, and, returning to Chicago in the following year, resumed the study of law, and edited a weekly Roman Catholic paper entitled the " Western Tablet." He was soon admitted to the bar, and, after practising in Chicago, became, in 1857, a clerk in the department of the interior in Washington. At the opening of the civil war he raised the so-called Irish brigade, which consisted of but one regiment, the 23d Illinois, of which he was made colonel. He conducted the defence of Lexington, Maine, from July till September, 1861, holding the town for nine days against an overwhelming force under General Sterling Price, was captured on 20 September, exchanged on 25 November, 1861, and returned to Chicago as the hero of Lexington. He reorganized his regiment, and after a short lecturing tour in the eastern states took command of Camp Douglas and participated in several engagements in Virginia. Colonel Mulligan was offered the commission of brigadier-general, which he declined, preferring to remain with his regiment. He was fatally wounded during a charge on the Confederate lines at the battle of Winchester. His men attempted to carry him from the field, but, seeing that the colors of the brigade were endangered, he exclaimed, "bay me down, and save the flag ! " repeating the order when they hesitated. They obeyed, but before their return he was borne away by the enemy, and died in their hands.
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