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Robert Ambrose was born in Cook County, Ireland and by 1878 he was living in Napier, New Zealand where his youngest child Richard was born.  He migrated to the state of Massachusetts in the United States where his occupation was listed as that of a tailor at Boston, Massachusetts and he enlisted with the 4th Light Artillery Regiment at Massachusetts as a private on February 2, 1864 at the age of twenty-four.

The 4th Independent Battery, Massachusetts Light Artillery was organized at Lowell, Massachusetts on November 17, 1861 after which it moved to Boston on November 20th. It then boarded the Steamer "Constitution" and sailed for Ship Island, Mississippi, arriving on December 3, 1961. Ambrose became active with the Artillery unit, after his enlistment, when it was a part of the 1st Division, 19th Army Corps, Department of the Gulf in 1864. He participated in the defences of New Orleans, Louisiana with the Department of the Gulf until September, 1864 after the unit moved from Boston, Massachusetts to New York and then on to New Orleans; from March 25th through April 6th.  The 4th Massachusetts Light Artillery saw duty at New Orleans as Infantry until June 30th, at Apollo Stables till September 5th and then moved to Morganza on September 5th & 6th  where they saw duty until November 10th. They also saw duty at the Atchafalaya River, Bayou Sara, Clinton, at Jackson, the White River in Arkansas, at Duvall's Bluff and at Memphis, Tennessee. He was finally discharged from Unit 1004 on October 14, 1865 at New Orleans, Louisiana. 

After his discharge Robert made his way to England and married Mary Lane in London, England; in 1869. They had two children born in Cork County, England, Mary and Michael and by 1878 he and his wife had migrated to Napier, New Zealand; where their youngest child Richard was born. They eventually had three children; two sons and a daughter.   A search of the electoral rolls for Wairoa found that Robert Ambrose was listed in 1899, 1900, 1902 and 1905, but not on 1909. On the 1899 roll Robert was noted as a labourer of Gisborne.  In a search of the New Zealand Post Office directory, Robert was listed as a tailor in the years 1907 to 1909.

The Napier Electoral Roll for 1905 and 1906 reveals that Robert in those years was working as a “Billiard Marker” and Mary as a tailoress.

Robert died on August 16, 1908, certificate number 1758, and was buried in the Wairoa Cemetery, a city just north of Napier on North Island in New Zealand. His obituary in the East Coast Mail newspaper on August 17th, however, misstated his name as “Richard” Ambrose. It stated he had been employed as a tailor.   A headstone was acquired for his grave by the American Civil War Round Table of Queensland, Inc.

Robert Ambrose’s great great granddaughter, Maureen Goodwin, the daughter of John O'Sullivan who died on February 6, 2003 at the age of 90, still lives in New Zealand.

Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand

“East Coast Mail”, newspaper, 1906

 Madelon van Zijll de Jong, Hastings Central Library

 Mary Cobeldick, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, N.Z.

 Maureen Goodwin, New Zealand

 National Archives, film roll # M544, roll 1

 Wairoa Cemetery Records

 Wairoa District Council

 

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