Hugh McCormick was born in the year 1841 in Ireland.
Like many veterans, little is known of McCormick prior to entering
the service of the Union, but he entered in the American Civil War
considerably later than most. He was a machinist when he mustered
into Company E of the 4th New York Heavy Artillery at age of 23 in
the Fourth Congressional District of New York City; on March 11,
1864. Signing up for a three year period, McCormick was paid a $60
enlistment bounty and when he enlisted. On November 1, 1861, Col. T.
D, Doubleday received authority to recruit a regiment of heavy
artillery, originally known as “Doubleday's Heavy Artillery”, and
was designated the First Heavy Artillery on January 27, 1862; with
the Fourth Regiment of Artillery being formed on February 8, 1862.
It also had two companies destined for the United States Lancers
attached to it as well. It was organized at New York City and the
companies were mustered in at Port Richmond, New York. Enlisted men
of Company H, not mustered out with their regiments, joined the
Fourth Regiment of Artillery Regiment by transfer. Company E was
mustered into it in February 1862 and was largely inducted at New
York City, Port Richmond and Cohoes, New York.
The regiment of seven companies left New York for
Washington, D.C. on February 10, 1862, attached to the Military
District of Washington until May 1862. It served as heavy artillery
and infantrymen, at and near Washington, D. C., in its defenses, and
with the 22nd Corps. It then participated in the Battles of the
Wilderness from May 5th through the 7th; was at Spottsylvania from
May 8 through the 12th; at Cold Harbor from June 1st through the
12th, participated in the Siege of Petersburg from June 16, 1864
through April 2nd, was at Deep Bottom on July 27th & 28th, in the
Appomattox Campaign from March 28th through April 9th and witnessed
the Surrender of Lee and his army; plus being at many other places
and in many engagements in between.
its service the regiment lost 5 officers and 61 enlisted men killed
in action, had 3 officers and 56 enlisted men who received wounds in
action and 4 officers and 335 enlisted men who died from disease and
other causes. A total of 12 officers and 452 enlisted-men; of which
97 enlisted men who died in the hands of the enemy.
McCormick was severely wounded with a gunshot wound in his right
shoulder at Cold Harbor, Virginia on June 4, 1864, during one of the
bloodiest battles of the war. He was sent to
Camp General Hospital at David’s Island, New York on June 14, 1864
and furloughed for thirty days on July 1, 1864.
the Battle of Gettysburg, David's Island served as a medical
facility only for Union troops. It was an established and equipped
facility, surrounded by water and Union authorities immediately
recognized it as an excellent place to hold extremely ill prisoners;
or those who were still suffering from battle wounds. Located
in Long Island Sound just off the coast of what is today the New
York suburb of New Rochelle, the eighty-acre site would eventually
hold more than 2,500 Confederate prisoners at any one time. It was a
long, narrow stretch of land that contained twenty-two temporary
structures extending almost the entire length of the island and each
building was divided into four wards that contained up to twenty
bunks each. A doctor's office was located in the front of each
building with one toilet at the rear. Mess halls were located
between every two buildings and when the population increased to
more than 1,800 prisoners, tents were used for them.
August 30, 1864 McCormick was arrested as a “deserter from furlough”
in the 3rd Congressional District of New York and allowed
a $30 reward, he was sent to Fort Columbus on August 31st.
The charge however, was eventually erased. Records show nothing
about him arriving at Fort Columbus, but do reveal he was received
William, New York Hospital on August 31st and then sent
on to City Point, Virginia on September 6, 1864; eventually
returning to his company. After rejoining the company McCormick was
reported present until December 1864, absent in January and February
1865 and shown as having been transferred out as a Private to the 5th
Company, 2nd Battalion US Veteran Reserve Corps on April
17, 1865. The 5th Company, 2nd Battalion was
formerly known as Company "H," 10th Regiment, Veteran
Reserve Corps; organized at the McDougall General Hospital on June
24, 1863. Its designation changed on August 1, 1864 and it was
consolidated with the 110th Company, 2nd Battalion; on October 23,
1865. McCormick was discharged, still a Private, at the General
Hospital at Newark, New Jersey on October 18, 1865.
McCormick was awarded a pension as a result of his wounds,
certificate No. 152087, and awarded a sum of $5 (US) a month. A
surgeon’s report stated that the lead ball that caused his wound had
never been removed before he applied for a pension. When his pension
was awarded, McCormick was shown living at the National Military
Home in Montgomery County, Ohio.
McCormick was married for a second time to Mary Casey on January 18,
1879 at Dayton, Ohio; after which he and his wife migrated to
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia that same year. Upon arriving in
Australia McCormick worked as a cab driver and lived on Tanner
Street in Richmond, Victoria. McCormick and Mary had six children
between 1889 and 1896; John Joseph, Catherine Rose, Hugh which died
at a young age, Harry James Sidney, Ellen Rebecca and Sara.
McCormick died at Richmond, Victoria on January 12, 1904 and was
buried at Carlton, Victoria in the Melbourne General Cemetery; in
the Roman Catholic Section, grave number Z717. In 1990 a bronze
plaque was obtained from the American Veterans Administration in
Washington DC and placed on his grave.
Birth, Marriage and Death Records,
“Heavy Guns and Light: A History of
the 4th New York Heavy Artillery”, Hyland C. Kirk
Melbourne General Cemetery Records
National Archives, Washington, D.C.
Ohio State Archives, Ohio Historical
Center, Columbus, Ohio
Records of Adjutant Generals Office,
War Dept. Washington, D.C.
Report of the Adjutant General, New
U.S. Pension Records, Washington,
Veteran Reserve Corps, 2nd
Battalion Registration File, M636 roll 25/26