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Thomas Gray Redmond was born on March 20, 1843 in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Prior to his military service Redmond was said to have worked as a “nail cutter”, but other than that, little is known of his life until records revealed his enlistment as a Private into Knapp’s Independent Battery E of the Pennsylvania Light Artillery; on February 13, 1864; serving on active duty from January 16, 1864 through June 22, 1864.

Independent Battery E of the Pennsylvania Light Artillery was originally organized at Point of Rocks, Maryland from a Company formed for the 63rd Pennsylvania and extra men of the 28th Pennsylvania Infantry in September, 1861.  It was first attached to W. F. Smith's Division, Army of the Potomac, until November, 1861. During its service it was also attached to Banks' Division, Army of the Potomac, Geary's Separate Brigade, Banks' 5th Army Corps, the 2nd Corps, Army of Virginia, the 12th Army Corps and the Artillery Brigade, 20th Army Corps in 1865.

Veteran Pennsylvania members of the Union forces reenlisted in the military in January 1864, at the same time new recruits were being added, and Battery E was attached to Geary’s Division and served throughout the Atlanta Campaign of May through September 1864; then continued on the March to the Sea and the Carolina’s Campaign before the surrender of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, after which they returned to Washington D.C.. It then moved on to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where they were mustered out of service on June 14, 1865. Knapp’s Independent Battery took its name from the producer of the majority of the guns used in the Civil War, who organized the Battery, equipped the men and became their Captain; later resigning and turning the Battery over to the Government.

In a book by James P. Hardy and released by Thomas Publications in 1992, relating to Battery E titled, “Hurrah for the Artillery”, Brady includes diary extracts for the time period in which Redmond served and lists him in a roster of members of the “No 1 Gun Squad” on May 21, 1864 and again in June 1864. Knapp’s Battery was part of the 20th Corps Artillery Battery with its companion the 12th New York Independent Battery, New York Batteries I and M and the 1st Michigan Artillery Regiments Battery I.

Redmond, during his period of service participated in the Battle of Gettysburg and marched through Georgia before reaching his 20th birthday, fought his way to Chattanooga, Tennessee to establish a communication line for Grant, fought in a night attack on Lookout Mountain from which the Confederates on top could overlook seven states, had an exploding shell blow the head right off a horse he was actually leading, journeyed back to Bridgeport, Alabama to winter quarters, participated in the dreadful march over Missionary Ridge, fought his way down into Georgia, fought in a terrible 60 day march from Savannah, Georgia through South Carolina to Goldsborough, North Carolina, when night became day from burning fences, houses and cotton gins and also fought at Pine Knob; where Pope was killed.

After Redmond’s discharge from service in June 1865 he remained in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania until around 1870; also spending some time in Youngstown, Ohio. Then, for reasons known only to Redmond, he decided to leave the United States for Auckland, New Zealand where he remained until 1874. He spent time there studying navigation and obtaining a certificate, and met a lady he grew to care for, but left her behind for three weeks,  to pursue his dream of wealth in the Australian gold fields around Newcastle, New South Wales. He had already made a tidy sum in speculating on gold mining stocks for some three years and with his profits he bought himself a sailing schooner. Upon his return to New Zealand he found his lady gone. It seems that when Redmond left New Zealand for the Australian gold fields, the young lady he had grown exceedingly fond of up and left to join her relatives in Orange, Australia.

Not finding his lady when he returned to New Zealand, and having spent a few years at sea, Redmond got himself a berth as Mate aboard a sailing barque bound back for Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Upon arriving, his first task was to send his lady a wire telling her how she could reach him and leaving straight away from Bathurst, the terminus of the great western railway in 1870, he took a coach to Sydney, Australia to receive an answer to his message at the weatherboard building in Wynard Square; which was then the General Post Office. Redmond eventually found her at Orange, New South Wales and married Miss. Alice Emeline Townley, born on August 16, 1855, whose father was Samuel Townley a well known preacher; on April 1, 1874 at Orange, New South Wales; registeration number 1874-3439. Alice gave birth to nine children between 1875 and 1898; her last three being born in Victoria, New South Wales.

Their children were Emily Reid, born on March 16, 1875 in New South Wales; Frederick Charles T. born on April 29, 1877 in New South Wales and later married Edith Mary Turnbull; Harry George Percy born on August 24, 1879 in New South Wales who married Edith Rose Quilty; Robert Herbert born on March 29, 1881 in New South Wales;  Edith Alice Townley born on April 26, 1882 in New South Wales; Albert Lawrence born on May 2, 1884 in New South Wales; Leslie Arnold born on June 4, 1891 in Victoria; Therora Beatrice born on May 11, 1893 in Vivtoria and Florence Elsie born on February 27, 1898 in Victoria.

Redmond was well established in Orange, becoming the founder of the “Good Templars’ Lodge” in Orange and building many of the early homes there including the Templars’ Temple, the riding stables at Wolaroi for Mr. J.C. McLachlamthe, the spire of the local  Methodist Church and “Glenroi” on Bathurst Road. They remained in Orange until 1877, when they moved to Sydney; where the remained until 1888, at which time they moved on to Collingwood, Victoria.

In 1877 Thomas and Alice moved from Orange to the larger city of Sydney, New South Wales, residing at 212 Miller Street, North Sydney and at the “Crows Nest Building” in Crows Nest, New South Wales. Still later they moved again to the state of Victoria; living at 32 Derby Street, Collingwood, Victoria. When he applied for an invalid military pension in 1903, witnessed by a fellow veteran, Andrew W, Kinross, at the age of 58, Redmond listed his place of residence as Collingwood, NSW. Another veteran Redmond stayed  in contact with in Australia was William Sheppard; from his old company. Redmond stated in his pension application that he was no longer able to earn a living due to his “rheumatism, chronic diarrhea and piles”. In 1903 Redmond moved his family back to Sydney, still working “in spite of his disabilities”, as a joiner. A few of the other towns in New South Wales that Redmond lived in included North Sydney, Crows Nest, and Naremburn. 

It was also in 1908 that Redmond was paid a compliment by the Admiral of an American flagship in Australia and was given a prized memento; a small, silken “Old Glory”.  Tragedy struck Redmond, however, on December 15, 1913, with the death of his wife Alice, at the age of 58. Redmond was granted his sought after pension, however, which was increased in 1925 to a sum of $90 (US) a month; due to the fact that by that time he was almost totally blind with cataracts and was becoming extremely feeble.

On November 27, 1927, at 84 years of age, Redmond suddenly became very ill while on a visit to Orange, New South Wales, accompanied by his daughter-in-law Mrs. Bert Redmond and her son. He had returned to Orange, after fifty-three years, to visit and show his daughter “his” old town and as they were preparing to leave, after having lunch, Redmond suddenly dropped to the floor and died; in the home of Mr. West at Canobolas. His death registration number was 1827-22722. His daughter, Mrs. Belinfante of Orange was with her father when he died. Though he died in Orange, his home at the time was at 22 Dargan Street in Naremburn, Australia. His body was prepared and transported by train to Sydney, where he was buried alongside his wife, in the North Sydney Cemetery.

 

Independent Battery E - Knap's Battery - Pennsylvania Volunteers - Recruited at Pittsburg

(Ridge – Root)

Name

Rank

Date of Muster into Service

Remarks

Ridge, John

Private

September 21, 1861

Mustered out with battery, June 14, 1865; Vet

Redmond,Thomas

Private

February 13, 1864

Mustered out with battery, June 14, 1865

Robb, Silas C.

Private

March 1, 1864

Mustered out with battery, June 14, 1865

Robinson, Joseph E.

Private

September 11, 1862

Discharged by General Order, June 12, 1865

Ridge, William

Private

July 23, 1863

Mustered out with battery, June 14, 1865

Rumlbhildt, John

Private

May 29, 1863

Mustered out with battery, June 14, 1865

Roe, James

Private

July 19, 1864

Mustered out with battery, June 14, 1865

Radel, John

Private

January 21, 1865

Substitute; mustered out with battery, June 14, 1865

Rodgers, Samuel

Private

August 30, 1864

Mustered out with battery, June 14, 1865

Raymond, L. A.

Private

September 16, 1864

Mustered out with battery, June 14, 1865

Rendler, Henry

Private

 

Died at Goldsboro, N. C., April 3, 1865

Reynor, Theodore

Private

August 26, 1862

Not on muster-out roll

Root, John

Private

January 29, 1864

Not accounted for

 

“A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion”,  Frederick H.  Dyer

Armstrong County Vital Records, Armstrong Courthouse, Kittanning, Pa.

“Between the Wars 1919 - 1945”, publication

Gore Hill Cemetery Records

“Gore Hill Memorial Cemetery; Biographies”, Friends of Gore Hill Cemetery

“History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861 – 1865”, Samuel P. Bates

“Hurrah for the Artillery”, James P. Brady, 1992

Knapp’s Independent Battery E Roster

National Archives, Microfilm Archives, Film Number M554, roll 99

New Castle Family History Society, Inc.

New South Wales newspapers, 1927

Pennsylvania Light Artillery Regimental History

“Pioneers 1788 – 1888”, publication

Redmond Induction Records

Terry Issit, State Library, New South Wales

Vital Records, State Dept of Health, New Castle, Pa.

 

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