Born in Co. Cork, Ireland in 1822, Thomas William Sweeny was a renowned U.S
army general who served with destination in the Mexican-American War,
the Indian Wars, the American Civil War and the Fenian invasion of
Canada. Having lost an arm in the Mexican-American War did not end
his military career nor his rise to the rank to Brigadier General.
He and his widowed mother came to the
United States in 1834 when he was 12 years old . After completing his
education he worked for a law publisher before joining the Baxter Blues,
a New York based militia company that fought in the Mexican-American
During the Civil War he served in the
Western Theater and was involved in numerous battles including Wilson
Creek, Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Decatur and Resaca. He was severely
wounded at Wilson Creek and again at Shiloh. For his heroics, his
fellow servicemen nicknamed him "Fighting Tom".
After the Civil War ended he became the
Fenian Secretary of War responsible for planning the invasion of Canada.
Although dismissed from the U.S. army for his leading role in the Fenian
invasion he was reinstated by President Johnson. He served in the
southern states until his retirement in 1870. He died in Astoria
Long Island in 1892 and is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New
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