As soon as he became of age, David Roche left his home in Ireland to become a soldier. His first enlistment was a five-year stint in the British army, where he learned his “soldierly ways.” Next, he went to the United States, where the Civil War was just underway, to fight for the Union. He was wounded twice in the Peninsula Campaign, but lived to witness Lee’s surrender at Appomattox and carry the Union flag in the Grand Parade of Victory. While most of his comrades returned to their homes, Roche reenlisted for “another kind of fighting” on the western frontier. Over the next two decades, he witnessed the extension of the railroad across the Great Plains, the reduction of the once massive herds of buffalo, and the subjugation of the plains tribes. In this service, Roche was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery in the Battle of Wolf Mountains, Montana Territory, on January 7, 1877. Ironically, his twenty-five years as an infantry soldier ended four years later when he was thrown from a horse and disabled. He lived the remainder of his life as a laborer among the thousands of his Irish countrymen who settled in the industrial city of Worcester, Massachusetts. If you want to buy the book click here to go to the Amazon site.
Click on the link below to view an excerpt of David Roche's memor from the "Old Guard" a post war GAR publication.
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