THE FASCINATING life of a Newtownbutler man who went on to become a chaplain in the American Civil War will be the topic of next week’s monthly meeting of the Newtownbutler Historical Society.
Seamus McCaffrey is the guest speaker for the November 25th talk, which takes place at 8pm following the society’s AGM at 7.30pm. The subject of the talk will be the ‘Fermanagh Priest in the American Civil War.’
Thomas Brady, one of seven children of John and Bridget Brady, was born at Derrydoon, Newtownbutler in 1824. Thomas emigrated to the US where he eventually studied for the priesthood. After being ordained in Buffalo, New York in 1954 the then Fr Brady went on to teach at schools in Rochester and was a chaplain at local hospitals.
In 1860 Fr Brady transferred to Grand Rapids in Michigan where he became curate in the parish of St Andrew. He was also chaplain to the Little Sisters of St Bridget.
Then in 1862, the year after the outbreak of the Civil War, Fr Brady enlisted in the 15th Michigan Infantry, with whom he served as chaplain. While most other chaplains served only the obligatory 18 months, Fr Brady served out with the regiment for three years until the end of the war.
As chaplain during the war, Fr Brady tended to the dead and dying on the battle fields, administering rights. He always carried two bottles, one with whiskey for the unfortunate, the other with holy water for baptisms.
After the war ended, Fr Brady demobilised wit the 15th Michigans at Little Rock, Arkansas in August 1865. Sadly, after having seen one of the bloodiest wars in history through to the end, Fr Brady passed way in September 1865 on his way home to Detroit.
Anyone interested in hearing more about the fascinating life of Fr Brady is welcome to come along to the Newtownbutler Community Centre next Monday night at 8pm.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition