Massachusetts 27th Infantry Regiment
Between 1861 and 1865, 1,543 men served in the
Massachusetts 27th Infantry Regiment. Many were immigrants
ready to fight for their new country, others were bored farm boys
looking to join up to relieve the boredom of every day farm
work. Of those, little is known of the men at the personal
level. In attempt to add some personality to the men who
fought in the regiment you will find some insightful biographies
Throughout his military and pension records obtained from the U. S. National Archives, John's last name appears spelled McDonnell and McDonald. The name McDonnell appears on a copy of John's death certificate obtained from the Holyoke, MA, City Clerk's Office. John died on June 6, 1905, in Holyoke, MA. There are pension documents signed by John with the last name McDonald. More than likely, the army had misspelled his name along the way and it was easier for John to sign the documents McDonald rather than McDonnell to get his pension.
This section includes copies of John McDonnell's military records copied from the National Archives. They include copies of his muster roles beginning October 14, 1861, in Springfield, Massachusetts, when he was mustered into service and runs through September 1864, when he was mustered out of service. Of interest is the fact that his last name is spelled two different ways throughout the muster rolls: McDonald and McDonnell. This is due to a clerical error. John's last name appears spelled McDonnell on a copy of his death certificate obtained from the Holyoke, MA, City Clerk's Office. John died on June 6, 1905, in Holyoke, MA. Although he signed documents as John McDonald, it is almost certain he originally spelled his last name McDonnell.
Roll Call Pages:
The other military records include a court martial hearing for John McDonnell. It appears that John went Absent Without Leave (AWOL) for thirty-six hours. He was brought up on charges by his sergeant and lieutenant, pleaded guilty (the smart thing to do), and was given a month's worth of "fatigue duty" and a $5.00 fine as his punishment.
Court Martial Pages:
Of most importance are the two "GENERAL AFFIDAVIT" documents. The reason being that one of the "Affiant" signatures on each of the documents is signed by John J. Fitzgerald. John McDonnell had a sister Mary McDonnell. Mary married Patrick Fitzgerald and had a son: John J. Fitzgerald. Hence, John J. Fitzgerald was John McDonnell's nephew. This is the tie in to the Fitzgerald family.
Within the pension records, the following facts are revealed:
he was 21 when he enlisted, he was 5' 5", had a light
complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, he was born in county Kerry,
Ireland, his occupation was a farmer, and he never married. John
McDonnell died in June 6, 1905, at the age of 65.
This site was built by and is administered by FitzWare Inc.