Saturday, June 12, 2021

Girardville AOH Dedicates Monument for Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient

On Saturday, the Girardville Ancient Order of Hibernians John Kehoe Division 1 dedicated a Monument for Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient Patrick Monaghan.

Monaghan was born in Ireland in 1840 and immigrated to the United States when he was 10 years old, settling in Minersville, later becoming a mine laborer.

During the summer of 1861, at the age of 21, he enlisted in the military joining Company F, 48th Infantry Pennsylvania Volunteers in Pottsville, rising to the rank of sergeant.

During the Civil War, Monaghan would be wounded three times, at the Second Bull Run, the Wilderness, and at Petersburg.  

On June 17th, the 48th would attack Confederate Lines surrounding Petersburg that would eventually lead to the surrender of retreating Confederate forces.  For this, he was awarded the Medal of Honor on December 1st, 1964.  Major General George Meade personally handed him the medal on December 16th.

After the war, Monaghan would return to Minersville and join the National Guard, ultimately rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Following his discharge, Monaghan served as a school teacher and superintendent of Girardville Public Schools from 1873 to 1916. Patrick Monaghan died in 1917 at the age of 74.  Monaghan was buried at St. Joseph's cemetery in Girardville.

Saturday's procession and ceremony began around 11:30 AM from the American Legion on Main Street in the borough.

The procession proceeded down Main Street to Second Street to Mahanoy Avenue to Saint Joseph’s Cemetery on Mahanoy Avenue for a 12 noon ceremony. 

Guest speaker for the event was scheduled to be Raymond Johnson from the Medal of Honor Society in Ohio but was unable to attend at the last minute.

Filling in to speak were Tom Dempsey Sr. with prayer and benediction by Tom Symons.  Girardville AOH President Joseph Wayne was Master of Ceremonies.

During the ceremony, a monument was unveiled on Monaghan's grave at the cemetery in his honor.

Assisting and participating in the procession and ceremonies were the Girardville American Legion and VFW and the Ashland American Legion along with the Girardville Police Department, Girard Hose Co., and Rangers Hose Company.

The fire police and department assisted with the closure of Mahanoy Avenue during the ceremony.

Paul Kowalick, of Girardville, was credited for his work and upkeep of the cemetery and Monaghan's grave.