Tuesday, August 30, 2005

John Patrick Foley, Mexican-American War Veteran

John Patrick Foley, from County Mayo, Ireland, was the only Foley from Illinois to enlist during the Mexican-American War. He was 5'7 1/2" tall, with black hair and blue or dark hazel eyes.

He was 21 years old when he joined Company D of the 16th Regiment of the United States Infantry. His occupation was listed alternately as Laborer or farmer. and he was born in St. Clair County Illinois. He was signed up by Captain L. McKenney at Dixon Illinois on April 8, 1847, received a six dollar signing bonus to risk his life for our country for 353 days.
Before being accepted he was examined by Dr. Gregory who signed an affidavit before the Probate Justice of the Peace, Lorenzo Wood, for the County of Lee, State of Illinois, that:
"I certify on honor that I have minutely examined the recruit, John P. Foley, previously to his enlistment, and that he was entirely sober when enlisted: that to the best of my judgment and belief, he is of lawful age".

His place of birth clearly says Saint Clair County, Illinois, but his Country of origin is listed just as clearly as Ireland and County Mayo. It may have been necessary at that time to establish citizenship in order to enlist.

The real question is "Is he one of our ancestors?"

A written history of our family was prepared by Daniel E Foley sometime before his death. He indicated that a Foley had joined the army during this war and was given a land grant for his service. That being 320 acres in the Quincy Illinois area. Now we seem to have a name, a location and approximate age. More research to do, but an interesting story no matter whose relation he is.


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