(Submitted by Gail Komar)
My great, great grandfather, Walsh Patterson was one of the militia men under Captain James Burbeck/Burdick which John Morgan surrendered near West Point, Oh. He only lived a couple of miles away. Walsh came to America in 1835 from Belfast, NI to Charleston, SC with his parents, John and Mary Ella Patterson and two brothers, James Alexander and George, sister Matilda, and a neighbor boy, John Donigan. They came from a little village 15 miles southwest of Belfast called Lochrelesh. Today that village is part of Belfast. They may have caught the first boat out of Belfast, because they hated Charleston. They stayed there about 10 years until they could make enough money to get out of the South. They hated slavery! We don’t know if they were Scotch-Irish or just Irish. The name Patterson is actually Viking so they could have been either.
The militia men always hated the fact that the Union Army took credit for Morgan’s capture and had a good laugh when Morgan escaped from the prison in Columbus. There is another sub plot to the story of the capture of Morgan. Walsh Patterson had married Sarah Jane McElvaney. She came to America in 1849 with her brother, Stewart McElvaney from Tullnagall, County Tryone, Northern Ireland.
Stewart married Matilda McDonald of Wellsville, Ohio. They were working at a restaurant along the railroad south of Wellsville. From McCord’s History of Columbiana County, Ohio published in 1905.The following is from page 216; “At Wellsville, Columbiana County, about 30 men turned out armed with pistols, squirrel guns and two small cannons. The other one of them owned by the Fulton Foundry & Machine Works boys and the other by the boys of the C. & P.R.R. shops. Believing that the mouth of Yellow Creek would be selected by the Rebels as a crossing point, the small body of volunteer militia loaded their artillery onto a railroad track, and pushed it over the rails three miles to the mouth of the creek. Arriving there, they were informed by the landlady of the public house, Mrs. McElvaney, that two of Morgan’s men had been to supper and had just left.”
Stewart McElvaney (above) and his wife, Matilda J McDonald worked at a tavern near Wellsville where she served Morgan’s men and then “spread the word.”
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