The Talty Brothers.

By Bruce Kindig with Philip Talty.

GeorgeTalty.jpg (94439 bytes)

George Talty


Patrick Talty 1829 - 1910. 

Simon Talty 1831 - 1919. 

George Talty 1835 - 1913. 

John Talty 1842 - 1917.

    In 1853 Michael and Catherine Talty arrived in the United States from Ireland with their six children. The brothers, Patrick, Simon, George and John and two sisters Katie & Bridget were all born in County Clare, Bridget being only five at the time. It is not clear where they settled at first. Irish immigrants often knew others who had come before them. They may have spent time in Memphis, but eventually the family settled in Davenport, Iowa. Here work could be found working at the lumber mills or on the Mississippi River trade. Steamboats were constantly going up and down the river between St. Paul and New Orleans. In 1856 the first railroad bridge over the Mississippi was completed at Davenport bringing in more work and immigrants.

    In the spring of 1861 secession was in the air. Already eight states had seceded by April and the Talty brothers were in Memphis working. A large Irish community had been established in Memphis where work could easily be found working the river trade or at the government arsenal. Governor Isham Harris had commissioned several officers for the state militia and recruiting was taking place all over Memphis. Several regiments were being formed throughout the city when the Talty brothers decided to join the army. Although there were no bounties offered, there was the promise of rations and shelter as well as a monthly income. Smith P. Bankhead was recruiting men for an artillery company when the Talty brothers signed up on May 20, 1861. Thirty-two year old Patrick was made corporal that very day. The brothers signed up for a one-year enlistment. In all twelve men joined the battery that day with Lewis Putney named sergeant and John Hayes also made corporal. On June 4, Tennessee became the eleventh state to secede and Bankhead's Battery was sent to Fort Pillow to man the heavy guns there. 

    During the summer of 1861 army life seemed like a big adventure. Camping at Fort Pillow in the summer while training on artillery pieces was not particularly dangerous. By August, Tennessee had joined the Confederacy and Bankhead's Battery had moved to Columbus, Kentucky where the men drilled as a light artillery company. By fall the war had become more serious. The battle of Belmont across the river from Columbus proved to be a slight action; although Bankhead's Battery did not take part in that action there were occasional artillery duals with a few Federal ironclads. The Talty brothers were now separated from their parents and sisters living in Iowa. Skirmishing some times took place outside of Columbus and the winter barracks the men were building out of clapboards were not going to be very comfortable. Military payroll was not being paid in a timely manner. Pay call finally arrived on November 1, 1861 with all four brothers present for duty. That winter Simon reported sick and was on detached service in the hospital. It isn't known if the hospital was at Columbus or whether Simon was sent back to Memphis. Due to his illness Simon was not present for pay call on December 31, 1861, but the other brothers were.

    In the spring of 1862, General U.S. Grant had flanked Columbus by capturing Fort Henry on the Tennessee River and Fort Donnellson on the Cumberland River. Bankhead's Battery was ordered to New Madrid and then to Corinth for the soon to happen Battle of Shiloh. It is uncertain whether the three remaining Talty brothers were present at the Battle of Shiloh or whether they had deserted during the move to Corinth. Perhaps the horrors of Shiloh and that their enlistment would end on May 20 enticed them to leave Confederate service. All three were officially listed as deserters on June 24, 1862. Simon was not listed as a deserter due to his detached service status, but he too left the army. Their Confederate service was over.

    The brothers all returned to Davenport where they eventually found permanent employment. Patrick became a stone mason and Simon took up farming. In 1863 George married Bridget Meehan in Davenport. They would have seven children. John married and had three children. In 1871 they all moved to western Iowa and settled in Atlantic. George's wife had died and he married his second wife Margaret Ryan. Together they had 5 children. All four brothers are buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Atlantic, Iowa. Some of the Talty descendants still live in Atlantic. Others live in Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin and California.

PatrickTaltyGrave.jpg (56071 bytes)    GeorgeTaltyGrave.jpg (59509 bytes)    JohnTaltyGrave.jpg (64595 bytes)

Patrick Talty           George Talty            John Talty

TaltyGraves.jpg (65644 bytes)

Combined Talty Grave Site's: George's is the tall one with the cross. The gray one in the front is Patrick's and the red one to the right of George is John. Simon is buried in the cemetery but has no headstone. The stone to the left of George is his second wife; Margaret. The large stone says: North side- George Talty died August 31, 1913 aged 78 years 28 days; East side- Bridget wife of G. Talty May 2, 1892 57 years 8 mos. 28 days; South side- Loretta Agnes daughter of G & B Talty May 21, 1889 7 years 10 mos. Next to John Talty stone are two graves of John's sons (Williw & Millard) who had died in a cave in while playing in a sand pit ages 8 & 11.

"Last Updated... 12-15-2010"

Copyright 1999 by Scott's Battery

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