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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1126-1127 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

John Dwyer was a soldier in the British army under command of Wellington and fought in the Penninsula campaign against the French. His regiment marched to reinforce Wellington at Waterloo, but was too late to engage in that momentous battle. He married Margaret Mainwaring and had issue.

(II) Peter, son of John and Margaret (Mainwaring) Dwyer, was born in Ireland. He followed his father's example by enlisting in the British army, where he served several years. After leaving the army he held a position in the courts for several years. About the year 1850 he came to the United States. He married, in Ireland, Ellen McGrath. Children:

  1. Elizabeth, married John McCormick;
  2. Margaret, married James Doran;
  3. Ellen, married Dominick Fitzpatrick;
  4. John, see forward;
  5. Thomas, died aged seventeen in Albany, New York.

(III) Major John, son of Peter and Ellen (McGrath) Dwyer, was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, November 26, 1835. He was educated in the public schools; he read law in the city of Dublin for a short period of time, but finding he had no taste for it he decided to emigrate to America, his family having already done so. He settled in Albany, New York, and learned the printer's trade. At the beginning of the war of the rebellion, in the summer of 1861, he, with two others, undertook to raise a company in the city of Albany, New York, but the company was consolidated before the required number of men was obtained, by order from the war department. Captain John Brannigan was captain of the consolidated company and it was mustered into the United States service "for three years or during the war." The two other officers of the proposed company retired, but John Dwyer stepped into the ranks, as a private, and carried a gun for a year. This company was attached to the Sixty-third Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, and was known as Company K. It formed the Third Regiment of General Thomas Francis Meagher's Irish Brigade, attached to the First Division, Second Corps, Colonel R. C. Enright commander Army of the Potomac. The regiment was encamped on David's Island, Long Island sound during the organization of the brigade where the men were thoroughly drilled and taught the duties of a soldier. In November, 1861, the brigade was sent to the front and was encamped at "Camp California," in front of Alexandria, Virginia. It then numbered three regiments, viz.: The Sixty-third, Sixty-ninth and Eighty-eighth, in all about three thousand men, besides a battery of volunteer artillery in command of Captain Hogan. He received the following promotions: December 1, 1861, sergeant of Company K at "Camp California," Alexandria, Virginia; May 10, 1862, first sergeant of Company G at Yorktown, Virginia; October 25, 1862, first lieutenant of Company K; December 16, 1862, captain of Company K; May 1, 1866, major (brevet) "for gallant and meritorious services" by Governor Reuben E. Fenton. He participated in the following engagements, besides numerous minor skirmishes with the enemy: May 10, 1862, siege of Yorktown, Virginia; June 1, 1862, battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia; June 27, 1862, battle of Gaines' Mill, Virginia; June 28, 1862, battle of Savage's station, Virginia; June 30, 1862 battle of White Oak Swamp, Virginia; July 1, 1862, battle of Malvern Hill, Virginia; August 31, 1862, reinforced the army of General Pope, Second Battle of Bull Run, Virginia, and covered the retreat of the Union army to the defenses of Washington; September 13, 1862, battle of South Mountain, Maryland; September 17, 1862, battle of Antietam, Maryland, where he was wounded a rifle ball in the head, while charging on the enemy at "Bloody Lane," and was in the hospital at York, Pennsylvania, for two months to recover from his wounds; December 13, 1863, battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia; May 3, 1863, battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia. In 1863 the Irish Brigade, in consequence of losses in battle, was consolidated into a battalion of six companies, total strength of battalion two hundred and fifty men. The supernumerary officers were honorably discharged, among whom was John Dwyer. Major Dwyer is connected with the Grand Army of the Republic, William M. Collin Post, located in Hudson Falls, New York. He served on the council of administration, Department of New York, and served on the staff of National and Departmental commanders at several times. He is connected with the Knights of Columbus, located in Hudson Falls, New York. He became connected many years since with the Society of the Army the Potomac, composed of soldiers who served with that army, commanded by General McClellan and his successors. He is also a member of the State Historical Association, which meets annually.

Major John Dwyer settled in Sandy Hill, Washington county, New York, at the end of the war in 1865. He purchased the Sandy Hill Herald, which was founded in 1818 by James Wright, and was then known as the Times. After a brief career the Times was succeeded by the Political Herald with James Wright, publisher. Before a year the word "political" was dropped and it has remained the Herald up to the present time. In 1841 James Wright disposed of his interest to a young printer who worked in the office, Elisha D. Baker. Under his guidance the Herald was strongly Democratic, had a large circulation, and few country papers were more widely quoted. He conducted the Herald twenty-five years, and in the fall of 1865 he sold his interest to Brown & Dwyer. John Brown remained with the paper only three years, and in 1868 Major Dwyer became sole proprietor and editor. Under the management of Brown & Dwyer the Herald became Republican in politics, and has ever since loyally and effectively supported the policies of that party. In 1887 Major Dwyer purchased the property on the corner of Main and Forest streets, Sandy Hill, and there located the Herald permanently. This was the first time that the Herald had been in its own home after sixty-nine years of moving from one place to another in the village. In the fall of 1895 many changes and improvements were made in the mechanical part of the office and the paper enlarged to its present size. Major Dwyer is a forceful, fearless writer, and has kept his paper free from all that is unclean or unfair. He has made the Herald a powerful aid to his party and a welcome visitor to the homes of his subscribers. He ranks with the foremost editors of his state and is deservedly popular. He has for many years been a member of the New York State Editorial Association, also the State Republican Association. The first is non-partisan, and the latter composed solely of those who believe in the principles of the Republican party. Major Dwyer takes an active interest in the affairs of the town; he served on the board of education, and in 1898 was appointed postmaster by President McKinley, re-appointed by President Roosevelt, serving for two terms, and by President Taft for the present term.

Major Dwyer married (first) in 1862, Catherine, daughter of Thomas Newman, of Albany; children: Frances M., Nellie J., Agnes C., and Mabel C., married H. B. Drewry, of Louisville, Alabama, and has daughter, Catherine. Major Dwyer married (second) June 16, 1896, in Brooklyn, New York, Mary Frances Earley, a resident of Brooklyn, New York, daughter of Thomas Earley, of Sandy Hill, New York.

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