Lieutenant Colonel William George Halpin of the Fifteenth
Lieutenant Colonel William George Halpin – William George Halpin was born on May 30, 1825 in Westmeath, Ireland (the same county my wife’s Susan’s paternal ancestors are from). At the outbreak of the war, he was a civil engineer and surveyor boarding on the north side of Ninth Street between Plum and Central in Cincinnati. Halpin recruited most of the men in the northern Kentucky companies during November 1861 and was elected first captain of company K. Halpin was promoted from captain to major on July 13, 1863 to fill the vacancy created by the promotion of Lieutenant Colonel Noah Cartwright. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on January 26, 1864, and commanded the regiment in 1864 during the frequent absences of Colonel Taylor with the brigade command.
After the war, Colonel Halpin returned to Ireland to agitate for Irish independence. He was arrested following a failed rebellion and served a short prison term in an English jail (we’ll have much more information on this story in the coming weeks). Following his release (a response to considerable pressure from the American government), he returned to his home in Cincinnati. He died May 8, 1892 in Cincinnati. Col. Halpin was so well known at the time of his death that his obituary appeared the following morning in newspapers from Ohio to Los Angeles, California.