New Biography recounts the life of John Doran, a Civil War Soldier who served 12 years in the First US Artillery

John Doran, a Civil War soldier, served 12 years in the First U.S. Artillery. After being discharged, he struggled 21 years seeking an invalid pension (now called disability pension). Richard Wagner’s new biography of John, entitled “An Irish Soldier’s Patriotic Journey: From the Walls of Fort Sumter to the Halls of the US Pension Bureau” (published by Archway Publishing) shares the story of his life both before and after the Civil War.

John Doran, an Irish immigrant, traveled to America in 1857 to improve his lot in life, became a United States citizen and learned the trade of iron molding until he became restless and bored with the daily routine. In 1860, he enlisted in the First Regiment of the US Artillery and served from Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina, to Appomattox, Virginia, the declared end of the war in 1865.

During his service, he earned promotions from private to sergeant, was twice wounded, faced malnutrition, near starvation, sleep deprivation, extreme fatigue and was stricken with numerous other medical infirmities – all in the line of duty. After his discharge in 1874, he returned to Meriden, Connecticut, his family, and iron molding until he was forced to abandon manual labor due to the pain from his wartime injuries. John spent years facing personal and bureaucratic obstacles while attempting to receive an invalid pension. After 10 years of applying, he was awarded a small stipend.

“The frustration of trying to receive a deserved invalid pension is not often explored in Civil War literature,” Wagner explains. “Many readers will be able to identify with the amount of time, energy, and money needed to receive a deserved and just stipend for services rendered. Many have faced similar obstacles and think…

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