James Kinsella came to America with his family from County Wicklow Ireland in 1850, as a boy of 11. In 1861, he joined the 71st Pennsylvania Volunteers (also known as the “California Regiment”) and fought in major campaigns in the Civil War.
He was wounded at the Battle of Antietam, returned to duty and fought in the Battle of Gettysburg where he was taken prisoner at the Angle on Cemetery Ridge, “the high watermark of the Confederacy,”on July 3, 1863.
Taken under guard to Richmond, he was held four months in Belle Isle prison camp in Richmond, Va., until sent to the hospital and then to Camp Parole, Md., where he remained until returning to his regiment in June 1864.
He received an honorable discharge on October 26, 1864, and became a naturalized citizen on November 8, 1864.
Kinsella became a police officer in Baltimore City and spent the last years of his life at the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers at Elizabeth City, Va. Discharged from the home on March 19, 1921, he returned to his family in Baltimore, where he died on March 27th.
James Kinsella was interred at the National Cemetery in Baltimore on March 29, 1921.
This site reflects the results of research by Margaret Ingram, his great-granddaughter, and her children, Bruce Ingram and Susan Ingram.
Although his discharge and naturalization papers were subsequently found in a family bible, the only clues handed down in the family were that he came from Ireland with his parents at the age of “11;” he had “walked from Philadelphia to Baltimore;” he had been “wounded at Gettysburg;” he had “a lovely Irish lilt;” and his name was engraved on the Pennsylvania State Monument.
We searched for James Kinsella among the names of the 34,530 men who participated in the battle and found it!
With the information about his regiment and company, we were able to request the pension records from the National Archives Trust Fund Board, Washington, DC 20408.
During our research, we discovered the possible answers to some questions:
• Did James Kinsella carry a “red box”?
• How was he captured on July 3, 1863?
• Where was James Kinsella buried?
Tracing James Kinsella has been a great experience from County Wicklow and the famine ship to Antietam to Gettysburg to Belle Isle to Baltimore and Carrollton Avenue and the B&O and to his grave in the National Cemetery in Baltimore.
But our search goes on. Please review our pages on each step of his journey through life and return for future additions.
James Kinsella’s Life
(Click for Details)
The Red Box
140th Gettysburg Reenactment
Other 71st Reenactments
The Southern Side
This website was written, compiled and created by Margaret F. Ingram, James Kinsella’s great-granddaughter. Contact us with additional information or questions about the material covered on this page.