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Below is a family biography from the book, History of Kentucky, Edition 8a by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin and G. C. Kniffin and published by F. A. Battey Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JOHN L. TREANOR was born in the County Tyrone, Ireland, on December 11, 1826, and is a son of James D. and Catherine (Slevin) Treanor, natives of the above mentioned county; they immigrated to Philadelphia, Penn., when the subject of this sketch was three months old. His father was an officer in the Hibernia Greens, a company attached to the militia of the State; the militia was called upon to suppress an insurrection at the capital of the State — Harrisburg — by Governor Porter, sometime in the -30’s; the Hibernia Greens, with other companies from Philadelphia, responded to the call, two boys went with the company dressed in full uniform as color guides; our subject was one of these boys; there was no blood shed, but he commenced his military training quite young, and in after years in two wars, the war with Mexico and the rebellion of 1861, he made his mark as a brave soldier in action and generous to a fallen foeman. His father came to Louisville, Ky., in the fall of 1840, remained there a short time, and moved to Washington, Daviess County, Ind., purchased a farm, and went into the general store business. The subject of this sketch worked on the farm until the winter of 1845-6, when he left home and went back to Philadelphia, working his way on steamboats from Evansville, Ind., to Pittsburgh, Penn., from thence to Little York, Penn.; assisted in driving sheep and hogs, at 12 ½ cents per diem and board; he managed to make the trip to Philadelphia in one month; he procured a position in the queensware house of Peter Wright & Sons, remained there until December, 1846; went to New York City on a visit to some relatives, joined the First Regiment of New York Volunteers, commanded by Col. Ward B. Burnett, as a private, was with his regiment at the siege of Vera Cruz. Gen. Shields, the commander of the brigade — consisting of the New York Volunteers and the South Carolina Volunteers — found him useful as a scout, and he and a young man named Barnes, the son of an eminent divine, in Philadelphia, had several hair breadth escapes together. Barnes was killed by the Mexicans in one of their scouting trips, about six miles from Vera Cruz—our subject managed to escape by hiding in a prickly pear thicket until night, and made his escape through the chaparral, and got back safely to his regiment. He was in the battles of Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco, the storming of the Castle of Chapultepec, and the fight at the Garita de Belen; was promoted color sergeant of the regiment after the battle of Cerro Gordo for meritorious conduct. He was one of the ninety soldiers who followed up the Mexican army under command of Gen. D. Twiggs, after Gen. Shields was shot down at Cerro Gordo; this small band of soldiers were at least two miles in the advance of the U. S. army, and the road was strewn for that distance with wounded and dead horses and their Mexican riders; they were called to a halt, when a couple of companies of U. S. dragoons took up the chase. After the Mexican war, in 1848 he returned to Louisville, Ky., engaged in business with Col. Joseph Metcalfe, the brewer. Married Miss Delia Morgan, October 2, 1849. They have four children — James L., Katie, Mary Agnes, and Julia. He belonged to the old volunteer fire department, being a member of the Relief, No. 3; was made captain of the No. 3 steam fire engine in 1859; appointed day policeman in 1860. He was firm in his duty as an officer of the peace. In 1861, when Ft. Sumter was fired upon, he and six other stanch Unionists organized the Union clubs in Louisville; from this small beginning they soon numbered in the thousands. After they knew their strength they procured arms and organized home guard companies. Our subject was elected captain of the First Ward Home Guard, numbering 160 members. He resigned his position in the home guards and raised a company for the war for Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau’s regiment, the Louisville Legion. They went into camp at Camp Joe Holt, Indiana, on the 1st day of July, 1861. The regiment was mustered into service 1050 strong, September 9, 1861; mustered out of the service September 14, 1864, with 297 men. His regiment participated in all of the following battles: Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Liberty Gap, Chickamauga, Brown’s Ferry, Orchard Knob, Missionary Ridge, at which place they claim their colors were first on the ridge near Gen. Bragg’s headquarters. They also participated at the battles of Dallas, Ga., Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek and the siege of Atlanta. After the war he was appointed to a position in the Internal Revenue service as Assistant Assessor and U. S. Gauger. He was dismissed the service May 15, 1886, for being an offensive partisan. He is a stanch Republican. He was mustered out as lieutenant-colonel of the Louisville Legion. His superior officers speak of him as a brave and valuable officer during the war. Below find a few extracts from testimonials in his possession, which we were permitted to use in this sketch.

Extract from Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau:
“Col. Treanor joined my command in 1861, and served with me during the war. No braver, truer, or more honest man lives.
“Lovell H. Rousseau,
“Maj-Gen. U. S. A.”

Extract from Gen. R. W. Johnson:
“ For a long time Col. Treanor was under my command, and I found him a brave and gallant soldier, a man of excellent habits, intelligent in the exercise of his duties, careful in his attention to his men and their wants, and in fact a thorough soldier without a fault. The loyal people of Kentucky owe him a debt of gratitude which it will be difficult for them to repay.
R. W. Johnson,
“Bvt. Maj.-Gen. U. S. A.”

Extract from Maj.-Gen. John A. McClernand:
“Springfield, Ill., June 17, 1868. “To whom it may concern: “ Learning that an official position in the revenue service would be agreeable to John L. Treanor, Esq., late Lieut.-Col. of the 5th Kentucky Vol. Inft., I eagerly embrace the opportunity to bear my testimony to his high merit as a gentleman and a soldier. His conduct on the great day at Shiloh marked him not only a brave and faithful officer but a hero in the loftiest sense of the term. There is nothing within my power I would not do for him. A kindness rendered to him would be viewed by me as something more than a favor extended to myself; it is such men who deserve to be honored and encouraged for the good of their example. He is one of the men upon whom I would have no fear to stake my life and my honor. I trust the ultimate recipient of this letter, whomsoever he may be, will respond in the same spirit inspiring it. By so doing he will lastingly oblige its author. John A. McClelland.”

Extract from Maj.-Gen. A. Me. D. McCook:
“December 28, ‘86.
“I am always glad to hear from any of the old Second Division of the army of the Ohio and Cumberland, and especially from one of the Louisville Legion, for a more gallant set of officers and men were never mustered into any service. It is still the more gratifying to hear from one of those officers who has such a gallant record as that possessed by you, and gained too upon many of the bloodiest battles fought during the rebellion. * * * May God bless you in your old age, your children and children’s children. No better heritage could be left them than your glorious record of the war.
“Sincerely your old comrade and commander,
“A. McD. McCook.
“Bvt. Maj.-Gen’l U. S. Army.”

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This family biography is one of 195 biographies included in the Jefferson County, Kentucky section of the book, The History of Kentucky, Edition 8a published in 1888 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: History of Kentucky, Edition 8a

View additional Jefferson County, Kentucky family biographies here: Jefferson County, Kentucky Biographies

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