Peter Murphy came from the County of Cork, Ireland, in approx. 1849. He was nine years old at the time of his arrival.An older brother came across with him from Cork, but this brother went down into Florida to settle. Peter was welcomed to America by an older sister who met him in Boston.Peter’s sister had come to America earlier and settled in Terra Haute, Indiana. Peter’s schooling and early years are unknown to me at this time.
At the start of the Civil War, Peter being about 20 years of age, enlisted and served in Company E. of the 26th Indiana Infantry.Peter Probably served in Kentucky and Tennessee. He was captured and held in a prison camp, later released after signing a statement not to fight again. Returning home he enlisted in another mans name, for which he received four hundred dollars, it was a common practice for a person of wealth to assign another to go in your place. Peter was again captured, placed in another prison camp, where he remained until the end of the war.He related to the family that his survival at the camp rested with his using the corn meal the camp provided to make corn bread, instead of eating it raw, which many of the prisoners did.There was dysentery and many deaths at the camp.
At wars end the guards left their posts, leaving the prisoners to fend for themselves. He walked from northern Alabama to Terra Haute, Indiana,near home he came on fresh baked pies cooling on a window sill, naturally he took one.He later came face to face with the lady who owned the pie and was recognized by her as the soldier.
Peter then met Rachel Foster his future wife, they had 8 or 9 children,my father Everett was the youngest, Peter died when my father was 9 years old.Everett was bitter in later life for being placed in a orphanage, when all the other children were kept with grandmother Rachel,he stated he didn’t think he ate that much.
Rachel (Foster) Murphy was born in 1850, and died in1922 in Marshaltown, Iowa, at the soldiers and sailors home.She was first denied a GAR burial in Glendale Cemetery at Des Moines, Iowa because Indiana had listed Peter as a A.W.O.l., because he did not wait at the prison camp to be released from the army.This was straightened out and a plot and stone were provided.Rachel is buried in the GAR section, near the front entrance of Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa.Stone reads:Rachel, wife of Peter Murphy, Co. E. Indiana Infantry ,1850 - 1922.
Peter is believed to be buried in Virgo County, Indiana, where Terra Haute is the County seat.
Everett left the orphanage when he was 14 years old, traveling across Illinois and Iowa to the Chairton-Albia area, working as a farm Laborer.