Bernard “Barney” Devine was born in County Galway, Ireland in 1819 and came to the United States at the age of 17 in 1836. Barney settled in Fairfield, Pennsylvania which is located west of Gettysburg in Adams County. In 1838 at Gettysburg, Barney filed a “Declaration of Intent” to become a Citizen of the United States.
Between his arrival in the U.S. and 1861, Barney both acquired and lost various amounts of land. Obviously falling on hard times during this period, he managed to work hard and bounce back. With the start of the Civil War in 1861, the Pennsylvania State Legislature called for the formation of fifteen regiments to be known as the Pennsylvania Volunteer Reserve Corps. Company K of the 30th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, or the 1st Reserves as they preferred to be called, was recruited in Adams County. At the age of 42, Barney Devine sold the 78 acres of land he owned and volunteered to join Company K. In April of 1862, Devine was transferred to Company A of the 1st Pa Light Artillery. The reason for this is unknown. Devine would stay close to his old friends in the 1st Pa Reserves as they and the 1st Pa Light Artillery were assigned to Crawford”s 3rd Division. During this time, they would participate in the battles at Mechanicsville, Gaines” Mill, South Mountain, Antietam & Fredericksburg. In February of 1863, Devine was mustered out of service on a “surgeon”s certificate”, most likely as a result of being involved in the Peninsula Campaign during which many soldiers suffered from disease due to the miserable conditions. The last public record of Barney Devine exists in the tax rolls of 1865, so it is assumed he must have died in 1866. He is buried in Fairfield”s Union Cemetery, marked by a simple government supplied headstone. Neither a birth or death date are noted on the stone, only his military unit.
Currently a resident of Burke, Virginia - I'm originally from the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have been a student of the Pennsylvania Reserves since 1997 and thoroughly enjoy telling their story. By trade I'm a former IT Professional but presently working as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service.