Daniel Francis Phelan







Military Record

Daniel F. Phelan

Regiment Name:  3 Colorado Cavalry

Side:  Union

Company:  B

Soldier's Rank In:  Pvt.

Soldier's Rank Out:  Pvt.

The story of Daniel's military record use to haunt me ...  until a cousin once stated - "Daniel was only a private, if he hadn't followed orders he was subject to being shot ... then where would we be?"

The 3rd Colorado Cavalry

Photos & Memories from Daniel's gg-granddaughter BOBBIE OHLWILER

I do remember my mother saying that her great grandmother worried constantly about the twins as they would run off to the Indian 'camp' to play and the Indians were not friendly. They took one of their little brothers with them in their toy wagon and he fell out and broke his arm, their father was so angry with them that he gave the wagon to the next man who came by. They didn't learn their lesson as they took the same brother and followed the man - Grandpa Phelan followed them and when he caught up with them a long ways from home he took the little brother onto his horse and made the twins walk all the way home. She said her great grandmother said if you don't like someone - wish them a set of twins!

Daniel Francis Phelan

Daniel was born on July 8th,1837 in Lockport, NY toJames and Hanna (Hurley) Phelan.  He marriedAnnie Elizabeth Donahue, daughter of Owen and Bridget (Connell) Donahue on October 16th, 1864.

They had the following children:

Edward Francis Phelan

Eugene Thomas Phelan (1866 - 1928)*
James Crysanthus Phelan (1867 - 1961)*
John Faustinus Phelan (1870 - 1958)*
Minnie Frances Phelan (1873 - 1874)*

Rosela Elizabeth Phelan (1875 - 1964)
Lawrence Phelan (1877 - 1877)*
Grace E. Phelan Lockridge (1880 - 1965)*

Daniel died on May 4th, in 1921and is buried in Los Angeles National Cemetery
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County in California.

(information courtesy of Richard F. Oyler from

 Lenora J. Phelan and Her Irish Ancestors)






from The Coconino Weekly Sun

& Arizona Silver Belt


  1. Daniel Francis Phelan (1837 – 1921)
    2nd great-grandfather
    Eugene Thomas Phelan (1866 – 1928)
    son of Daniel Francis Phelan
    Eugene Frances Phelan (1891 – 1976)
    son of Eugene Thomas Phelan
    Ruth Genevieve Phelan (1926 – 2006)
    daughter of Eugene Frances Phelan
    Suzi Dewsnap
    You are the daughter of Ruth Genevieve Phelan

  2. This was a Bitter Sweet bit of family history that was the hardest for me to deal with, and, raised the most controversy and critical comments both from my family and others. At first I was so excited to ‘find’ Daniel’s military record and see that he bravely fought in the War. Then it left me puzzled wondering – why. After all he had just married his childhood sweetheart who traveled from Iowa to be with him … so why would he abruptly leave her one month later to go fight? Then I got an email from a site called ‘All Things Cheyenne’ who simply stated “your heroes are not our heroes ” and attached the history of The Sand Creek Massacre … and the nightmares began! I was truly haunted by the thought of this – I made excuses that he was only following orders, but then I realized Daniel must have been proud of his service for later in life he donned his uniform and had a portrait made while wearing it.

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