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Born in Danville, Kentucky, U.S.A., 11 February, 1822; died in Guerryton, Alabama, 6 June, 1867. The son of Kane O'Hara, and Irish political exile, who became a prominent educator in Kentucky, O'Hara graduated from St. Joseph's College, Bardstown, Kentucky, studied law, and in the Mexican Was attained the brevet rank of major, after which he made several filibustering expeditions to Cuba and Central America. He edited various newspapers and was successfully entrusted by the Government with some diplomatic missions. During the Civil War he served as a staff-officer with Generals Johnson and Breckenridge. He wrote little of special merit besides the two poems, "The Bivouac of the Dead" and "A Dirge for the Brave Old Pioneer". The former was written when the State of Kentucky brought back the remains of her sons who had fallen in the Mexican War to the cemetery at Frankfort. The last four lines of the opening stanza are inscribed over the entrance to the National Cemetery at Arlington, Virginia.
Connolly, Household Library of Ireland's Poets (New York, 1887); Iriah American Almanac(New York, 1879); Webb, The Centenary of Catholicity in Kentucky (Louisville, 1884).
THOMAS F. MEEHAN