A leap year baby, Francis L. Sampson was born on February 29, 1912 in Cherokee Iowa.
Last week I posted on Father Francis Duffy who served as chaplain of the Fighting 69th in World War I. In World War II there was another Father Duffy, John E. Duffy, also an army chaplain.
When Father Francis P. Duffy, pastor of Our Savior parish in the Bronx, was appointed chaplain of the 69th Infantry Regiment of the New York National Guard in 1914, he was already an old hand at being a military chaplain, having served as one in 1898 during the Spanish American War, although he never saw duty overseas during that brief conflict.
Destiny attended Emmeran Bliemel at his birth on the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel, patron saint of soldiers, in 1831 in Bavaria. From his early boyhood his burning desire was to be a missionary to German Catholics in far off America. Joining a Benedictine Abbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1851, he was ordained a priest in 1856.
If you travel to Gettysburg you will see a statue to a Catholic priest, and here is why this statue was erected. One of the crack units in the Union Army during the Civil War was the Irish Brigade. On July 2, 1863, the 530 men of the Irish Brigade, survivors of the 2500 who originally enlisted to fight under the Stars and Stripes and the green shamrock banner of the brigade, were about to be sent into the Wheat Field. Brigade Chaplain Father William Corby addressed the troops.