Hugh Kearney was born around 1844 in New York, the son of John (b. 1815 in Ireland) and Bridget (b. 1822 in Ireland) or Kate.
In 1850 Hugh was attending school and living with his family in Hume, Allegany County, New York.
He stood 5’6” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 24-year-old farmer possibly living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company A on August 8, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on September 8 at Fairfax Seminary, Virginia, and was missing in action on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia.
Hugh was possibly wounded at Chancellorsville. He was badly wounded in the leg in early May of 1864, probably at the Wilderness on May 5 or 6, or perhaps at Spotsylvania on May 12. He was subsequently absent sick, probably hospitalized, and was still absent when he was transferred to Company A, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.
Apparently he had been sent to Detroit to recover from his wounds and remained absent sick until he was listed as having died of his wounds on April 6, 1865 at Detroit, and reportedly buried in Detroit.
In fact, Hugh recovered from his wounds and eventually moved out west. He was quite possibly working as a laborer and living in Sutro, Lyon County, Nevada in 1880. By 1890 he was residing in Butte, Silver Bow County, Montana.
On September 18, 1890, Hugh married Mary Harrington (1862-1914) in Butte, Montana, and they had at least four children: Etta *b. 1892), Robert (b. 1893), Helen (b. 1895) and Opal (b. 1897). (Mary had been married previously and had one child a daughter Annie.)
Hugh was working as a mill man in Butte in 1891-92.
On April 12, 1865 Hugh applied for a pension (no. 65704), which was granted (no. 43868).
Hugh died in Butte on October 4, 1898, and was buried in Mt. Moriah cemetery, Butte, Silver Bow County, Montana: GAR block F-1-22.
In 1898 his widow was living in Montana when she applied for a widow’s pension (no. 683832) but the certificate was never granted. She had apparently remarried to a Mr. Carlson and was living in Montana in 1904 when she applied for a dependent minor child’s pension, which was granted (no. 573439).