Patrick Kilby was born in 1824 or 1832 in Roscommon, Ireland. (In his admission history to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home in 1889 he claimed he was 65 years old, placing his date of birth at 1824 and making him 37 when he enlisted.)
Patrick left Ireland and immigrated to America, settling in western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.
He stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 37- or 29-year-old laborer who could not read or write, possibly living in Shiawassee County when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861. (He is not found in the 1905 Third Michigan Regimental history, although he is listed in the Fifteenth Michigan infantry Regimental history.)
He apparently suffered from “fatigue and exposure” beginning during the battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861, and in early August of 1861 Patrick was in the hospital with a fever. By early September he was in the general hospital for convalescents at Annapolis, Maryland, suffering from fever and general debility. Patrick was discharged for chronic rheumatism, probably at Annapolis, on October 24, 1861.
After his discharge from the army Patrick returned to Michigan and reentered the service in Company A, Fifteenth Michigan infantry on February 1, 1862, at Detroit for 3 years, and was mustered March 13 at Monroe, Monroe County listing his place of residence as Detroit. On March 14, 1862, he was transferred to Company E at Monroe. The regiment was organized at Detroit, Monroe and Grand Rapids between October 16, 1861 and March 13, 1862, was mustered into service on March 20 and moved to Benton Barracks, Missouri, near St. Louis and then on to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, March 27-April 5. It participated in the battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, and in the siege of Corinth April 29-May 30 and in the battle of Corinth October 3-4. It was in garrison and provost duty at Grand Junction and Lagrange from November until June of 1863.
Patrick was promoted to Corporal on April 1, 1863, and to Sergeant on June 14, 1863. The regiment was ordered to Vicksburg, Mississippi on June 3 wand participated in the siege and eventually capture of the city June 11-July 4. It then advanced to Jackson, Mississippi, July 4-10 and laid siege July 10-17. It was in camp at Big Black until September when it moved to Memphis and then on to Chattanooga, Tennessee, September 28-November 20. The Fifteenth participated in operations along the Memphis & Charleston railroad in Alabama in October and in the relief of Knoxville November 28-December 8. It was in camp at Scottsboro, Alabama until February of 1864.
He reenlisted on February 2, 1864, at Scottsboro, Alabama, for 3 years, crediting Detroit, Sixth Ward, and was mustered on March 11 at Scottsboro. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough and returned to the Regiment about mid-April. The Fifteenth participated in the Atlanta campaign from May until September, in the March to the Sea November 15-December 10 and the siege of Savannah December 10-21 and in the Campaign in the Carolinas January to April of 1865. It was also involved in the battle of Bentonville, North Carolina March 19-21, in the occupation of Goldsboro and Raleigh, North Carolina and the surrender of Johnston’s army. It subsequently marched to Washington April 29-May19 and participate d in the Grand Review on May 24, after which it was moved to Louisville, Kentucky June 1-6, and then on to Little Rock, Arkansas on June 28 where it remained on duty until August 13.
Patrick may have been wounded in the hip during his term of service in the Fifteenth. In any case, he was honorably discharged with the regiment on August 13, 1865, at Little Rock.
After the war Patrick returned to western Michigan and for a time lived in Grand Rapids where he worked as a laborer. He was admitted as a widower to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 1053) on July 11, 1889, and while a resident of the Home he became a member of the Home Grand Army of the Republic Logan Post No. 1.
In 1889 he applied for and received a pension (no. 781675).
Patrick was in and out of the Home several times between 1889 and 1895, and for reasons unknown was eventually admitted to the Northwestern Branch National Military Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Patrick was probably still living at the Home in Milwaukee when he was struck by a trolley car or train car and killed on February 6, 1902. He was buried in Wood National Cemetery, Milwaukee: section 15, grave 206.