The Beau Ideal of A Soldier and a Gentleman.

By Brian A. Bennett

Soft cover, 6" x 8 1/4," 220 pages. Photos, maps, footnotes, index, bibliography.

ISBN No: 0-9651863-0-X. Price: $22.95

On July 2, 1863, on a boulder-strewn hill outside of the Pennsylvania village of Gettysburg, a Federal colonel made an instantaneous decision that helped turn the tide of battle. The successful defense of Little Round Top was a critical component in the Union victory. A monument on the crest bears the likeness of the young commander, yet the exploits of Patrick Henry O'Rorke have been overshadowed on the pages of history by the actions of others on that rocky slope.

O'Rorke sacrificed his life in the battle, at the head of his regiment. Still the sum of his life was much more than his courageous action at Gettysburg. A native of Ireland, his temperament and ability transcended the stereotypes of his day. O'Rorke's obvious intellect secured an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He finished first in his class, earning a spot in the prestigious Corps of Engineers. Exemplary work along the South Carolina coast gained him a colonel's commission in the infantry, commanding the 140th N.Y. Volunteers, a regiment raised in his hometown of Rochester.

His friends, classmates and admirers felt he would climb to the very highest ranks of the army. Yet it says much about O'Rorke that his peers reminiscenced as much about his character as his military talents. He was, remembered one, "the beau ideal of a soldier and a gentleman."

This is the first full-length biography of O'Rorke, written by Brian A. Bennett, author of Sons of Old Monroe: A Regimental History of Patrick O'Rorke's 140th New York Volunteer Infantry. It examines O'Rorke's childhood days, his tenure at West Point, his service as an army engineer along the South Carolina/Georgia coast, as well as his tenure in the Army of the Potomac.

From reviews for "Beau Ideal:"

“Bennett has drawn upon an impressive range of secondary and primary sources.... [and] also provides detailed descriptions and keen analysis of [O’Rorke’s] performances in the campaigns and battles in which he participated....”

- Civil War News review

“With a precise eye, Bennett lays the considerable groundwork for O’Rorke’s story.... [this] book is packed with common sense, subtlety, and observations that illuminate Colonel O’Rorke’s 27 years....”

- Ben Maryniak, president, Buffalo Civil War Roundtable, Civil War Courier review

"It is extremely informative and will recommend this to anyone wanting to learn about a man who does not get much credit for his courageous actions in Gettysburg. Wonderful research of O'Rorke's early years. Truly an enjoyable read for historians of the Civil War. It is even interesting to a person just looking for an informative biography."

- reader review

For ordering information, contact Triphammer Publishing at P.O. Box 45, Scottsville NY 14546-0045, or the author at

An excerpt from the book, (Chapter 6) courtesy of Gettysburg Discussion Group

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