Irwin, Bernard John Dowling

Public Information


Irwin, Bernard John Dowling




(1830-1917) Born in County Roscommon, Ireland. An assistant surgeon in the regular Army in the Arizona Territory 1856-1861, Lt. Irwin saw extensive field duty against hostile Apaches and Navajos. From his post at Fort Buchanan during the winter of 1861, he led a small detachment of soldiers through treacherous weather on a 100 mile journey to rescue a force which had been surrounded by Cochise’s 500 Apache warriors. At the site of the siege, he deftly deployed his soldiers so convincingly that the Apaches, suspecting a much larger force, hurriedly fled into the mountains. This signal engagement led to the degradation of hostile Indian activities in the Southwest. Although established in 1861, Lt. Irwin received the Medal Of Honor in 1894.

Medal of Honor Recipient