The Schroeder Books


The Beau Ideal Of A Soldier And A Gentleman: 

The Life of Col. Patrick Henry O'Rorke From Ireland to Gettysburg

By Brian A. Bennett

Published by SCHROEDER PUBLICATIONS 2012.  Soft cover, 222 pages, 12 photos, six maps, index, bibliography.

ISBN: 1-889246-48-4. Price: $19.99 U.S.



West Point Valedictorian.

Army Engineer.


Colonel, 140th N.Y. Volunteers.

Gettysburg Hero.

The beau ideal of a soldier and a gentleman.

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.  et it says much about O’Rorke that his peers reminisced 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.

Praise for The 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

Other books by Brian Bennett:

 Sons of Old Monroe: A Regimental History of Patrick O’Rorke’s 140th New York Volunteer Infantry

 An Unvarnished Tale: The Public and Private Civil War Writings of Porter Farley, 140th N.Y.V.I.


Beau Ideal of A Soldier book - Civil War books

The Beau Ideal of a Soldier and a Gentleman: The Life of Col. Patrick Henry O'Rorke From Ireland to Gettysburg




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