Peter Whelan

Father Peter Whelan (1802 - February 6, 1871) was an Irish-born Catholic priest who distinguished himself as a chaplain for both Confederate troops and Union prisoners of war during the American Civil War. Father Whelan previously served as a missionary in North Carolina and pastor of Georgia's first Catholic parish, and twice served as administrator of the entire diocese of Savannah.

He initially ministered to Confederate troops including the Montgomery Guards, an Irish company established in Savannah for the First Georgia Volunteer Regiment. He remained with them during the Union siege of Fort Pulaski which guarded Savannah harbor, and volunteered to remain with them during their imprisonment in New York in 1862. About a year after his release in a prisoner exchange, he was assigned to minister to the Union prisoners-of-war held at Andersonville, Georgia, where he became known as the "Angel of Andersonville." Nonetheless, according to a biographer in 1959, Father Whelan "never received a lasting place in the history of the Southland he loved so well."

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