The following excerpts mentioning Henry O’Kelly were taken from the Civil War Diary (1862-1865) of Bishop William Henry Elder, Bishop of Natchez from 1857-1880.
1863 May 12th. A colored boy, Merriman Howard brought me a message from Mr. Jno. Taylor Moore. After the battle of Port Gibson on last Friday, Genl. Bowen retreated. The Yankees occupied the town & all the country. Our Church silver was secreted successfully. They hunted Mr. Moore, to hang him- as he was charged with burning the suspension bridge at Port Gibson – He had escaped after five days concealment; & was now out at his Sister-in-law’s, Mrs. Robert Moore, 18 miles from town. – I resolved to go out to see him. – Mr. Grant kindly agreed to go with me. – We started about 12M. our two horses in his buggy. – Reached Mrs. Moore’s about 4 PM & learned that Mr. M. was at Mr. Wade Harrison’s. Were very kindly received- & had a long talk with Mr. Moore & old Mr. Black about their adventures & their escape. – MR. HENRY O’KELLY came in from Port Gibson. He said there were many of our wounded dying there – & he had no doubt there were Catholics among them. – I proposed to Mr. Grant to go up & he consented. Wrote a telegram to Fr. Grignon & a letter to the Archbp. of N. Orleans.
1863 May 16th Saturday. Saw Mrs. Hinds & all the family. Started about 9 AM. Called at Mr. Wade Harrison’s. Saw Mr. Moore & Mr. Black again, MR. HENRY O’KELLY, Mr. & Mrs. Harrison & Miss January who lives with them.
1864 April 21st. Reached Mr. Wade Harrison’s at 8 1/2 PM. Found MR. HENRY O’KELLY there.