John Nicholas Galleher was born in Washington, KY, the son of Corbin Galleher (1805-1873), a merchant and hotel keeper, and his wife, Elizabeth Johnson Riley (1809-1890).
John was educated at the University of Virginia during sessions 33 and 34 (1856-1858), and practiced law briefly immediately before and after the Civil War. When the Civil War began in 1861, John Galleher enlisted in Buckner’s Guards, a cavalry unit, in Bowling Green, KY. He was captured at the Battle of Fort Donelson, TN (Feb. 1862), imprisoned at Camp Chase in Ohio, then transferred to Fort Warren in Massachusetts and exchanged in July 1862. He rose to the rank of colonel and from 1862-1865, served as General S. B. Buckner’s chief of staff, Army of Tennessee.
After the war, he studied theology privately while he practiced law in Louisville, KY, then attended the General Theological Seminary in New York City. He earned his Doctor of Divinity degree from Columbia University in New York City in 1875.
During his career as a minister, he served churches in Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, and New York before he was elected 3rd Protestant Episcopal bishop of Louisiana, where he served from 1880 until his death in 1891. Bishop Galleher is noted for administering the last rites to Confederate President Jefferson Davis and delivering a eulogy at his funeral.
In 1868, Galleher married Charlotte Barbee (1844-1928); the couple had the following children: John Barbee, Paul Corbin, Alice Castleman, Charlotte Fairfax, and Clarkson Galleher.
Galleher is buried in the family cemetery in Louisville, KY.
- Ancestry.com. Kentucky Confederate Volunteers [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2003. Original data: Adjutant General’s Office. Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kentucky. Confederate Kentucky Volunteers. War 1861-1865. Frankfort, KY, USA: State Journal Company Printers, 1915.
- Batterson, Hermon Griswold. A sketch-book of the American episcopate. 3rd ed. rev. and enl. Philadelphia, 1891. Accessed via books.google.com.
- Catalogue of officers and graduates of Columbia University. New York, 1916. Accessed via books.google.com.
- Cave, Mark, “A Heritage of Freedom: Christ Church Cathedral and Episcopal Louisiana, 1805-2005.” Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly, v. 22, no.4 (Fall 2004), p. 6-7. http://www.hnoc.org/publications/pdf/HNOC_Q4_O4%20.pdf (Accessed 6/3/2011).
- Galleher Family Tree [website]. http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/144188/family?fpid=-2116968052 (Accessed 6/3/2011).
- “John Nicholas Galleher.”in Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. Louisiana Historical Association [website]. http://www.lahistory.org/ (Accessed 6/3/2011).
- Selected Records of the War Department Relating to Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865, reel M598_138, in Ancestry.com. Civil War Prisoner of War Records, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.