Corcoran (born in Ballymote, Co. Sligo) is killed when his horse falls on him. He was just thirty-six years old. Corcoran was a Confederate prisoner of war for a period but was released as part of a prisoner exchange. Although his father was an officer in the British army, Michael Corcoran had strong nationalist feelings. Emigrating from Ireland in 1849, he became colonel of the 69th New York Militia in 1859. Refusing to parade his regiment before the visiting Prince of Wales in New York, he was due to be courtmartialled but the advent of the Civil War ensured his reinstatement.