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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 35. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Chaplain Matthew O'Keefe of Mahone's Brigade. (search)
h of the Immaculate Conception. His gift from Napoleon. An incident occurred in his career in 1869, which was recognized in the most substantial manner. A French frigate arrived in Hampton Roads from the Spanish Main with yellow fever on board. Father O'Keefe was sent for to attend the sick. He responded immediately, and remained on board the frigate several days, only going ashore to bury the dead. He buried twenty-two or twenty-three of the officers and crew of the frigate at Sewell's Point, near Newport News. The dread of the fever was still in the town, and Father O'Keefe was forbidden to return to Norfolk, it being feared that he would bring the terrible disease with him. He took all proper precautions to prevent the fever spreading and came to Baltimore, where he remained two weeks, and then returned to his parish. In the meantime the admiral of the French fleet arrived in Hampton Roads looking: for the fever ship. He was informed what Father O'Keefe had done, and