The Day the Irish Brigade Saved the 9th Massachusetts
By Robert J. Bateman
By Friday, June 27, 1862, the Army of the Potomac, under the command of Major-General George B. McClellan, had fought within 10 miles of the Confederate capital, in Richmond, Virginia. After the engagements at Oak Grove and Mechanicsville on the 25th and 26th, the Battle of Gaines' Mill, the third of the now famous "Seven Days Battle," was about to commence.
After breakfast, the men of the 9th Massachusetts, along with the rest of their brigade, left their camp and marched in the direction of New Cold Harbor and halted a short distance from Gaines' Mill, once one of the finest grist mills in the state of Virginia. Prior to leaving camp each man in the "Irish 9th" Regiment had been issued three day's rations and 80 rounds of ammunition.
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In 2001 TheWildGeese.com posted another article on the History Of The Irish ....Worldwide - an in depth two part article on the Irish Brigade and the Fighting 69th. We believe this story is worth retelling so we have posted an excerpt here. We have also favorited JFK's speech On The Irish In America "A Special Courage - Splendid Gallantry" on our Youtube Channel "TheWildGeeseTV"
THE FIGHTING 69TH - AN IRISH BRIGADE
When the 69th New York State Militia returned to New York, veterans of the Bull Run campaign sought to form a new 69th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment to return to the fighting front. There were so many volunteers that, inspired by the example of the Irish Brigade in the service of France (1692-1792), Thomas Francis Meagher decided to form an Irish Brigade (beginning with the 69th, 88rd, and 63th New York Volunteer Infantry regiments, and later adding the 28th Massachusetts and the 116th Pennsylvania). The 69th and the 88th trained at Fort Schuyler, in the Bronx, before going off to war. [In recent years, County Waterford, whose banner bears the image of Meagher, has been led up Fifth Avenue during New York's parade by an Irish Brigade Honor Guard made up of authentic Civil War re-enactors (many of whom portrayed the 69th Pennsylvania in the movie "Gettysburg").]
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