Organized at St Louis in June 1861, the 7th Missouri Infantry Regiment was largely Irish-American at the start of the war. Known as the "Irish 7th," the regiment saw service in Grant's Army of the Tennessee (in 3rd Bde, 3rd Div of XVII Corps) during the 1863 Mississippi campaigns; its actions included Port Gibson, Champion's Hill and the siege of ' Vicksburg. There, on May 22, it played a leading part in the failed and very costly Federal assaults, planting its green Irish flag on the Confederate works until ordered to withdraw.
The 7th Missouri was issued regulation clothing and Ml842 rifled muskets in 1862, receiving Enfields in 1863. The original green Irish flag was described in the Boston Pilot of July 12, 1862: it measured 6ft by 6ft 6in, and featured on one side the "Irish Harp, guarded bv a savage-looking wolf dog, surrounded by a wreath of shamrocks, surmounted by the American eagle, and supported on either side by flags and implements of war. A golden halo shoots from out and over the whole. On the reverse is a 'sunburst' in all its glory, with the Irish war-cry for a motto - 'Faj an Bealac! [sic]'"
A second Irish-American unit, the 30th Missouri Infantry ("Shamrock Regiment") was mustered into service in St Louis in October 1862 and issued Enfields. The Shamrocks, like the 7th, also saw action in the siege of Vicksburg (in 1st Bde. 1st Div of Sherman's XV Corps).
Both Irish regiments dwindled in numbers as time passed, and in August 1864 they were consolidated into a demi-brigade called the "Missouri Irish Brigade," which served in the Trans-Mississippi. In April 1865 the amalgamated unit was present for the Federal assault on Fort Blakelv, Alabama, the last major battle of the war east of the Mississippi.
Organized in Manchester in September 1862, Col Michael T. Donohoe's 10th New Hampshire Infantry ("Irish Regiment") had a heavy concentration of Irish Americans in Co F and to a lesser degree in Cos B, I and K. The regiment saw service at Fredericksburg in December 1862 (in 1st Bde, 3rd Div of IX Corps), and afterwards in the 1864 Virginia campaign. Lieutenant-Colonel John Coughlin received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his conduct on May 9, 1864, at Swift Creek, Virginia, where he took the initiative and led his regiment forward (without orders) to repel a night attack. The 10th New Hampshire received regulation uniforms, and was armed with Springfields, although Spencer repeating rifles were issued temporarilv for skirmisher duty in September 1864.
US Army Mil Hist Inst)
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