Pennsylvania

Recruited in Philadelphia, the 24th Pennsylvania Infantry was a 90-day organization that included the Emmet Guards, Hibernian Greens, Hibernian Target Company, Irish Volunteers, Meagher Guards, Montgomery Guards, Montgomery Artillery, Patterson Guards and r

Burke's forage cap bears a gold wreath similar to the device prescribed for Ohio general officers in 1859. (US Army Mil Hist Inst)

Burke's forage cap bears a gold wreath similar to the device prescribed for Ohio general officers in 1859. (US Army Mil Hist Inst)

RIGHT 1st Lt William H. Tyrrell, Co C, 116th Pennsylvania. As a sergeant, lyrrell carried the regimental flag at Fredericksburg, where the 116th Pennsylvania advanced on the left flank of the Irish Brigade; when he was hit by several bullets and dropped the shattered flagstaff, Lt Quinlan left the cover of a ditch to rescue the colors. TV rail's survival of the freezing I night after the battle is remarkable. He is shown j here dressed in regulation infantry officer's uniform. (Mary T. Palladino Collection, US Army Mil Hist Inst)

Shields Guards (organized 1851). The regiment was mustered out in August 1861 after seeing little action. However, it became the nucleus for Philadelphia's 69th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (Irish Regiment); Corcoran's renowned 69th New York was so highly regarded among the Philadelphia Irish that members of the new command purposely chose the same number as a compliment. The 69th Pennsylvania served in the Army of the Potomac; part of 2nd Bde. 2nd Div, II Corps, the regiment was conspicuous in repelling Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, when their heavy casualties included Col Dennis O'Kane. The 69th Pennsylvania originally wore dark blue kepis, dark blue shell jackets trimmed with green, and sky-blue pants, and carried Ml855 rifle muskets. Issued US regulation uniforms and Enfield rifles in 1862, it had Springfields in 1863-64. The 42nd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment (13th Pennsylvania Reserves, "1st Pennsylvania Rifles") was recruited in northern Pennsylvania in April 1861 by Col Thomas L. Kane. Company F, Capt Dennis McGee's Irish Infantry from Carbon County, came from a coal-mining area where the Irish secret society known as the Molly Maguires was active. Soldiers of the 42nd Pennsylvania were known as the "Bucktails" from their practice of wearing a deer's tail on their hats or forage caps. Their uniform was otherwise standard US issue; they received Enfield and Springfield rifles in August 1861, and Sharps rifles in August 1862. The "Bucktails" left a record of distinguished service with the Army of the Potomac; at Gettysburg they served in 1st Bde, 2nd Div of V Corps. Schuylkill County, coal-mining country to the west of Philadelphia, contributed three companies (F, I and K) with a high proportion of Irishmen to the 96th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. This unit, which also received standard infantry uniforms, fought at Gettysburg with 2nd Bde, 1st Div of VI Corps.

Following a rousing speech by Michael Corcoran in Philadelphia (in which he pointedly reminded his listeners that the underlying reason for enlisting was to turn out experienced veterans for a future war against Britain), the Irish-born Dennis Heenan, formerly lieutenant-colonel of the 90-day 24th Pennsylvania, raised the 116th Pennsylvania Volunteers ("Brian Boru United Irish Legion") in August 1862. The regiment joined the Irish Brigade that October; although badly under strength, it had an Irish-American majority. The 116th Pennsylvania received standard uniforms; initial armament

included Ml842 muskets, but in 1864 it had Springfields. Fredericksburg nearly destroyed the regiment, which lost so many men on December 13, 1862, that it was reduced to a battalion. Colonel St Clair A. Mulholland, wounded at Fredericksburg, led the unit until June 1864, when the enure Irish Brigade had become so small that it was led by a captain.

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