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170th Infantry Regiment
Civil War
Fourth, Originally Second, Regiment, Corcoran's Irish Legion

History

Mustered in: October 7, 1862
Mustered out: July 15, 1865

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
July 17, 1862, Col. Peter McDermott received authority to recruit this regiment as the second of the Corcoran Legion or Brigade; it was organized at Staten Island, and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years October 7, 1862. The companies were recruited principally in New York city and Brooklyn.
The regiment left the State October 16, 1862; it served in Casey's Division, defenses of Washington, from October, 1862; in Corcoran's Brigade, Department of Virginia, at Newport News, Va., from November 19, 1862; in the same brigade, Peck's Division, 7th Corps, at Suffolk, Va., from January, 1863; in Murphy's Brigade, Corcoran's Division, 7th Corps, from April, 1863; in Corcoran's Brigade, King's Division, 22d Corps, from July 16, 1863; in 2d Brigade, Tyler's Division, 22d Corps, from January, 1864; in 4th Brigade, 2d Division, 2d Corps, from May 17, 1864; in 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 2d Corps, from June 26, 1864; and, commanded by Col. James P. Mclvor, it was honorably discharged and mustered out July 15, 1865, at Munson's Hill, Va.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 7 officers, 62 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 3 officers, 58 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 2 officers, 97 enlisted men; total, 12 officers, 217 enlisted men; aggregate, 229; of whom 3 officers, 50 enlisted men, died in the hands of the enemy.

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.
One Hundred and. Seventieth Infantry.—Cols., Peter McDermott, James P. McIvor; Lieut.-Cols., James P. McIvor, Michael C. Mur-phy, John B. Donnelly, Charles Hagan; Majs., George W. Warner, John-B. Donnelly, John Connery, Charles Hagan. This was one of the four regiments forming the Corcoran Legion, a brigade composed almost entirely of Irish soldiers. Its companies were recruited principally in New York city and Brooklyn and it was organized at Staten island, where it was mustered into the U. S. service on Oct. 7, 1862, for three years. The regiment left the state on Oct. 16, served for a month in the defenses of Washing-on, in Casey's division, and then embarked for Fortress Monroe. After a few weeks' service on the Peninsula, during which it par-icipated in the Blackwater expedition and the skirmishes at the Deserted House and Union Mills, it went to Suffolk. Speaking of his splendid fighting regiment, Col. Fox says: "It was actively engaged in the defense of Suffolk, at which time the Legion was commanded by Col. Murphy, of the 69th militia, and the division by Gen. Corcoran—the 1st division, 7th corps. It remained on duty in that vicinity until July, 1863, when the Legion (Gen. Corcoran commanding) was ordered to Washington, where it performed gar-ison and outpost duty. In May, 1864, it was transferred to the Army of the Potomac and placed in Gibbon's (2nd) division of the 2nd corps, the Legion, under command of Col. Murphy, arriving just in time to take part in the closing battles around Spottsylvania. At the North Anna the 170th encountered a severe musketry fire, its casualty list there being the largest of any regiment in that battle: 22 killed, 55 wounded and 22 missing. It met with another heavy loss at Petersburg, June 16-22, where its casualties amounted to 22 killed, in wounded and 3 missing. Most of this loss occurred in the assault of June 16. The regiment was again hotly engaged at Reams' station, where Maj. Donnelly was killed. From June, 864, until the close of the war, the Legion, together with the 8th SI. Y. heavy artillery, formed the 2nd brigade, 2nd division, 2nd corps." The casualties of the regiment at Reams' station amounted to 85 killed, wounded and missing. It met with further losses at Boydton plank road in October, at the Petersburg works in March, 1865, and then took part with the 2nd corps in the final Appomattox. campaign, which ended with Lee's surrender. A list of the impor-:ant battles in which the 170th was engaged includes the siege of Suffolk, Carrsville, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Pet-:ersburg, Weldon railroad, Deep Bottom, Reams' station, Boydton plank road, Hatcher's run, Deserted House, Edenton road, Toto-potomy, Strawberry Plains, Vaughn road, Farmville and Appo-mattox. Col. McDermott resigned shortly after the regiment took the field and his successor, Col. McIvor, commanded it during most of its active service. He was a gallant officer and rose to the rank of brevet major-general in 1865. The regiment was warmly commended by its brigade and division commanders for its conduct in battle and its efficiency. Its total enrollment was 1,002, of whom 10 officers and 119 men—or 12.8 per cent.—were killed and mortally wounded; 2 officers and 96 men, died of disease and other causes; total deaths, 227. The total number killed and wounded was 481.

 

Battles and Casualties Table from Phisterer

Civil War Newspaper Clippings

Unit Roster

Further Reading
This is meant to be a comprehensive list. If, however, you know of a resource that is not listed below, please send an email to ng.ny.nyarng.list.historians@mail.mil with the name of the resource and where it is located. This can include photographs, letters, articles and other non-book materials. Also, if you have any materials in your possession that you would like to donate, the museum is always looking for items specific to New York's military heritage. Thank you.

Hawkins, William W. and McIvor, James P. Regiment collection,1776-ca. 1900.
Collection containing assorted military returns, personal and official correspondence, muster rolls, court martial documents, lists of officers, military orders, accounts, etc., 1776-ca. 1900, for various individual United States Army regiments; principally those from New York State, but including materials pertaining to regiments from other states, including Confederate Army regiments. Included are documents pertaining to the 1st New York Mounted Rifles, First New York Regiment of the Continental Army, 1st South Carolina Regiment, Confederate States of America (muster roll), 2nd New York State Artillery, 3rd New York State Artillery, 5th New York State Militia Regiment, Company D, the Washington Riflemen; 6th New York State National Guard; 7th New York Regiment; 9th New York State Artillery (company book); 9th New York State National Guard; 20th United States Colored Infantry; 26th New York State, Company C; 62nd New York State; 66th Illinois, Company G; 69th New York State Militia; 70th New York State; 74th United States Colored Infantry; 93rd New York State, including materials pertaining to the military career of Col. John S. Crocker and his regiment, and letters written by Corp. William W. Hawkins to his family; 131st New York State; 170th New York State, including papers of Col. (later Brigadier General) James P. McIvor; and many others.
.8 linear ft. (2 boxes).
Located at the New York Historical Society, New York, NY.

Officers of 170th New York Inf'y. 1861.
Five officers and a boy standing in front of building.
1 photographic print.
Located at the Library of Congress

Rooney, John. John Rooney Letters.
19 photocopies of letters.
Donated by Ed Worman.

Sage, Augustus B. Augustus B. Sage to Miss G.B. Sage,1862 December 20.
Sage, a Union captain stationed in Newport News, Va., writes to his sister, describing a leave spent in Norfolk, Va., with Captain James J. deBarry. He mentions meeting an artist [Thomas?] Godwin of Old Point Comfort, crossing on the "City of Hudson" with a view of the wreck of the "Pennsylvania," the deserted streets of Norfolk, attending the theater, and his room and board. 1 item.
Located at the University of Virginia.

Sage, Augustus B. 170th New York Infantry, Co. B.Papers (1844-1889).
These papers include personal letters and service records relating to Sage's military service during the Civil War. The letters concern routine matters such as camp life, drill, marching, and picket duty.
Sage served in the 11th, 170th and 178th regiments of New York State volunteers. He was an attorney and acted as an agent for several states in New York.
1 box (.25 cu. ft.).
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Six colored views : Camps of New York regiments during the Civil War.
[6] leaves of plates : chiefly col. ill. ; 27 x 37 cm.
Contents: Fort Ethan Allen, Garrisoned by the 4th N.Y. Heavy Artillery. Col. D. Doubleday, Commdg. -- Camp Pomroy, 111th Regiment, New York. Col. J. Segoine, Commdg.-- Camp Chase, 147th Regt. N.Y.S.V. Col. A.S. Warner, Commdg. -- Fort Pennsylvania, Head Quarters of the 113th Regt. N.Y.S.V. Col. O.L. Morricee, Commdg. -- Camp Seward, 170th N.Y.V. 2d Regiment, Corcoran's Legion, Col. Peter McDermott, Lieut. Col. J.P. McIvor -- Camp Hathaway, 141st Regt. N.Y.S.V.S.G. Hathaway, Col. Commanding.
Located at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Worman, Ed. "Civil War letters of John Rooney, Jr. : Genesee, Twp., Pennsylvania - Part I." Potter County Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin. New York: Issue 189, July 2013.

Worman, Ed. "Civil War letters of John Rooney, Jr. : Genesee, Twp., Pennsylvania - Part II." Potter County Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin. New York: Issue 191, January 2014.

Worman, Ed. 170th NY captured at Reamís Station, August 25, 1864. 2014.

 

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: July 15, 2014
URL: http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/170thInf/170thInfMain.htm

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