69th Infantry Regiment
New York State Militia
New York National Guard
First Regiment, Irish Brigade
Mustered in: May 9, 1861
Mustered out: August 3, 1861
Left the State: May 29, 1862
Mustered out: September 3, 1862
Left the State: June 22, 1863
Mustered out: July 25, 1863
Mustered in: July 6, 1864
Mustered out: October 6, 1864.
The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion,
3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
The 69th Regiment, located in New York city and
still in existence, was organized October 12, 1851. In 1858 it was reorganized
as an artillery regiment,
duty as infantry. The regiment has rendered the State service during the
Quarantine riots in 1858, the Draft riots, 1863, and the Quarantine disturbances
in 1892. It was reduced, December 6, 1893, to a battalion of five companies,
A, C, D, I and K. The battalion was on duty at Brooklyn during the Motormen's
strike in January, 1895. New companies were organized for the battalion
as follows: Company B, June 5, 1894; Company G, June 10, 1895; Company E, June
11, 1895, and Company F, September 7, 1900. The battalion was reconstituted
a regiment September 4, 1895. April 28, 1898, the regiment
received authority to organize as a twelve-company regiment, preparatory
its entry in the United States service, in which service it was mustered
May 19, 1898, as the 69th Regiment, N. Y. Volunteer Infantry, and mustered
January 31, 1899. Companies L and M were disbanded April 12, 1899; Company
F, February 8, 1900, and Company B, March 5, 1900. Company F was reorganized
and mustered in, May 31, 1900.
Service in the War of the Rebellion.
April 20, 1861, it was ordered to proceed
to Washington, D..C.; it left the State April 23, 1861, and May 9, 1861,
under the command of Col. Michael
Corcoran, it was mustered in the service of the United States for three
months; it served
at and near Annapolis, Md., from April 27, 1861; at and near Washington
and in the 3d Brigade, 1st Division, Army North-East Virginia from May, 1861;
it was mustered out in New York city, August 3, 1861.
On its return from
this service a large majority of the regiment volunteered for a period of three
years, forming the nucleus of the 69th Volunteers.
May 26, 1862, the regiment,
then commanded by Col. James Bagley, was again ordered to Washington
and was mustered in the service of the United States
for three months; it left the State May 29, 1862; served in the defenses
of Washington, and was mustered out September 3, 1862, at New York city.
the return of the regiment from this service again a large portion of it entered
the volunteer service as part of an organization known as the 69th
Regiment National Guard Artillery, but later as the 182d Volunteers.
18, 1863, the regiment was ordered to Harrisburg, Pa., for a service of thirty
days. It left the State June 22, 1863, commanded by Colonel Bagley;
served at Baltimore, Md., in the 2d Separate Brigade, Middle Department,
Corps, and was mustered out of the United States service July 25, 1863, at
New York city.
July 6, 1864, the regiment, still commanded by Colonel Bagley,
was again mustered in the United States service, but for a period of ninety
the harbor of New York, and was mustered out October 6, 1864.
In its service
in 1861, the regiment lost, killed in action, 1 officer, 37 enlisted men;
died of wounds received in action, 2 enlisted men; died of
disease, etc., 5 enlisted men; in its service in 1864, died of disease, 2 officers,
1 enlisted man; total, 3 officers, 45 enlisted men; aggregate, 48.
part in the advance into Virginia and occupation of Arlington Heights, May
24, 1861; in a skirmish at Blackburn's Ford, July 18, 1861; and in the
battle of Bull Run, Va., July 21, 1861, where it lost, killed, 1 officer,
36 enlisted men; wounded, 1 officer, 59 enlisted men; captured 3 officers,
enlisted men; aggregate, 192.
The following is taken from Third Annual Report of the Bureau
of Military Statistics of the State of New York, Albany: [The Bureau],
(C. Wendell), 1866.
SIXTY-NINTH REGIMENT, N. Y. S. MILITIA.
The Sixty-ninth regiment was organized in the city of New York, and is in the
Fourth brigade, First division of the New York State Militia. It departed
from the State on the 23d of April, 1861—Strength: 1,050 men.
The followimg were the field officers :
Lieutenant-Colonel—Robert Nugent. Major—James Bagley.
The services which were rendered by the Sixty-ninth were of a most valuable
character, and as a representative regiment of a large class of our metropolitan
population, the promptness with which its ranks were filled, even to overflowing,
and the alacrity with which the regiment moved to the scene of expected hostilities,
augured at the time most favorably for the success of the Union cause, and
proved how deep seated in the hearts of all Northern citizens, whether native
or adopted, was the love of the nation.
Some time before the Sixty-ninth offered its services, Colonel Corcoran had
been summoned before a court-martial for disobedience of orders in not
appearing with his command on the occasion of the reception of the Prince of
Wales some months before in the city of New York. His popularity With his countrymen,
and especially with his regiment, rendered it important that he should take
the command at once; and on the morning of April 20th, Governor Morgan received
a request to "quash at once the court martial on Col. Corcoran and restore
him to his command." This was followed by this dispatch; "The Sixty-ninth
Irish regiment is ready for service anywhere; can the court-martial be discontinued,
and thei regiment be ordered into service?" The Governor at once directed
the discontinuance of the court, and that the charges against the Colonel be
dismissed, that he be released from arrest and the court dissolved. Ho at once
issued a call for volunteers. Up to Monday night 6,500 names had been
enrolled in his regiment. On Tuesday morning the Sixty-ninth was ordered to
assemble at the armory to receive their equipments. It was not until 2 o'clock
in the afternoon that all the men were equipped, after which the companies
were formed, and accompanied by the enthusiastic crowd, marched to Great Jones
street, from which point the regiment was to start. For several hours there
had been an assemblage of men, women and children in Broadway, mostly Irish,
which had driven every vehicle from that thoroughfare. Several Irish civic
societies, comprising about 2,000 persons, with waving banners, had formed
in procession in Broadway, as an escort, and patiently waited for the regiment
to move. About 3 o'clock the order to march was received, and the entire procession,
civic and military, moved down Broadway. The march was a triumphant one, and
Colonel Corcoran, who arose from a bed of sickness to accompany his regiment,
had to be protected by the police from the friendly crowd which pressed upon
him. After the presentation of a beautiful stand of national colors by Mrs.
Judge Daly, the Sixty-ninth embarked at half-past six on board the James Adger,
After its arrival at Washington, the Sixty-ninth was stationed at Georgetown
college. Subsequently on the 30th of May, they removed to a new camp on Arlington
Heights, where defensive works had been erected, when the raising of the stars
and striped and naming of the fort (Corcoran) were celebrated with appropriate
ceremonies. Near sunset, Colonel Corcoran having assembled all the troops,
not on duty, numbering over thirteen hundred, introduced Colonel Hunter, of
the Third cavalry, United States Army, who had just been assigned the command
of the brigade of the Aqueduct, consisting of the Fifth, Twenty-eighth and
Sixty-ninth New York militia regiments, and the detachments in the vicinity.
Colonel Hunter was received with great enthusiasm, and Colonel Corcoran made
some patriotic allusions to the flag, which were loudly cheered. Captain Meagher
having been called upon made a brief but high-toned and patriotic address,
showing the devotion Irishmen should bear to that flag which brought succor
to them in Ireland, and to which, upon landing in this country, they had sworn
At the time of the battle of Bull Run, the, Sixty-ninth served in the Third
brigade (Sherman's), First division (Tyler's). The regiment behaved with
great gallantry. Its loss was 38 killed, 59 wounded, and 95 missing, making
a total of 192. Among the captured was Colonel Corcoran. The Third brigade
was composed of the Sixty-ninth and Seventy-ninth New York Militia, the Thirteenth
New York Volunteers and the Second Wisconsin, with a company of artillery under
Captain Ayres., and was in the hottest part of the tight, all suffering severely.
Colonel Sherman's brigade, before going into action, made a junction with
Hunter's division, and formed in the rear of Colonel Porter's brigade.
It was just before making this junction that lieutenant-Colonel Haggerty, of
the Sixty-ninth, in attempting to intercept the retreat of a party of the enemy,
was shot, and fell dead from his horse. The fight which followed was near the
Stone Bridge, crossing Bull Run, at which the brigade first took its position.
It crossed the stream, with the exception of Ayres' battery, at a ford which
had been indicated to Colonel Sherman, by observing, early in the day, a horseman
of the enemy cross at the same point. The crossing was made in obedience to
orders from the division commander that the brigade should go to the assistance
of Colonel Hunter, then en-gaged with the enemy. Immediately after crossing,
the brigade ascended the steep bluff opposite, with its infantry, meeting with
no opposition. Shortly after ascending the bluff, Colonel Sherman received
orders from General McDowell to join in the pursuit of the enemy, who were
falling back to the left of the road by which the army had approached from
Sudley Springs. Colonel Sherman says: "Placing Colonel Quinby's regiment
of rifles (Thirteenth New York Volunteers) in front in column by division,
I directed the other regiments, to follow in the order of the Wisconsin
Second, New York Seventy-ninth, and New York Sixty-ninth. These regiments attacked
the enemy successively, the Sixty-ninth being the last engaged." The part
it took in the fight is thus described in the official report: After the Wisconsin
regiment had been repulsed a second time " the New York Sixty-ninth
had closed up and in like manner it was ordered to cross the brow of the hill
and drive the enemy from cover. It was impossible to get a good view of the
ground. In it there was one battery of artillery, which poured an incessant
fire upon an advancing column, and the ground was irregular with small
clusters of pines, affording shelter, of which the enemy took good advantage.
The fire of rifles and musketry was very severe. The Seventy-ninth New York,
headed by its Colonel (Cameron) charged across the hill, and for a short time
the contest was severe. They rallied several times under fire, but finally
broke and gained the brow of the hill. This left the field open to the New
York Sixty-ninth, Colonel Corcoran, who in his turn led his regiment over the
crest, and had in full open view the ground so severely contested. The firing
was very severe, and the roar of cannon, musketry and rifles incessant. It
was manifest the enemy were here in great force, far superior to us at that
point. The Sixty-ninth held the ground for sometime, but finally fell back
in disorder." Colonel Corcoran was captured during the retreat. Colonel
Sherman says: " On the ridge to the west we succeeded in partially re-forming
the regiment, but it was manifest they would not stand, and I directed
Colonel Corcoran to move along the ridge to the rear. General McDowell was
there in person, and used all possible efforts to re-assure the men. By the
active exertions of Colonel Corcoran an irregular square was formed against
the cavalry, which was then seen to issue from the position from which our
men had been driven, and the retreat was commenced towards that ford of Bull
Run by which the field of battle had been approached." Colonel Corcoran
was missing immediately Astor the cavalry charge, near the building used as
Shortly after the battle (on the 27th of July) the Sixty-ninth returned to
New York and was mustered out of the service.
69th NY State Militia Prince of Wales Flag
See here for a brief history of the State Militia / National Guard.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
69th Regiment Association. www.sixtyninth.net/index.html
Athearn, Robert G. Thomas Francis Meagher: an Irish revolutionary in America. Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 1949.
Ballard, Ted. Battle of First Bull Run. Washington, D.C. Center of Military History, United States Army, 2004.
Boyle, Frank A. A party of mad fellows : the story of the Irish regiments in the Army of the Potomac. Dayton, Ohio: Morningside House, Inc, 1996.
Bruce, Susannah U. "Remember Your Country and Keep Up Its Credit : Irish Volunteers and the Union Army." The Journal of Military History 69:2 (April 2005) 331-359.
Chapman, Frederick T. and Frederick P. Todd. "69th Regiment,
N.Y.S.M. at the First Battle of Bull Run, 21 July, 1861." Military Collector
Clarke, Joseph I.C. "The Ballad of the Sixty-ninth." Lyrics
Collins F. "Battle of Bull Run." [United States : s.n.,] 1861-1865.
Verse in seven stanzas; first line: Our gallant soldiers they are going to leave their friends to mourn./ Lyrics only./ Other editions attributed to F. Collins./ Text within ornamental border.
Corcoran, Michael. The captivity of General Corcoran,
the only authentic and reliable narrative of the trials and sufferings endured
during twelve months imprisonment in Richmond and other Southern cities,
by Brig.-General Michael Corcoran, the hero of Bull run. Philadelphia:
Barclay & co., 1862.
Coyle, John G. "General Michael Corcoran." Journal
of the American Irish historical society XIII (1913/ 14) 109-26.
Demeter, Richard. The fighting 69th : a history. Pasadena, CA: Cranford Press, 2002.
Fitzgerald, James. "The Sixty-ninth regiment, New York
city." Journal of the American Irish historical society IX (1910)
Glynn, Gary. "Meagher of the Sword." America's Civil War (September 1995) 54-61.
Halpine, Charles Graham. Baked meats of the funeral,
a collection of essays, poems, speeches, histories and banquets, by Private
Miles O'Reilly, late of the 47th reg't New York volunteer infantry.
Collected, revised, and edited, with the requisite corrections of punctuation,
spelling, and grammar, by an ex-Colonel of the Adjutant-general's department,
with whom the Private formerly served as Lance Corporal of orderlies. New
York: Carleton, 1866.
Note: Halpine mustered in 69th infantry as Lieutenant, unassigned, April 20, 1861; Aide de-Camp to Colonel Hunter; mustered out with Regiment, August 3, 1861.
Halpine, Charles Graham. The life and adventures, songs,
services, and speeches of Private Miles O'Reilly (47th regiment, New York
volunteers). "The post of honor is the Private's station." With
comic illustrations by Mullen. From the authentic records of the New York
herald. New York, Carleton, 1864.
Note: Halpine mustered in 69th infantry as Lieutenant, unassigned, April 20, 1861; Aide de-Camp to Colonel Hunter; mustered out with Regiment, August 3, 1861.
Halpine, Charles Graham. "Two songs of '61." Magazine
of history XXIII (New York 1916) 241-5.
Loback, Tom. Civil War flags of the Irish Brigade and others in the 69th Regiment's Armory collection. S.l. s.n, 1999.
Mahon, John, 1930. New York's Fighting Sixty-ninth : a regimental history of service in the Civil War's Irish Brigade and the Great War's Rainbow Division. Jefferson, N.C. McFarland, 2004.
McLaughlin, James H. James Haggerty of Tír Conaill : Irish patriot, American hero : on the occasion of the unveiling of a memorial, First Calvary Cemetery, Woodside, New York, May 30, 1992 ... . [New York] Donegal Association? 1992.
Meagher, Thomas Francis. The last days of the 69th in
Virginia, a narrative in three parts, by Thomas Francis Meagher, Captain,
Company K ("Irish zouaves"). New York: "Irish American," 1861.
Moshier, James. "Affinity for Controversy : Wherever Dan Sickles went, controversy soon flared, even at Gettysburg." Military History (June, 1990) 58 ff.
O'Flaherty, Patrick Daniel. The history of the sixty-ninth regiment of the New York State Militia 1852 to 1861 . Ann Arbor, Mich. University Microfilms, 1985, ©1964. Ph. D. Dissertation.
Pohanka, Brian C. James McKay Rorty : an appreciation. s.n. 1993.
Powers, Kenneth H. "A Bit of the Irish: The 69th Regiment
of New York." National Guard. (March 1998) pp. 22-24.
Reynolds, Lawrence. A poetical address: delivered by Doctor Lawrence Reynolds, 63d Regiment, N.Y.S.V., before the Irish Brigade, in camp, near Falmouth, Va., on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1863 . Albany: Weed, Parsons and Co. : Michael O'Sullivan, 1863.
Items in the museum collection are in bold.
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January 29, 2018