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69th NYSV Company C


History of the 69th NYSV and the Irish Brigade

The 69th NYSV has it's roots in the NY State Militia  (NYSM) that fought at Bull Run, after the debacle the unit returned to NY city and was re-formed under  Brigadier General Thomas Meagher (Ma-Her).   The 69th became one of three regiments of Irish immigrants or men of Irish ancestry.  The other two Irish units that formed the core of the brigade were the 63rd NY and the 88th NY. 

The highest compliment paid to the brigade came from non other than Robert E. Lee.  Lee commented that General Mc Clellan's cavalry couldn't ride and his infantry couldn't fight, except for the Irish.  The green flag of the Irish Brigade was feared by it's foes and respected by the commanders of the union army.  The deeds of the Irish brigade are legendary. 

The brigade was known for it's antics in camp, whether it was tossing a sutler in a blanket or driving a mule in full uniform through the Colonel's tent.  Under fire the brigade was known to joke under fire as if they were out on Sunday picnic.  

History of the 69th  Company C

          FAQ:  Why did the Irish fight for the North?  At the onset of the civil war many Irish supported secssion in the south.  This was based on their unhappy experiences from the occupation of their country by the English.  However, when the Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter this sentiment quickly changed.  Many Irish flocked to enlist in the union army and prove their loyalty to their adopted homeland.  It is estimated that over 150,000 Irish served in the Union Army.  There were many units that were predominately Irish, but there was only one brigade of all Irish regiments.  The forerunner of this Irish brigade was the New York State Militia.  This unit was a 90 day unit and the terms of enlistment expired after 90 days.  At the battle of Bull Run the N.Y.S.M.'s enlistment had expired, but in true Irish fashion the men voted to stay and fight.  After the defeat at Bull Run, the unit returned to New York and was re-organized as the New York State Volunteer Infantry (N.Y.S.V.)  This unit served until the end of the conflict.

145 Gettysburg

The photos that were added 10/08 are all from the 69th's trip to the 145th Gettysburg.  It was an memorable trip, everyone had great time. 


You can tell by the green in the background this is not California!