Friday, November 29, 2013

A Treasure Trove of New York City Battle Flags and Medals

116 infantry regiments and artillery batteries, with over 150,000 soldiers, were organized at New York City during the Civil War, not including dozens of militia units mobilized to defend Washington during the war's early days and Harrisburg during Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania.  These are the battle and regimental flags for some of the New York City units: source New York State Military Museum.

16th New York Cavalry
Led by Capt. Edward Doherty
Hunted down and killed John Wilkes Booth

69th NY - Irish Brigade
The Fighting Irish
Bull Run, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Appomattox, where Grant sent the first demand for Lee to surrender through its lines.
At Antietam's Bloody Lane, eight of its color bearers were successively shot down during the assault that broke the Confederate center.

71st New York - Excelsior Brigade

73rd NY - Excelsior Brigade
“Over four hundred voted for a Catholic priest, one hundred and fifty-four, for any kind of a protestant minister; eleven, for a Mormon elder; and three hundred and thirty-five said they could find their way to hell without the assistance of clergy.”
-- Father Joseph O'Hagan, SJ on how he was chosen regimental chaplain

 74th NY - Fifth Excelsior Brigade

NYC's DeKalb German Regiment

37th NY
Irish Rifles
63rd NY
Irish Brigade

Irish Brigade Battle Flag
Suffered casualties so severe throughout the war that the brigade had to be resurrected twice with new recruits and men who had recovered from their wounds.


Army Medal of Honor - NYC 120+

Navy Medal of Honor -  NYC 80+

 40th NY - Mozart Hall
formed around a cadre of Irishmen who weren't allowed to enlist in Boston

42nd NY - Tammany Hall
Led by Irish-American Col. James Mallon, the 42nd led the repulse of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg  
1st NY Cavalry
Dickel's German Mounted Rifles
Organized at New York by Carl Schurz
The 1st NY led the breakout of Milroy's survivors from Winchester. Harried and monitored Lee's vanguard as it marched into Pennsylvania in 1863, providing invaluable intelligence to the Union high command.
5th NY Cavalry
"Burning all the buildings within 5 miles of Dayton [Shenandoah Valley].  Burning in retaliation for Lieut. Shot last Evg. by a bushwhacker.  Terrible sorry sight see to all buildings burning & women crying." -- Van Dusen Diary
 6th NY Cavalry
Fought with Buford's Division on the morning of the first day at Gettysburg.
5th NY Infantry
 Duryee's Zouves
Organized by the scion of NYC French soldier who fought with Washington in the Revolution
31st Infantry, US Colored Troops
The 31st was one of three "colored" regiments organized at New York City (along with the 20th and 26th).  It was part of the powerful African-American XXV Corps, which closed the trap on Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.

Mozart (40th NY) and Scott Life Guard (38th NY)
Taking Possession of the Red Redoubt at Petersburg

39th NY
Garibaldi Guard: Italian, Dutch, Polish and Hungarian Legion
46th NY
Fremont [German] Rifles 
Fought at Antietam and the sieges of Vicksburg and Petersburg
48th NY
Continental Guards
Severe casualties at Ft. Wagner, SC, and Olustee, Florida
51st NY
Shepard Rifles
Led by Italian and French New Yorkers: Edward Ferrero and Charles Legendre
Fought at Antietam, Vicksburg, Wilderness, Petersburg

52nd NY
Sigel's Rifles
In the fighting at Spotsylvania's Bloody Angle, the 52nd lost the Prussians Count Van Haake and Baron Von Stueben.

59th NY
Union Guards

61st Regiment
Astor Rifles

65th NY
United States Chasseurs

"In reply to the circular [of 1/21/1863], I have addressed the Adjutant-General of the State or New-York, and informed him that the tattered flag of my regiment -- mere rags -- under which my command has so often, so gallantly and so successfully fought -- within sight of which, and cheered and animated by it, hundreds have fallen -- is not the property of the State of New-York; it belongs to the City of New-York. It was given to us by her Common Council, and cannot be disposed of without their consent and approval. "
-- J. Egbert Farnham, Col. 70th NY, Excelsior Brigade

72nd NY - Excelsior Brigade
 79th NY
New York's Scots regiment.  Probably the source for the nickname the baseball Yankees used before deciding on a more ecumenical one.

 82nd NY
Organized initially as the 2nd Militia, the 82nd suffered severe losses at Antietam and Gettysburg.

83rd NY
The 9th NYS Militia was mustered into service as the 83rd NY Volunteers.  It suffered heavy casualties at Antietam, Fredericksburg, the Wilderness and Spotsylvania.

84th NY
The 14th NYS Militia from Brooklyn was mustered into Union service as the 84th NY Volunteers after hard fighting at First Bull Run and became part of the Eastern Iron Brigade.  It is the only regiment with three Gettysburg monuments: at the Railroad Cut, McPherson's Ridge and Culp's hill.  The 14th, as it liked to be known, carried General Reynolds body from the field during the retreat on the first day at Gettysburg.

 88th Infantry - Irish Brigade
Chaplain William Corby took the "Fighting Irish" nickname back to Notre Dame University where he became president.

"Absolution Under Fire"
Father William Corby at Gettysburg
Notre Dame Permanent Collection

131 NY
First Regiment, Metropolitan Guard
Fought in Louisiana and the Seige of Port Hudson

155 NY
Corcoran's Irish Legion
Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Appomattox

159th NY
"On Sunday the 15th an attack was made at three different [points], one under Genl. Payne [Charles J. Paine] on the right, Col. Gerard in the centre & I do not know who had the left. We were repulsed with severe loss on our side & very small loss to the rebels. We were drawn off under cover of the night. They have now called for a storming party of one thousand men, each of whom is to receive a gold medal & promotion. They have got more men than the number called for. When the charge is to be made I cannot say."  -- Letter, Frank Tiemann to father, Port Hudson, June 26/63.

164th NY
Corcoran's Irish Legion
Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Appomattox

The Death of Colonel McMahon, Cold Harbor:
“Leading his men to assault the enemy’s works he daringly dashed ahead, and foremost, fighting with the National colors in one hand, was in the act of planting them upon the earthworks which entrenched the foe, when his body was pierced with six bullets by the Rebel sharpshooters.”

Yesterday afternoon the famous Corcoran Legion was formally received by their fellow-countrymen, and by the great mass of the citizens of New-York, as well as by several of the crack regiments of the New-York State National Guard.
To say that the entire reception was a grand success is simply to say what is ever said of the ceremonies of a similar character gotten up by our enthusiastic Irish citizens. The history of the Corcoran Legion was a noble one, not far behind its fellow, the Irish Brigade, and only differing from it by reason of its entering the field at a later period of the war's history; and it was but right that the Irishmen should manifest their appreciation of the services of the Legion, representing as they did the natives of the "green isle beyond the seas."
The Irish Legion assembled at the Centre Market Armory at 1 o'clock P.M. yesterday, and after forming, marched down to Grand-street, where they formed in line, right resting on Broadway, as follows:
The One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Regiment, Col. BYRNE.
The One Hundred and Seventieth Regiment, Major HAGAN.
The One Hundred and Sixty-fourth Regiment, Col. WM. DELACY.
The Sixty-ninth Regiment, Col. COONAN.
The brigade was under command of Brevet Brig. Gen. JAMES P. MCIVOR.
An escort of police, from the Fourteenth Precinct, was present, under Sergeant BROOKS...
As the procession passed down Broadway, it attracted great attention from those assembled, and the gallant legion was received all along the entire route of march with the greatest enthusiasm, and loud and continuous cheering.
-- New York Times, July 26/65