The Fighting 69th (The Irish Brigade)

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The Fighting 69th (The Irish Brigade) (1851)

A legendary Regiment formed in New York City initially as a State Militia unit. It served with distinction in every major campaign of the Civil War. Facing them in battle, Gen. Robert E. Lee was responsible for giving them their nickname when he referred to them as “That Fighting Sixty-Ninth.” They continued to serve with valor during World War I. Several of their famous members were Col. “Wild Bill” Donovan (later head of the OSS), Joyce Kilmer (poet; killed in action) and Fr. Francis Duffy (Chaplain, pictured here; his statue stands in Times Square, NYC).

Photo: Fr. Francis Duffy


The Fighting 69th on the Web:
The History of the Fighting 69th
This site recounts the Regiment’s combat history from the Civil War through World War II. It includes a section on Fr. Duffy, as well a poem by Joyce Kilmer, “When the Sixty-Ninth Comes Back.”

The Irish Brigade
Traces the Brigade’s connections to Irish history during its Civil War encounters.

Officers of the 69th 
A photo by Matthew Brady, renowned photographer, of the men of the “Fighting Sixty-ninth” posed around a cannon.

Books about The Fighting 69th:
Bilby, Joseph G. Remember Fontenoy: The 69th New York and the Irish Brigade in the Civil War. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1995.

Corby, William and Kohl, Lawrence Frederick. Memoirs of a Chaplain Life: Three years with the Irish Brigade in the Army of the Potomac (Irish in the Civil War, No. 2). New York: Fordham Univ. Pr., 1992.

McCarter, William and O’Brien, Kevin E. My Life in the Irish Brigade: The Civil War memoirs of Private William McCarter, 116th Pennsylvania Infantry. Mason City, IA: Savas Publishing Co., 1996.

Additional Fighting 69th Materials:
The Irish Brigade in the American Civil War (VHS-Documentary)

The Fighting 69th (VHS-1940; fictionalized)