69th Regiment New York State at Service, Fort Corcoran, Virginia
The 69th New York State Militia was first mustered out in 1851 and joined the Union army just in time for the first battle of Bull Run in 1861. It was an Irish regiment composed of immigrants who lived around Hibernia Hall in New York City. The 69th even included a Zouave unit, Company K, called "Meagher's Zouaves."
After Bull Run, the 69th was assigned to the heights above Arlington, Virginia, which commanded approaches to the Aqueduct Bridge leading to Washington. The Irish, no strangers to hard work, built the fortifications with fourteen foot high walls and heavy gun emplacements in one week. They named it Fort Corcoran, after Michael Corcoran, founder and colonel of the 69th.
This photograph would have been taken before the 16th of July when the 69th was ordered to join General Sherman's brigade. The company's chaplain seen here, Father O'Reilly, had departed for New York between the 12th and 16th with the soldiers' pay meant for their hard-working families back in New York.
Artist: Brady, Matthew, Attributed to
Artist Dates: 1823-1896
Country/Culture: United States
Period: 19th century
Medium: albumen print
Size: 15x20 cm
Museum: © Davis Art Images
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