Monday, May 21, 2007

The Irish Brigade



A reader suggested a post about the Irish Brigade , the "Fearless Sons of Erin" who fought courageously for the North during the War Between the States. Yes, the Union army quickly discovered that the Irish made good cannon fodder and would send them marching in first. The English had long done the same with the Scots, as I recall reading in one of Nigel Tranter's books; the military leaders knew that the Scots were fearless and would keep marching forward, no matter what. The same with the Irish, in fact, it is an ancient Celtic trait to charge fearlessly, especially when provoked. The Irish Brigade was under the command of General Thomas Meagher, who tried to hold the brigade together in spite of the immense casualties:

Throughout its life in the Army of the Potomac, the Irish Brigade was almost always at the foremost position and suffered high casualties as a result. Such was the case at the "Bloody Lane" at Antietem, below Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg, the battle in the Wheatfield at Gettysburg and at Chancellorsville. Efforts were made after the Chancellorsville battle to disband the brigade. General Meagher protested this action and resigned his commission on May 14, 1863. Though his resignation was later cancelled, he never again served in the field with the Irish Brigade.

The Irish Brigade started with 3000 men and ended with 300. Share

1 comment:

de Brantigny said...

War battered dogs are we
Fighters in every clime;
Fillers of trench and of grave,
Mockers bemocked by time,
War dogs hungry and grey,
Gnawing a naked bone,
Fighters in every clime-
Every cause but our own
Emily Lawless-1902