The Forgotten Sixty-Ninth: A Thesis on the 69th New York National Guard Artillery

Although a significant amount has been written about the wartime exploits of the Irish Brigade, particularly between 1861 and 1863, very little ink has been spilt on the other Irish brigade formation- Corcoran’s Irish Legion. This is a serious anomaly given their significance with respect to both Irish-American attitudes towards the Civil War and also their extremely close ties to the Fenian movement. Longtime friend of the site Christopher Garcia is an expert on the Legion, particularly on its most famous unit, the 69th New York National Guard Artillery (also designated the 182nd New York). Christopher completed his Masters on that regiment in 2012, and I am delighted to say that he has generously made it available through the New York State Military Museum website. It is an extremely interesting read and well worth checking out- you can access it here.

Aside from Christopher’s work there are a number of other Masters and PhD theses of which I am aware that are now available online, and I include links to some of these below. I will shortly add them to the Resources section of the site- in the meantime  if you are aware of any other relevant titles of this ilk please let me know!

Selected Masters and PhD Theses Available Online

Garcia, Christopher 2012. The Forgotten Sixty-Ninth: The Sixty Ninth New York National Guard Artillery Regiment in the American Civil War

Gillespie, William T. 2001. The United States Civil War: Causal Agent for Irish Assimilation and Acceptance in US Society

Myers, Kaitlyn 2013. “Walking with Our Ancestors”: Music and Constructions of Irish-American Identities at Civil War Re-enactments

Truslow, Marion A. 1994. Peasants into Patriots: The New York Irish Brigade Recruits and Their Families in the Civil War Era, 1850-1890

Vaticano, Patricia 2009. A Defense of the 63rd New York State Volunteer Regiment of the Irish Brigade


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Categories: 69th New York National Guard, Corcoran's Irish Legion

Author:Damian Shiels

I am an archaeologist based in Ireland, specialising in conflict archaeology.

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9 Comments on “The Forgotten Sixty-Ninth: A Thesis on the 69th New York National Guard Artillery”

  1. Michael H.j. Kane Pittsburgh (Southside) Pa.
    June 17, 2014 at 12:29 am #

    A lot of bad feelings in the 155th because of the mixture of NYC companies into a western New Yorkregiment

    • June 22, 2014 at 9:46 am #

      Hi Michael,

      That is really interesting- sit that last throughout the war?

      Kind Regards,


  2. Steve Reilly
    June 17, 2014 at 2:45 am #

    Its funny, for a short time, the present day 69th New York National Guard became a Artillery unit. Anti aircraft unit. They have a small display downstairs outside of the men’s room. I had family in the 182nd

  3. June 19, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    Thanks for bringing Chris’ thesis (and the others) to the blog. Hopefully Chris will someday publish all of his research.

  4. John Dolan
    May 3, 2015 at 5:08 am #

    My Great Grand Father was Capt. Michael Kelly who you write about in your book in book. He was severely wounded (right elbow) while with Company F of the 182nd Infantry (69th NYS N G A. I do believe that is him on cover with arm Bandaged while standing with his fellow officers at a cannon with Corcoran among them. My limited research tells me that could be him in the year 1863 prior to Corcoran’s death. Is it possible for you to confirm since one internet photo caption say it was taken between 1861 and 1865 at FT. Corcoran in Alexandria, Va while unit was doing garrison duty. Thank you, anxiously await your reply.

    • May 6, 2015 at 9:51 am #

      Hi John,

      Many thanks for the comment. I don’t think that can be him in this photograph, as it was taken in 1861 before Bull Run 9Thomas Francis Meagher, later commander of the Irish Brigade, is one of the men in the image). Do you have any other images of Michael?

      Kind Regards,



  1. The 69th New York, Not the 69th New York | Bull Runnings - September 18, 2016

    […] You can read a little more about Christopher and find a link to his thesis on Damian’s site here. Pay particular attention to Chapter 2, on page ten, and the opening […]

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