‘Our Pickets Were Gobbled’: Assessing the Mass Capture of the 69th New York, Petersburg, 1864

On 30th October 1864 the famed 69th New York Infantry suffered one of it’s most embarrassing moments of the war, when a large number of its men were captured having barely fired a shot. In the latest post I have used a number of sources to explore this event, seeking to uncover details about those men captured– who they were, how long they had served, what became of them. In an effort to consider why this mass-capture occurred, the post also examines how veteran soldiers defined ‘old’ and ‘new’ men, and provides detail on a number of the 69th POWs who decided to take up arms for the Confederacy. 

The 69th New York were positioned in this sector of the line on 30th October, in front of Fort Davis. Extract from map drawn by Brevet Colonel Michler for Jarratt's Hotel, Petersburg.

The 69th New York were positioned in this sector of the line on 30th October 1864, in front of Fort Davis. Extract from a map drawn by Brevet Colonel Michler for Jarratt’s Hotel, Petersburg.

In the widow’s and dependent pension file research I conduct into Irish soldiers in the American Civil War, one year that crops up again and again– 1864. Grant’s strategy of applying relentless pressure in both the Eastern and Western Theaters was ultimately a war-winning one for the Union, but it carried with it a staggering human cost. From an Irish perspective, I find the period of 1864-5 by far the most intriguing of the conflict. It was a year that appears (though there is a need for significant analysis in this area) to see a large number of first-time Irish soldiers enlisting to take advantage of the major economic incentives available for service. It was also a year that saw the effective destruction of many of the old ‘green flag’ ethnic units, notably those serving in the Army of the Potomac’s Second Corps. Losses, combat fatigue and high troop turnover meant that few of the famed regiments and brigades from 1861 and 1862 that continued their service escaped without blots on their military record. In the East, engagements such as Ream’s Station (see here) and Second Deep Bottom were testament to the failing fighting strength of many such units. The Irish Brigade was no exception. By mid-June 1864, the Brigade, which had already received an infusion of new men before the Overland Campaign commenced, was so reduced in numbers that it was effectively broken-up, with the core New York regiments forming part of what became known as the ‘Consolidated Brigade’ of the First Division, Second Corps. It was as part of this Consolidated Brigade that the 69th New York suffered perhaps it’s greatest embarrassment of the war– the mass capture of large numbers of it’s troops while on picket duty outside Petersburg on 30th October 1864.

The events of the evening of 30th October 1864 have long held an interest for me, as they suggest the almost complete disintegration of the 69th New York as an effective front-line unit. But just what men made up the 69th New York at the time? How many were recent recruits? how many were substitutes? where were they from? In order to look into this I have analysed both the roster of the 69th New York and the New York Civil War Muster Roll extracts to build a picture of the men captured and their fate. But first it is appropriate to explore the events of the 30th October themselves, an evening when so many of the 69th fell into Rebel hands.

The 30th October found members of the Consolidated Brigade holding a portion of the line around Fort Davis and Fort Sedgwick. The previous evening, elements of the division had launched sorties against the Confederate line; a sally by the 148th Pennsylvania had been followed around 8.30pm that evening with a raid by the 88th New York, as Lieutenant Colonel Denis Burke led 130 men against the Rebel picket line in an area known as the Chimneys, opposite Fort Sedgwick. It may have been these probes that elicited the Confederate response the following evening. The next night both the 69th New York and 111th New York of the Consolidated Brigade were on picket duty. Lieutenant Colonel Lewis Husk of the 111th was in overall command of the picket detail, and reported that some of the men were talking across the lines to the Rebels, an activity which he ordered stopped immediately. Then, sometime between 7 and 8pm, the Rebels silently sent out a force of around 150-200 men to try and snare their opponents. As they crawled flat on the grass towards their target, few of them could have expected the dramatic success which their operation would achieve. (1)

Second Lieutenant Esek W. Hoff of the 111th New York was sitting by his fire at Post No. 1 of his regiment’s picket line when he heard a group of men approaching from the adjacent positions, held by the 69th New York. Presuming it to be his relief, he got his men ready to move out. Stepping aside to let the fresh troops past, Hoff noticed the men’s blue caps and light blue overcoats, but something seemed amiss; the trousers their relief were wearing were gray. Realising his mistake, Hoff dashed off to tell Lieutenant Colonel Husk that Confederates had penetrated the line and were capturing his men. Crucially, Hoff failed to alert Post No. 2 of the intruders’ identity, thereby sealing their fate, as the Rebels swept on down the line. Each picket post in succession mistook the enemy for their relief, until nearly all of the 111th New York’s picket had been ‘gobbled.’ The Confederate strategy had seen them penetrate the Yankee picket line in the 69th New York’s sector, before fanning out left and right to gather up as many prisoners as they could (for an intriguing analysis of this action, see Brett Schulte’s post at Beyond the Crater here). The unfortunate Lieutenant Hoff and the men of the 111th New York had fallen foul of one wing of this thrust– the 69th New York were faring little better against the other. (2)

As Esek Hoff was experiencing what was likely his worst day of the war nearby, Co. Wexford’s Lieutenant Murtha Murphy of the 69th New York was overseeing his portion of the picket line opposite Fort Davis. He recalled how the left of that line rested on an ‘almost impassable’ swamp, which broke his connection with the pickets beyond, while his right connected with the 63rd New York. Murphy’s pickets had orders to fire at intervals of five minutes, which they did for much of the evening, until his Sergeant caught sight of a group of men advancing towards their position from the left front. As with Lieutenant Hoff, the Sergeant assumed the men were their relief, but just to be sure he hailed them. Receiving no answer, Murphy’s men opened fire, which the Rebels answered. They could hear other pickets of the 69th running through the brush off to their left, not realising at the time that they had all been captured and were being herded to Confederate lines. As the firing continued, a sharpshooter from the 3rd Division eventually arrived, informing Murphy that all the men to his left had either been captured or had run away, leaving their muskets behind them in the trenches. When they counted the cost of the evening’s events, the scale of the disaster became clear. For negligible loss, the Confederates had captured 247 men– 82 soldiers of the 111th New York and 1 officer and 164 men of the 69th. (3)

The investigation was immediate. Hoff and other officers on the line were arrested, though ultimately no charges seem to have been brought. Colonel McDougall of the 111th New York pointed to the previous desertion of ten men of the 69th New York to the enemy while serving on this portion of the line as an indication that the Rebels had learned details of their dispositions. This was a view endorsed by Brigadier-General Miles, who thought that ‘deserters from the Sixty-ninth were rebels and informed the enemy of the position of our line.’ Intriguingly, Lieutenant Robert Milliken, commanding the 69th, included in his report a breakdown of the ‘new’ and ‘old’ soldiers of the regiment on the line that night. Of the total, he said they broke down into ‘New men (recruits recently arrived), 190; old soldiers, 40; total, 230. Old commissioned officers, 2; acting lieutenants, 3; total, 5. Of this number 1 old commissioned officer and the 3 acting lieutenants, with 141 new men and 23 old men, were captured.’ (4)

One of the questions I was keen to answer was what constituted a ‘new’ man and who were regarded as ‘old’ men. Was the distinction one of pre-1864 enlistments, or did it literally refer to those soldiers who had joined the regiment in previous days? But firstly I wanted to examine the question of deserters potentially providing information to the enemy. Analysing the unit roster for details of those who deserted the regiment during the month of October revealed 12 men, listed in Table 1 below, though give the often partial nature of these records this is almost certainly not a comprehensive list.

NAME RANK AGE CO. ENLIST. MUSTER SUB. OCCUP. NATVITY DESERTION NOTES
Hughes, Charles Pte. D 01/10/64
Peterson, Peter Pte. 24 C Brooklyn 28/01/64 Sailor Sweden 04/10/64
Reynolds, Michael Pte. 20 None Jamaica 08/10/64 Sailor England 08/10/64 In NY
Kenny, Patrick Pte. 20 C Brooklyn 28/01/64 Yes Farmer Ireland 10/10/64
Simmons, George Pte. 24 C Brooklyn 19/01/64 Sailor New York 10/10/64
Kelly, James Pte. 22 C Brooklyn 28/01/64 Laborer Canada 10/10/64 From camp
Dorman, Thomas Pte. 19 H New York City 03/09/64 20/10/64
Riley, Peter Pte. 18 C Brooklyn 28/01/64 Printer Ireland 24/10/64 From hospital
Heffernan, John Pte. 29 I Tarrytown 15/09/64 Boatfitter Ireland 26/10/64 On picket
Malloy, William Pte. 39 I Jamaica 08/09/64 26/10/64 On picket
Howard, George Pte. 30 C New York City 15/07/64 Bookkeeper Canada ?/10/64
Clarke, Francis Pte. 24 F Wheatfield 21/09/64 ?/10/64 From camp

Table 1. Deserters from the 69th New York in October 1864, Ordered by Date of Desertion. Details drawn from 69th New York Roster & New York Muster Roll Extracts. Co. = Company, Enlist. = Enlistment, Sub. = Confirmed Substitute, Occup. = Occupation.

As can be seen from their desertion dates and locations, the majority of these deserters could not have informed the Rebels about the picket dispositions, but two of them could: John Heffernan and William Malloy. Both of these soldiers deserted while on picket duty with Company I on the 26th October, and both had been in the regiment only a matter of days. None of these October deserters were pre-1864 enlistees, and at least five of them had served less than two months. These men were taking a terrible risk by trying to escape service. Only a month previously, on 26th September, 36-year-old Canadian-born farmer John Nichols had deserted from Company A, only four days after mustering in. A substitute, he was shown no mercy– on the 10th March 1865 was executed by hanging. (5)

NAME RANK AGE CO. ENLISTMENT MUSTER SUB. OCCUPATION NATIVITY FATE
Abbott, James H. Pte 19 H Plattsburgh 25/08/64 Yes Farmer New York
Acorn, Jr., John Pte 18 H Plattsburgh 03/09/64 Yes Farmer New York Died POW Salisbury
Arnold, Martin Pte 18 H Plattsburgh 03/09/64 Yes Colier New York
Bauer, Andrew Pte 22 H Brooklyn 03/09/64
Blenin, John Pte H 03/09/64 Died POW Florence
Bowers, George Pte H Schenectady 03/09/64
Brearton, John Pte 29 F Tompkinsville 20/09/64 Boatman Ireland
Burns, Dennis Pte 22 I Schenectady 23/09/64 Laborer Ireland Enlisted with Confederates
Callahan, James Pte 30 H Brooklyn 03/09/64 Yes Laborer Ireland
Cleary, John Pte 20 F Jamaica 27/09/64 Laborer Ireland
Cole, Franklin Pte 18 H Plattsburgh 03/09/64 Yes Farmer New York Died POW Salisbury
Connelly, John Pte 32 C Jamaica 23/09/64 Yes Laborer Ireland
Costello, Thomas Pte 27 I New York City 07/09/64 Mason Ireland
Cox, Henry Pte 19 F New York City 27/09/64 Cooper Barbados
Cross, Francis Pte 27 H Troy 03/09/64 Moulder Canada Confederate Oath of Allegiance
Darling, William Pte 18 H Plattsburgh 03/09/64 Yes Laborer New York Died POW Salisbury
Denick, John Pte 24 H New York City 03/09/64 Yes Laborer Germany
Diedly, Johan A. Pte 20 H Tarrytown 03/09/64 Yes Cabinet Maker Germany
Eck, Michael J. Pte 25 H Troy 03/09/64 Yes Farmer Germany
Fogg, Jacob Pte 23 H Troy 03/09/64 Yes Germany
Freeman, John Pte 18 H Plattsburgh 03/09/64 Yes Laborer New York
Fusia, Frederick Pte 27 H Plattsburgh 03/09/64 Yes Laborer New York
Groppe, Francis Pte 34 I Tompkinsville 17/09/64 Farmer Germany
Healy, William Pte 19 I Tompkinsville 06/09/64 Yes Laborer Canada
Holt, William Pte 25 E Tarrytown 03/09/64 Yes Sailor Germany
Howard, John H. Pte 29 K New York City 20/09/64 Yes Laborer England
Jordon, Charles M. Cpl 34 H Troy 03/09/64
Kearney, Patrick Pte 32 I New York City 14/09/64 Yes Laborer Ireland
Kearnes, John Pte 20 C New York City 20/09/64 Yes Laborer Ireland
Kennedy, Patrick Pte 23 H Plattsburgh 03/09/64 Yes Furnace Man Ireland
Kundegg, Heinrich Pte 20 H Harts Island 03/09/64
Lawrence, Charles Pte 18 E Troy 03/09/64 Yes Butcher New York
Lindner, John G. Pte 43 I Tompkinsville 16/09/64 Cap Maker Germany Died POW Salisbury
Long, Joseph Pte 38 C New York City 27/09/64 Yes Teamster Canada Died POW Salisbury
Lynch, Thomas J. Cpl 26 H Plattsburgh 03/09/64 Yes Laborer Canada
Marsh, William Pte 38 H Schenectady 03/09/64 Yes Laborer Virginia
McCawley, Owen Pte 39 K New York City 19/09/64 Yes Laborer Ireland
McGilvery, William Pte 35 I Tompkinsville 13/09/64 Seaman Canada
Moran, James Cpl 21 H Tarrytown 03/09/64 Yes Laborer Ireland
Murphy, Thomas Pte 31 I Jamaica 02/09/64 Laborer Ireland Died POW Salisbury
Muzzy, Daniel Pte 18 H Plattsburgh 03/09/64 Yes Farmer New York
O’Brien, Bernard Pte 26 K New York City 20/09/64 Yes Watch-Maker Ireland
O’Brien, Jeremiah Pte 37 K Jamaica 19/09/64 Carpenter Ireland
Penslow, Robert Pte 18 I New York City 06/09/64 Bartender New York
Perry, Robert Pte 25 C Tarrytown 23/09/64 Enlisted with Confederates
Read, George Pte 24 I Tompkinsville 17/09/64 Cigar Maker Germany Enlisted with Confederates
Renzie, Michael Cpl 18 H Schenectady 03/09/64
Robinson, John Pte 21 I Schenectady 02/09/64 Laborer Ireland
Roche, James Pte 38 C Jamaica 22/09/64 Yes Laborer Ireland
Scott, John Cpl 35 H Troy 03/09/64 Yes Gardener Scotland
Shannon, John Pte 26 K New York City 20/09/64 Boilermaker Ireland
Sickles, John H. Pte 18 H Kingston 03/09/64
Smith, Clinton G. Pte 18 H Plattsburgh 03/09/64 Yes Laborer New York Died POW Salisbury
Smith, Levi Pte 35 I Jamaica 13/09/64 Farmer New Hamps. Enlisted with Confederates
Taylor, Adny Pte 18 H Plattsburgh 03/09/64 Yes Farmer New York
Taylor, Levi Pte 18 H Plattsburgh 03/09/64 Yes Farmer New York
Tembrockhaus, Gerhard Pte 21 H New York City 03/09/64 Died POW Salisbury
Van Guilder, Longer Pte 18 H Troy 03/09/64
Wesler, Andrew Pte 28 I New York City 14/09/64 Yes Coalman France Enlisted with Confederates
White, Robert Pte 22 C Jamaica 20/09/64 Plumber Ireland
Williams, Richard Pte 20 I Tompkinsville 12/09/64 Laborer Ireland Enlisted with Confederates
Bartst, Jacob Pte 20 C Jamaica 10/10/64 Cigar Maker Germany
Braddock, Thomas Pte 19 K Brooklyn 10/10/64 Machinist England
Denny, Patrick Pte 21 K New York City 13/10/64 No detail
Gannon, Thomas Pte 38 C New York City 13/10/64 Tailor Ireland Died POW Salisbury
Haire, Frank Pte 23 K Jamaica 13/10/64 Carriage Maker Ireland Died Disease After Release
Johnston, John R. Pte 19 C New York City 12/10/64 Sailor New York
McCabe, Patrick Pte 19 K New York City 11/10/64 Clerk Ireland
Morrison, Edward Pte 28 C Jamaica 13/10/64 Tailor Ireland
Murray, Edward L. Pte 22 G Jamaica 03/10/64 Student New York Died POW Salisbury
Murray, Patrick Pte 22 C Jamaica 11/10/64 Laborer Ireland
O’Callaghan, Edward Pte 22 K Tarrytown 14/10/64 Shoemaker Ireland Died POW Salisbury
O’Day, Patrick Pte 24 C Kingston 07/10/64 Yes Laborer Ireland
Redfield, Charles Pte 38 C Tarrytown 11/10/64 Soldier Germany
Reilley, John J. Cpl 30 C New York City 07/10/64 Wheelwright New York
Smith, Michael Pte 20 K New York City 11/10/64 Laborer Canada
Stanton, William Pte 29 C Tarrytown 13/10/64 Butcher Ireland Died Disease After Release
Cranney, John Pte 37 F New York City 11/11/62 Shoemaker Ireland
Vaugh, Jacob Pte H
Vendry, George Pte H
Brady, Charles Pte 30 K New York City 23/05/64 Tailor Ireland Died POW Salisbury
Clampett, Patrick Pte 19 K New York City 29/03/64 Druggist Ireland Enlisted Steward, U.S. Army
Greever, Anthony Pte 25 K Brooklyn 19/03/64
Hughes, Michael Pte 23 G New York City 19/03/64 Yes Laborer Ireland
Johnston, Robert Pte 27 K New York City 29/03/64
Kane, Eugene Pte 19 C New York City 07/03/64 Clerk Ireland
Leahy, William Pte 20 K New York City 10/03/64 Ireland KIA 25 March 1865, Petersburg
Richmond, Peter Pte 19 C New York City 12/03/64 Died POW Salisbury
Slattery, John Pte 38 K New York City 31/03/64 Laborer Ireland Died POW Salisbury
Traynor, Patrick Sgt 27 K New York City 19/03/64 Laborer Ireland
Quinn, Michael Cpl 19 C Brooklyn 01/06/64 Died POW Salisbury
Decker, Andrew Pte 25 C New York City 20/07/64 Yes Farmer Germany
Irwin, Richard Cpl 36 C New York City 22/07/64 Yes Druggist Ireland Enlisted with Confederates
Koteba, Joseph Pte 19 C New York City 15/07/64
McConnell, Joseph Pte 28 B New York City 20/07/64
Bamford, Samuel Pte 21 C Brooklyn 20/01/64
Barton, Lewis Pte 18 G New York City 21/01/64 Gunsmith New York
Bower, Henry Pte 18 G New York City 22/01/64 Laborer Germany
Bushay, Thomas Pte 20 C Brooklyn 28/01/64 Sailor England
Farmer, Robert Cpl 22 C Brooklyn 28/01/64 Carpenter Ireland Died POW Salisbury
Harney, Matthew Pte 33 G New York City 27/01/64 Tailor Ireland
McMahon, John Pte 22 G New York City 18/01/64 Died Disease After Release
Miller, Henry Pte 19 G Brooklyn 21/01/64 Laborer New York
Murphy, Daniel Pte 19 G New York City 28/01/64 Scotland
Roe, Allan Pte 23 C Brooklyn 28/01/64 Sailor England Furnished a Substitute
Schuitzen, Joseph Pte 25 G New York City 19/01/64 Butcher New York
Hutchinson, Elijah Pte 19 G New York City 01/02/64 Painter New York Died POW Salisbury
Tucker, William Cpl 19 G New York City 12/02/64 Iron Moulder Ireland
McGrath, Thomas Sgt 20 C New York City 27/12/61 Baker Ireland Mustered 1st Lieutenant
Reilly, John Pte 19 F New York City 20/12/61
Archabald, William J. Pte 19 F Avon 31/08/64
Brennen, William Pte 21 G New York City 18/08/64 Painter New York
Devin, Alexander Pte 27 G Poughkeepsie 17/08/64 Laborer Ireland
Digan, Bernard Pte 38 G New York City 19/08/64 Yes Laborer Ireland
Garrett, Sidney Pte 19 D Malone 24/08/64
Morrow, Jacob Pte H Schenectady 30/08/64
Quigley, James B. Pte 22 I New York City 27/08/64 Laborer Ireland
Renuer, Antoine Pte 27 E Troy 27/08/64 Laborer Austria
White, William E. Pte 28 G New York City 08/08/64 Yes Carpenter England
Patchern, George 2nd Lt 26 E New York City 12/08/62 Clerk New York

Table 2. Members of the 69th New York captured on picket at Petersburg, 30th October 1864.Details drawn from 69th New York Roster & New York Muster Roll Extracts. Co. = Company, Sub. = Confirmed Substitute.

What then of the men who were captured on 30th October? I was able to identify 120 of them, and their details are available in Table 2 above. What is immediately apparent is that Milliken’s term ‘new men’ referred to those who had just arrived. If a soldier had been in the ranks since the start of the Overland Campaign, he was deemed an ‘old soldier.’ As we can see in Chart 1, only four of the men I identified as captured were pre-1864 enlistees, with a further 22 having joined up prior to the commencement of the Overland Campaign. The vast bulk (including all bar one of the soldiers clearly identifiable as substitutes) had mustered in during the campaign. 86 of the soldiers had only been with the regiment since August– 60 of them having entered the regiment in September. They were undoubtedly on the whole brand new men, with limited training and experience. A total of 39 of the men were confirmed substitutes, and again the vast majority– 32– had arrived in September. Another substitute had arrived in October, but only one of the substitutes identified had come prior to July. (6)

69th New York Soldiers Captured on 30th October 1864 by Muster Date.

Chart 1. 69th New York Soldiers Captured on 30th October 1864 by Muster Date (click to enlarge).

Among the other interesting details to emerge were the professions of the men. Unsurprisingly laborers dominated (33), followed by farmers (10). Those captured were largely young, with 34 being teenagers and a further 73 under the age of 25. Only 24 of the men were identified as over 30 years-of-age. Chart 2 below illustrates the nativity of the soldiers. Despite the influx of new recruits, it is interesting to observe that Irish nativity still accounted for the majority of 1864 enlistees; the number known to be born in Ireland (43) is almost double the number of men identified as being born in New York (22). For 25 of the men no nativity was recorded, and there were 12 Germans, 6 Canadians and 5 English among the number. (7)

Chart 2. Nativity of 69th New York Soldiers Captured at Petersburg on 30th October 1864.

Chart 2. Nativity of 69th New York Soldiers Captured at Petersburg on 30th October 1864 (click to enlarge)

What became of these men once they had been captured on that fateful night? 18 of them were reported has having died as Prisoners of War, the vast bulk in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is likely that some of the other men whose fate went unrecorded met a similar end. A further three men succumbed to disease shortly after their exchange. One returned to the 69th only to be killed in action on 25th March 1865. At least eight of the men sought to escape the horrors of prison life by making a bargain with the Confederates. One of the men was recorded as taking an Oath of Allegiance to the Confederacy (he was subsequently pardoned) while seven more enlisted in the Confederate army. Of these eight men, one was a July enlistee in the 69th but all the others had mustered in during September. I examined the Confederate Service Records for details of where these Galvanized Rebels served (see below). They all joined either the 1st or 2nd Battalions of the ‘Foreign Legion Infantry’, units specifically formed from among Federal prisoners and which supposedly targeted emigrant Yankees.

8th Battalion Confederate Infantry (2nd Foreign Legion Infantry)

Robert Perry, Company D, enlisted on 10th December 1864 at Florence

George Reed, Company B, enlisted on 10th December 1864 at Florence

Andrew Wesler, Company B, enlisted on 10th December 1864 at Florence, recaptured by General Stoneman and released in Nashville on 6th July 1865

Richard Irwin, Company F, enlisted on 13th December 1864 at Salisbury

Tucker’s Regiment Confederate Infantry (1st Foreign Legion Infantry)

Lewis (Levi) Smith, Company I, enlisted on 1st December 1864 at Salisbury

Richard Williams, Company E, enlisted on 7th November 1864 at Salisbury

I could find no record of Francis Cross’s service in the Confederate military (8)

The events of the 30th October 1864 were a major embarrassment to the 69th New York. Analysis of the records of the men captured demonstrates just how much the 69th had been impacted by 1864. As we have seen before on the site (for example here) many 1864 recruits who had joined the Irish Brigade before the Overland Campaign developed their own esprit de corps, and clearly by the autumn of 1864 they were considered old soldiers by many of the volunteers of 1861 and 1862 as well. The huge influx of recruits in September had transformed the regiment, and indeed in many respects it bore no resemblance to the formation that had taken the field in The Wilderness the previous May. But two days after the debacle of 30th October there was better news for the men of the old Brigade. On 1st November 1864, after much effort, Colonel Robert Nugent took command of a newly reconstituted Irish Brigade. He told the troops that ‘In assuming command of the old Irish Brigade, it gives me much satisfaction to know that, although fearfully decimated by the casualties of a campaign, in which its officers and soldiers endured, with a cheerfulness unsurpassed, unusual dangers, hardships, and privations, they still maintain their old reputation for bravery and patriotism. The record of the brigade has been a bright one; it has proved its fidelity to the Union by its courage and sacrifices on many a battle-field. Never has a regimental color of the organization graced the halls of its enemies. Let the spirit that animates the officers and men of the present be that which will shall strive to emulate the deeds of the old brigade.’ (9)

(1) Official Records: 254, Official Records: 258-9, Official Records: 255-6; (2) Official Records: 255-6, 257-8; (3) Official Records: 256, Official Records: 255, Official Records: 257; (4) Official Records: 255, Official Records: 257; (5) 69th New York Roster, New York Muster Roll Extracts; (6) Ibid.; (7) Ibid.; (8) Confederate Service Records; (9) Official Records: 476-7; 

References & Further Reading

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion Series 1, Volume 42, Part 1. Headquarters First Division, Second Army Corps, October 30, 1864.

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion Series 1, Volume 42, Part 1. Headquarters First Division, Second Army Corps, November 2, 1864.

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion Series 1, Volume 42, Part 1. Hdqrs. Third Brigade, First Division, Second Corps, November 1, 1864.

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion Series 1, Volume 42, Part 1. Hdqrs. Third Brigade, First Division, Second Corps, Before Petersburg, November 1, 1864.

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion Series 1, Volume 42, Part 1. Headquarters Sixty-Ninth New York Volunteers, October 31, 1864.

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion Series 1, Volume 42, Part 1. Camp of the Sixty-Ninth Regt. New York Vet. Vols., October 31, 1864.

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion Series 1, Volume 42, Part 1. Headquarters 111th New York Volunteers, October 31, 1864. 

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion Series 1, Volume 42, Part 3. General Orders, No. 1. Hdqrs. 2d Brig., 1st Div., 2d A.

Confederate Service Records.

Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts of New York State Volunteers, United States Sharpshooters, and United States Colored Troops [ca. 1861-1900]. (microfilm, 1185 rolls).Albany, New York: New York State Archives. Ancestry.com. New York, Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900 [database on-line].

New York Adjutant General 1901. Roster of the 69th New York Infantry.

Civil War Trust Battle of Petersburg Page.

Petersburg National Battlefield.

The Siege of Petersburg Online.

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Categories: 69th New York, Battle of Petersburg, Irish Brigade, Resources

Author:Damian Shiels

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

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4 Comments on “‘Our Pickets Were Gobbled’: Assessing the Mass Capture of the 69th New York, Petersburg, 1864”

  1. December 12, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

    Excellent Research … Mo cheol tu !!!

  2. December 17, 2015 at 8:03 am #

    Reblogged this on Lenora's Culture Center and Foray into History.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 150 Years Ago Today: Capture of Union Pickets at Fort Davis: October 30, 1864 — The Siege of Petersburg Online - December 11, 2015

    […] UPDATE December 10, 2015: Damian Shiels has produced a detailed analysis of the 69th New York men captured in this fight. […]

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