The Irish Brigade, Marye’s Heights, Fredericksburg, VA, Dec. 13th, 1862-

“Your soldier’s heart almost stood still as he watched those sons of Erin fearlessly rush to  their deaths. The brilliant assault on Marye’s Heights of their Irish brigade  was beyond description. We forgot they were fighting us and cheer after cheer at their fearlessness went up all along our lines!”

Confederate Major General George Pickett in a letter to his fiance

The New York regiments went into battle that day without their green flags. In their stead, General Meagher and his staff gave a sprig of boxwood to every man to wear in his hat to identify them as members of the Irish Brigade. The 28th Massachusetts, the only regiment carrying a green flag that day, was placed in the center of the brigade as it made the assault. The rebels knew the Irish were coming, for they could see the Twenty-eighth’s “green flag with the golden harp of old Ireland.”

The results of the attack were devastating; the Irish Brigade that had gone into battle 1200 men strong, came out with only 263 standing between its five regiments. One company of the Eighty-eighth was reduced to only eight men and another could only muster one man. The men of the brigade felt that their incredible sacrifices were for naught, as one wounded officer bitterly recalled that “nothing of any good was obtained.”

Their courage did not go unnoticed, however, and even the London Times, an unlikely advocate of the Irish, reported that “Never at Fontenoy, Albuera, or at Waterloo, was more undaunted courage displayed by the sons of Erin.”

- See more at: http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/12/13/the-irish-brigade-at-fredericksburg-2/#sthash.51ur92uM.dpuf

http://www.orgsites.com/ut/thegriffinclan/_pgg5.php3

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