Father William Corby of the Irish Brigade: Absolution for All During the Battle of Gettysburg

by DerdriuMarriner

Of the 1,320 monuments dotting the landscape of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, only one honors a Civil War chaplain, Roman Catholic priest William Corby of the Irish Brigade.

The Battle of Gettysburg, which raged from July 1st to July 3rd, 1863, across the southeastern Pennsylvania borough of Gettysburg, is considered the bloodiest battle of the War Between the States (April 12, 1861 – May 9, 1865), also known as the American Civil War.

Great tragedies were enacted during the harvest of death, an epithet compellingly descriptive of the huge loss of life suffered by both Confederate and Union participants coined by Irish-born Civil War photographer Timothy H. O'Sullivan (c. 1840 – Jan. 14, 1882) via his most famous photograph, "Incidents of the war. A harvest of death, Gettysburg, July, 1863."

And yet, flowing through the bloodshed were moments of exemplary grandeur on each day:

• Union Corporal Amos Humiston (April 26, 1830 - July 1, 1863), who, lying down to die on the first day of battle from his mortal wounds, firmly clasped an ambrotype (a type of photograph) of his three children in his hands;
• Father William Corby (Oct. 2, 1833 – Dec. 28, 1897), who, as provider of spiritual sustenance during the Civil War as a Union Army chaplain attached to the Irish Brigade, was moved to include all soldiers, both Confederate and Union, within the blessing and absolution that he gave on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg;
• Gettysburg native Mary Virginia "Jenny" Wade (May 21, 1843 – July 3, 1863), remembered as the only civilian fatality directly caused by the Battle of Gettysburg, who, for three days, trapped in the midst of a deafening crossfire between the two armies and despite great personal danger, tended to wounded Union soldiers and baked bread and drew water for famished troops, only to be killed by a Confederate sharpshooter's bullet as she baked bread on the battle's last day.

Father Corby's address, emblazoned on the hearts of all who heard him, stands out as a unique legacy of grandeur embedded in the lore of a small Pennsylvania borough forever touched by the War Between the States.

"Incidents of the war. A harvest of death, Gettysburg, July, 1863": photo by Timothy H. O'Sullivan (c. 1840 – January 14, 1882)

Dead Federal soldiers on battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Dead Federal soldiers on battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Back Story of Father William Corby


William Corby was born on Wednesday, October 2, 1833, in Detroit, in southeastern Michigan. His parents were Elizabeth Stapleton (1808 – August 20, 1842) and her husband, Daniel Corby (March 11, 1798 – June 26, 1875). Born in Birr (Irish: Biorra), a carefully preserved Georgian town in central Ireland’s Midlands Region, Daniel immigrated at age 24 across the Atlantic Ocean to eastern Canada. Landing first in Quebec, Daniel relocated over 150 miles (241 kilometers) southwest to Montreal, where he married Elizabeth Stapleton. Several years later, they traveled over 550 miles (885 kilometers) further southwest to settle permanently outside of Canada in Detroit, where he owned a successful real estate business.

  • William’s mother passed away in 1842, six weeks before William’s 8th birthday.
  • By 1844, William and his five siblings (two sisters, four brothers) welcomed a stepmother into the family with his father’s marriage to Margaret McMamnon (1810 – March 7, 1881). Half siblings numbered at least five (two sisters, three brothers).
  • William’s father was an influential member of the community, respected for his charitable involvements, oftentimes contributed anonymously, both locally and abroad in Ireland, especially during the Great Famine (Irish: an Gorta Mór) of 1845 to 1852.

After working in his father’s real estate business for four years, William enrolled in 1853 at the University of Notre Dame du Lac (“University of Our Lady of the Lake”), recently founded in 1842 on 524 acres in South Bend, in north central Indiana, by the Very Reverend Edward Frederick Sorin (February 6, 1814 – October 31, 1893) of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, and granted an official college charter on January 15, 1844, from the Indiana General Assembly.

  • Committed to the religious life, William entered the novitiate in 1856, taking his final vows three to four years later, in 1859 or 1860, and assuming professorial duties at his alma mater.

Five years later, in fall 1861, Father Corby boarded a Pittsburg & Fort Wayne Railway train in Chicago, in northeastern Illinois, for a direct trip to Washington, D.C. At the request of his superior, the Very Reverend Sorin, Father Corby was trading a professorship in his "bright, prosperous college home" for chaplaincy of the 88th New York Infantry, a regiment in the Irish Brigade. (The Very Rev. William Corby, Memoirs of Chaplain Life, p. 11)


seated (left-right): unidentified officer, Rev. James Dillon (chaplain, 63rd New York), Rev. William Corby (chaplain, 88th New York); standing (l-r): Rev. Patrick Dillon (Notre Dame), James J. McCormick (Quartermaster, 88th New York)

"Harrison's Landing, Va. Group of the Irish Brigade": July 1862 photo by Alexander Gardner (October 17, 1821 – December 10, 1882)
The identified men are priests of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, University of Notre Dame.
The identified men are priests of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, University of Notre Dame.

Back Story of the Irish Brigade


In September 1861, Simon Cameron (March 8, 1799 – June 26, 1889), 26th U.S. Secretary of War, authorized the formation of an Irish Brigade to be comprised mostly of Irish immigrants.

U.S. Army Captain Thomas Francis Meagher (August 3, 1823 – July 1, 1867), a native of Waterford (Irish: Port Láirge, "Lárag's port") in Ireland’s South-East Region who had escaped to the United States in May  1852 after serving almost three years of a life sentence on the southeastern Australian penal colony island of Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania), recruited the brigade’s core three regiments:

  • 63rd New York,
  • 69th New York, and
  • 88th New York, namesake of 88th Regiment of Foot, a British Army infantry regiment known as the Connaught Rangers.

After a brief stint in the Irish Brigade, the mostly non-Irish 29th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment was reassigned, effective Sunday, November 30, 1862, two and one-half months after the Battle of Antietam (Wednesday, September 17, 1862).

  • Its replacement, the 28th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, comprised mostly of Irish immigrants, was soon joined by the 116th Pennsylvania Infantry, a regiment of Irish Philadelphians.

Effective Monday, February 3, 1862, U.S. Army Captain Thomas Francis Meagher (August 3, 1823 – July 1, 1867) was promoted to Brigadier General to command the Irish Brigade.


"Absolution Under Fire": Rev. William J. Corby, CSC, blessing the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg ~

black-and-white photo of 1891 oil on canvas by Paul Henry Wood (1871/1872 - 1892)
The Very Rev. William Corby, Memoirs of Chaplain Life (1893), opp. p. 183
The Very Rev. William Corby, Memoirs of Chaplain Life (1893), opp. p. 183

The Battle of Gettysburg: Thursday, July 2nd 1863


Two months before the Battle of Gettysburg, the Irish Brigade fought in the Battle of  Chancellorsville (April 30 – May 6, 1863), after which the regiments rested in their temporary camp at Falmouth, on the north bank of the Rappahannock River in northern Virginia’s Stafford County.

By mid-June, the brigade began one of their longest marches, ultimately a journey of 200 to 300 miles (321.8 - 482.8 kilometers), motivated by information that General Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870) was northbound, with the intention of transferring the conflict out of Virginia and into Pennsylvania.

  • A swirling path of continual marches led the troops, with each foot soldier daily carrying about 60 pounds (27 kilos) of provisions (including ammunition, muskets, blanket, tent-shelter), finally to Taneytown, in north central Maryland’s Carroll County, on Wednesday, July 1, 1863.
  • Later that afternoon, the order was given to decamp and head 13 miles (20.9 kilometers) further north, to assist beleaguered Union forces in Gettysburg, in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Posted to Cemetery Ridge in southeastern Gettysburg, the brigade spent most of the next day, Thursday, July 2nd, bringing weaponry, including cannons and caissons, into position.

  • At about 4:00 p.m., firing commenced with Confederate missiles landing nearby.

Concerned because constant marching had prevented the practice of religious duties, such as confession, by his military congregants, Father Corby decided to fill the few spare moments prior to full engagement by blessing his charges and granting to them a general absolution, that is, forgiveness of sins in the absence of individual confession to a priest.


Statue of Father William Corby by sculptor Samuel Aloysius Murray (1869 – November 3, 1941) stands atop boulder about 500 feet from actual site from which Father Corby granted absolution on July 2, 1863.

Statue was dedicated on Saturday, October 29, 1910. Actual site of Father Corby's blessing is deemed to be proximitous to Philadelphia State Memorial.
Father William Corby, Irish Brigade chaplain
Father William Corby, Irish Brigade chaplain

"Dominus noster Jesus Christus vos absolvat, et ego auctoritate ipsius, vos absolve . . ." ~ "That general absolution was intended for all, North or South, who were susceptible of it and who were about to appear before their Judge."


Draping his purple stole around his neck, Father Corby positioned himself atop a large boulder to the front of the brigade. The well-loved chaplain proceeded to explain to his charges that:

  • he would be blessing them with the remission of their unconfessed sins;
  • in return, they needed to make a sincere Act of Contrition and to resolve to make confession at the first opportunity.

The roar of battles being waged nearby in the peach orchard and at Little Round Top, a boulder-strewn igneous hill, punctuated the silence which Father Corby allowed for unspoken contrition.

  • In those moments of silence, attendees and observers -- Catholics and non-Catholics -- bowed their heads and bent their knees.

As Father Corby performed the ceremony, he surveyed his rapt audience:

"My eye covered thousands of officers and men. I noticed that all, Catholic and non-Catholic, officers and private soldiers showed a profound respect, wishing at this fatal crisis to receive every benefit of divine grace that could be imparted through the instrumentality of the Church ministry. Even Maj.-Gen. Hancock removed his hat, and, as far as compatible with the situation, bowed in reverential devotion. That general absolution was intended for all -- in quantum possum -- not only for our brigade, but for all, North or South, who were susceptible of it and who were about to appear before their Judge. . . ." (Memoirs of Chaplain Life, p. 185)

Father Corby felt that the atmosphere and setting of his blessing, which he equated with a descriptive verse about the end of times in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 21: 26), contributed to the solemn awe expressed by his audience:

". . . . The surroundings there, too, made a vast difference, for really the situation reminded one of the day of judgment, when shall be seen ‘men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world,’ so great were the whirlwinds of war in motion." (Memoirs of Chaplain Life, p. 185)

Raising his right arm, Father Corby then intoned the empowering, peace-giving words of absolution:

"Dominus noster Jesus Christus vos absolvat, et ego auctoritate ipsius, vos absolve ab omni vinculo excommunicationis et interdicti, in quantum possum et vos indigetis, deinde, ego absolve vos a peccatis vestris in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, Amen."

("May Our Lord Jesus Christ absolve you, and I, by His authority, absolve you from every bond of excommunication and interdict as far as I can and you may need. I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”)


Forty years later Major General St. Clair A. Mulholland  (April 1, 1839 – February 17, 1910), who served as one of the brigade's colonels at Gettysburg, described the moving scene: 

. . . . There are yet a few minutes to spare before starting, and the time is occupied by one of the most impressive religious ceremonies I have ever witnessed . . . . The brigade stood in column of regiments, closed in mass. As a large majority of is members were Catholics, the Chaplain of the brigade, Rev. William Corby, proposed to give a general absolution to all the men before going into the fight. While this is customary in the armies of Catholic countries in Europe, it was perhaps the first time it was ever witnessed on this continent . . . .

"The scene was more than impressive, it was awe-inspiring . . . . I do not think there was a man in the brigade who did not offer up a heartfelt prayer. For some it was their last; they knelt there in their grave clothes -- in less than half an hour many of them were numbered with the dead of July 2d. . . .” (The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, pp. 407 - 408)


Father Corby's statue at Gettysburg:

In 1911 an identical statue was installed on the campus of the University of Notre Dame: the statue stands in front of Corby Hall, built in 1895, across from the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
"Evening with Father Corby: Sometimes he just gets the best light."
"Evening with Father Corby: Sometimes he just gets the best light."

After the whirlwinds of war


On Monday, March 20, 1865, twenty days before General Lee's surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant (April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) on Sunday, April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House in central Virginia, Father Corby, being recalled by the University of Notre Dame, took leave of the Irish Brigade. (Memoirs of Chaplain Life, p. 192)

Back in South Bend, Indiana, he was appointed to serve as vice president of the University of Notre Dame.

  • The next year, in 1866, he became the university's third president with the untimely death of his predecessor, Reverend Patrick Dillon (January 1, 1832 - November 15, 1868), who, as the university's first Irish-born president, had succeeded The Very Reverend Edward Sorin, Father Corby's mentor who had served as the university's first president for two decades (1842 - 1865).

During Father Corby's presidency, the Congregation of the Holy Cross at Notre Dame purchased 65 acres in Watertown, in south central Wisconsin, with the intention of establishing a branch there.

  • On September 9, 1872, the University of Our Lady of Sacred Cross opened there, with the Reverend William Corby as the college’s first president.
  • One year eight+ months later, on May 25, 1874, the college received its charter as a degree-granting institution from the state of Wisconsin.

In 1877, Father Corby was recalled to the University of Notre Dame to serve again as president, from 1877 to 1881.


Atop granite and bronze base, an Irish wolfhound, symbol of loyalty, lies at the foot of the Celtic cross honoring the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg National Military Park

The Irish Brigade Monument at Gettysburg was dedicated on Monday, July 2, 1888, the 25th anniversary of the Irish Brigade's brave fight in the Wheatfield.
Irish Brigade Monument at Gettysburg
Irish Brigade Monument at Gettysburg

25th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg: Dedication of Irish Brigade memorial


Veterans of the Irish Brigade urged Father Corby to attend the ceremonies in 1888 observing the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The survivors convinced the beloved chaplain that

". . . such a meeting would be incomplete without the chaplain who had been their companion in prosperity and adversity since the very first campaign made by the brigade.” (Memoirs of Chaplain Life, p. 187)


The program for Monday, July 2nd, 1888, opened with a military mass, which was sung by Father Thomas Ouellet, a fellow chaplain in the Irish Brigade from November 1861 to April 1862 and again from February 15, 1864, to the war's end.

Afterward, during his address, Father Corby, overcome with emotion, shared tender tears with his audience:

I was urged to address the multitude at the Anniversary Mass service. Imagine one who ought to be a 'grim old warrior' standing before his 'companions in arms' addressing them after a separation that dated to March 20, 1865, nearly a quarter of a century! At first I got on reasonably well, until, looking over those assembled, the surviving members of our illustrious and numerous band as it appeared at Alexandria, Va., in the fall of '61, I happened to make this statement, 'Here is what is left of us; where are the others?' when I filled up very unexpectedly and could not speak for several minutes. I had struck a very tender chord. The celebrant, although eleven years older than I, wept like a child, and the brave old warriors before me who had stood the shock of many battles also wept. We were on the spot where many of the 'others' had fallen; heroes whom we had helped to carry out of our ranks. . . .” (Memoirs of Chaplain Life, pp. 188 - 189)

An hour later, the day's main event for this hallowed, memory-filled area of the battleground took place with the dedication of the monument commemorating the fallen of the Irish Brigade. 

  • The evocative bronze and granite monument, which featured an Irish wolfhound, symbol of loyalty, at the foot of a Celtic cross, was designed by architect John Hemingway Duncan (January 21, 1854 – October 18, 1929) and sculpted by William Rudolf O'Donovan (March 28, 1844 – April 20, 1920).

Father Corby expressed gladness at having attended the event, which he deemed to be "one of the grandest and most interesting sights" of his life. (Memoirs of Chaplain Life, p. 187)


William Rudolf O'Donovan (March 28, 1844 – April 20, 1920) was the sculptor of the Irish Brigade's Celtic-themed monument at Gettysburg.

The monument was designed by architect John Hemingway Duncan (January 21, 1854 – October 18, 1929), who later designed Grant's Tomb in New York City's Riverside Park.
Irish Brigade Monument, Gettysburg
Irish Brigade Monument, Gettysburg

Conclusion: Exemplary moments of benevolence amidst a divided nation's bloodiest battle


Father William Corby took his responsibilities as chaplain of the Irish Brigade during the Civil War seriously. His affable reliability in providing spiritual sustenance imbued all who happened across his path -- Catholics and non-Catholics, Confederate and Union soldiers -- with the strength to persevere and to give their best. Father Corby's approachability encouraged the camaraderie of shared humor and joy. Always accessible, he was in the midst of the brigade, as the spiritual center of his charges.

  • Recalled to the University of Notre Dame for several weeks in the fall of 1864, upon his return to camp he received a "hearty welcome" from officers and men, Catholics and non-Catholics, and noted that ". . . disregarding hardships and privations, I felt glad to be back again at the post of duty." (Memoirs of Chaplain Life, pp. 270 271)

Over a lifetime of devotion to his faith and to his country, Father Corby appreciated most deeply his double duty, as Roman Catholic chaplain and as patriotic citizen, during the Civil War. In his devout realism, he perceived that the exigencies of the whirlwinds of war, by refining the immediacies of everyday living, made an army's religious feature "no small matter" and generated "a Christian, charitable sentiment that often leads to most excellent results." (Memoirs of Chaplain Life, pp. 185 - 186, p. 271)


At the age of 64 years 2+ months, Father Corby succumbed to pneumonia on Tuesday, December 28, 1897, over three decades (32 years 5+ months) after his altruism at Gettysburg. In an unusual departure for a cleric's funeral, his casket was draped with the Irish Brigade's flag and was carried on the shoulders of Irish Brigade veterans to its resting place in Notre Dame's Holy Cross Cemetery. Amidst a sea of identical, cross-shaped headstones, Father Corby's gravesite stands out with a second marker, a government-issued gravestone, bearing the inscription

Wm Corby


88th N.Y.


As symbol of loyalty, life-sized Irish wolfhound, at base of Celtic cross, mourns the fallen.

Irish Wolfhound in bronze
Irish Wolfhound in bronze



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


backdrop for Father Corby's magnanimity: Rose Woods, which is west of Little Round Top, delineates three borders (less thickly in east, more thickly in west, most thickly in south) of the Wheatfield, where Father Corby's blessing took place.

Northern border of Wheatfield is demarcated by Trostle's Woods.
view from west: Little Round Top with George Rose Farm and Rose Woods in foreground
view from west: Little Round Top with George Rose Farm and Rose Woods in foreground

Sources Consulted


"88th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry Regimental Color 56” Hoist X 82” Fly Civil War." New York State Military Musem and Veterans Research Center > Flags. New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs. Web. dmna.ny.gov

  • Available at: http://dmna.ny.gov/historic/btlflags/infantry/88thInfRegimental2010.57.htm 

Bilby, Joseph G. The Irish Brigade In The Civil War: The 69th New York and Other Irish Regiments of The Army Of The Potomac. Conshohocken, PA : Combined Pub., 1998. 

"Blue for the Union & Green for Ireland." University of Notre Dame Archives. Narrative History > Blue for the Union & Green for Ireland. University of Notre Dame. Web. archives.nd.edu

  • Available at: http://archives.nd.edu/flag/bground.htm

Bruce, Susannah Ural. The Harp and the Eagle: Irish-American Volunteers and the Union Army, 1861-1865. New York and London: New York University Press, 2006.

Chadwick, Randy. "The Irish Brigade & 5th New Hampshire in the Wheatfield." The American Civil War > The Battle of Gettysburg > Thursday, July 2, 1863. Randy Chadwick/Brotherswar.com. Web. brotherswar.com

  • Available at: http://brotherswar.com/Gettysburg-2g.htm

Corby, The Very Rev. William. Memoirs of Chaplain Life. Chicago IL: La Monte, O'Donnell & Co., 1893.

  • Available via Internet Archive at: https://archive.org/details/memoirschaplain00corbuoft

Conyngham, Capt. D.P. (David Power). The Irish Brigade and its Campaigns: With Some Account of the Corcoran Legion, and Sketches of the Principal Officers. New York: William McSorley & Co., 1867.

  • Available via Internet Archive at: https://archive.org/details/irishbrigadeand00adgoog

Craughwell, Thomas J. The Greatest Brigade: How the Irish Brigade Cleared the Way to Victory in the American Civil War. Beverly MA: Fair Winds Press, 2011.

Ditterline, Theodore. Sketch of the Battles of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2d, and 3d, 1863: With an Account of the Movements of the Respective Armies for Some Days Previous Thereto. Compiled from the Personal Observation of Eye-Witnesses of the Several Battles, Accompanied by an Explanatory Map. New York: C.A. Alvord, 1863.

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Hawks, Steve A. "Hancock Avenue Part 1." Stone Sentinels: The Battle of Gettysburg > Tour the Battlefield. Steve A. Hawks. Web. www.gettysburg.stonesentinels.com

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Hawks, Steve A. "Sickles Avenue - the Rose Woods." Stone Sentinels: The Battle of Gettysburg > Tour the Battlefield. Steve A. Hawks. Web. www.gettysburg.stonesentinels.com

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Homula, Michael. "Father Corby and the Fighting Irish." Worldview Warriors. Sunday, June 8, 2014. Worldview Warriors. Blog. worldviewwarriors.blogspot.com

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Kutzner, Dennis L. "An Irish Priest in the Irish Brigade." Gettysburg Campfires > Divine Connections. Dennis L. Kutzner/Gettysburg Campfires. Web. www.gettysburgcampfires.com

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Lysy, Peter J. Blue for the Union & Green for Ireland: The Civil War Flags of the 63rd Regiment New York Volunteers, Irish Brigade. South Bend IN: Archives of the University of Notre Dame. 2001.

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Mulholland, St. Clair A. The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennslvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion. Philadelphia PA: F. McManus, Jr. & Co., 1903.

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O'Grady, Capt. W.L.D. (William Louis Dillon). "Historical Sketch of the 88th." New York State Military Museum > Unit History Project. Last modified March 28, 2006. New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center. Web. dmna.ny.gov

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Pfanz, Harry W. Gettysburg: The Second Day. Chapel Hill NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1987.

Pfanz, Harry W., and Scott Hartwig. "July 2 - The Wheatfield." National Park Service > History E-Library > The Civil War Series - The Battle of Gettysburg. National Park Service. Web. www.nps.gov

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Shiels, Damian. The Irish in the American Civil War. Dublin Ireland: The History Press Ireland, 2013.

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  • Available via Internet Archive at: https://archive.org/details/warmemories00trumrich

"The Wheatfield." Echoes of Gettysburg. TheEchoesofGettysburg.com. Web. theechoesofgettysburg.com

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Irish Brigade Memorial, Gettysburg: Sun, fifth of six medallions on shaft of Celtic cross: placed between 4th medallion, of New York State Seal, and 6th medallion, of Harp of Erin flanked by two Eagles, below which rests grieving Irish wolfhound.

Sun on the Irish Brigade Monument. Edited.
Sun on the Irish Brigade Monument. Edited.
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

The Irish Brigade In The Civil War: The 69th New York and Other Irish Regiments of The Army Of The Potomac by Joseph G. Bilby

Detailed account by veteran of current 69th Regiment fills gap in history of the Irish Brigade. Includes 13 period maps and 270 illustrations, many of them rare photos from private collections.
Irish Brigade biographies

Irish Wolfhound on the Monument to NY's Irish Brigade, Little Round Top, Gettysburg Battlefield

Irish Wolfhound on the Monument to NY's Irish Brigade, Little Round Top, Gettysburg Battlefield

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 01/03/2022, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 07/27/2014

Maritravel, Thank you! It's a name of uncertain etymology and often is assigned the meaning of "sorrowful." But the Celts know how to beautify sadness via their music. Another meaning that's offered is "mysterious."

Maritravel on 07/27/2014

Thanks for the explanation of your name. It's a lovely name, whether spelt in Gaelic form or otherwise.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/26/2014

ologsinquito, Thank you. I am honored that you are pinning my tribute to Father Corby on your Catholic boards. My admiration of Father Corby is longstanding.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/26/2014

Maritravel, Gettysburg has exerted a fascination for American and international visitors for generations, and Father Corby's monument is a popular attraction because of its message of faith, love, and hope. I'm happy that you learned something new -- and essentially positive -- about the Civil War by way of my tribute to Father Corby.
Yes, Derdriu is a Gaelic version of Deirdre. It is pronounced as Der (rhymes with "hare") - dree - u.
Another variation is Derderiu, inserting an "e" between the distinctive "dr" consonant cluster.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/26/2014

frankbeswick, Thank you for sharing your perceptions, which align with my purpose in writing my trilogy on Gettysburg: to show the human side of the conflict. Gettysburg is an outstanding example of this message of humanity in the midst of warfare: the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War also made space for soaring examples of benevolence.

ologsinquito on 07/26/2014

What a nice story, which, I'm sure, many people haven't heard before. I'm pinning it to one of my large Catholic boards.

Maritravel on 07/26/2014

I really enjoyed this article Derdriu. It taught me something I didn't know about that period and that war. Wondering also how you pronounce your name. Is it a more Gaelic version of Deirdre? (I thought this spelling was Gaelic).

frankbeswick on 07/26/2014

This was an excellent piece of religious and military history. It should make people realize that military history is not just about the tactics and weaponry, but about the human side of conflict.

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