This day is a famous and tragic day in the history of Ireland and the Irish in America
- 150 years ago today
Irishmen fought Irishmen in the bloody battle for Fredericksburg
The Irish Brigade went into battle at Fredericksburg with only one of their famed green banners. The others, torn from battle, had been sent back to New York, and they were awaiting new ones. It was unthinkable for the men of the Irish Brigade to go into battle without green, so they wore sprigs of boxwood in their caps. After Chaplain Ouellet had blessed each man in the 69th, Colonel Robert Nugent , commander of the 69th, placed a sprig of boxwood in the Chaplain’s hat, and told his men, to their intense amusement, “I’ll make an Irishman out of the Father this day!”.
Going into the battle the Irish Brigade mustered approximately 1700 men. After the slaughter 263 were still fit for duty. The video is correct that many of the Georgians confronting the Irish Brigade were Irish immigrants, a fact that increases the tragedy of the day.
The Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg | The American Catholic
See the video clip from the film Gods and Generals
The conduct of the Union Generals was like a precursor of WWI!