Skip to main content

Civil War: Irish 9th Regiment of Massachusetts Begins Recruitment in April 1861


On April 15, 1861, two days after the attack on Ft. Sumter, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation seeking 75,000 volunteers to join the Union Army.

In Boston, Massachusetts, Irishman Thomas Cass began recruiting Irish immigrants to form the Massachusetts 9th regiment.  The volunteers came largely from Boston and the nearby towns of Salem, Milford, Marlboro and Stoughton. A total of 1,727 men enlisted.

The Irish volunteers encamped on Long Island in Boston Harbor through May, and on June 11 the Regiment was mustered into service.

The 9th enjoyed a big send-off on June 25, 1861, when the troops made their way from Long Island to Long Wharf in Boston, then marched to Boston Common, where Governor John Andrew welcomed them and thanked the two commanders, Colonel Thomas Cass and Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Guiney. 

Governor Andrew presented them with flags of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the regiment was also permitted to carry its own Irish flag, which was donated by Mrs. Harrison Gray Otis. The flag is now part of the Hall of Flags at the Massachusetts State House.

The regiment fought bravely at many battlefronts during the Civil War, including Malvern Hill and Gettysburg.  The regiment returned to Boston on June 13, 1864 and was mustered out on June 21, 1864.

Excerpts from Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past

For year round information on Boston Irish history and heritage, visit IrishHeritageTrail.com

For year round details on Irish cultural events, visit IrishBoston.org.

Comments

  1. My GreatGreatGrandfather Daniel Sheehan was with the 9th Irish Regiment and I have a PhotoRealistic Image of him and his brother Patrick Sheehan of the 28th Irish Regiment. Any re-enactors or others who would like to see this image just email me at: mitchellfagan56@gmail.com and I will send to you.
    Thanks Mitchell Fagan

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Boston Hero John Boyle O'Reilly Dies on August 10 in Hull, Massachusetts

John Boyle O'Reilly, one of Boston's most accomplished citizens, died on August 10, 1890 in Hull, Massachusetts, from an accidental overdose of medication.  His sudden death marked the end of an amazing life of heroism, advocacy, leadership and literature that helped transform the city and the nation. Arriving in Boston in 1870, O'Reilly spent the next 20 years reconciling the city's racial and ethnic factions who struggled against one another.  He became editor and then owner of  The Pilot ,  the leading Irish Catholic paper in America, using the paper as a bully pulpit to advance various causes.  He befriended the Yankee establishment while admonishing them for the prejudices.   O'Reilly defended American Blacks who were still looking for post Civil War equality.  He welcomed new immigrants such as Italians, Jews and Chinese, insisting that they get the same privileges as nativist Americans.  Throughout his life he pursued freedom of Ireland from Bri

Boston Mayors of Irish Descent, 1885-2014

Hugh O'Bien Here are the Mayors of Boston Claiming Irish Heritage:  Hugh O’Brien 1885–88 Patrick Collins 1902–05 John F. Fitzgerald 1906–07, 1910–13 James M. Curley 1914–17, 1922–25, 1930–33, 1946–49 Frederick W. Mansfield 1934–37 Maurice Tobin 1938–41, 1941-44 John Kerrigan 1945 John B. Hynes 1950–59 John Collins 1960–68 Kevin H. White 1968–83 Raymond L. Flynn 1984–93 Martin J. Walsh   2014-   Martin J. Walsh is the twelfth  Mayor of Boston to claim Irish ancestry.  The lineage dates back to 1884, when Irish immigrant Hugh O'Brien of County Cork became the first Irish-born mayor elected in Boston, serving four one-year terms (1885-88).  He was followed by Irish-born Patrick Collins (1902-05), also of County Cork, who died in office. John F. Fitzgerald became the first American-born mayor of Irish descent; he served two terms. James Michael Curley served four terms in four different decades. From 1930 to 1993, the

Irish Ship Carrying Famine Refugees sinks off Cohasset in Massachusetts, killing most of the passengers, on October 7, 1849

Illustration by Leonard Everett Fisher A passenger ship called Brig St. John sank off the coast of Cohasset on the morning of Sunday, October 7, 1849, pushed to the brink by a severe nor'easter that rocked the boat for hours before it sank. On board the ship were 127 passengers from Ireland, along with sixteen sailors. The majority of passengers were poor Irish immigrants fleeing the famine. Writer Henry David Thoreau heard about the wreck and traveled from Concord to witness the aftermath. He wrote about it in his book, Cape Cod . "We found many Irish in the cars going to identify bodies and to sympathize with the survivors, and also to attend the funeral which was to take place in the afternoon," Thoreau wrote. "When we arrived at Cohasset, it appeared that nearly all the passengers were bound for the beach, which was about a mile distant, and many other persons were flocking in from the neighboring country."  Illustration by Leonard Everett Fisher On