"IRISH BRIGADE" Top 5 Page for this destination Antietam Things to Do Tip by mtncorg
Antietam Things to Do: 71 reviews and 192 photos
Located next to the Battlefield Tower is the Irish Brigade Monument. Some say that it is possibly the last monument to be placed here at Antietam - being dedicated in 1997 - though the State of New Hampshire would have one think otherwise. The NPS has a policy of enough is enough with regard to battlefield monument in an effort to 'preserve' the battlefields and allowing a visitor to interpret the battlefield with the bias of monuments. Gettysburg can be an example of when there maybe too many monuments, but here at Antietam, it seems to me things have not gone overboard. The monuments help me get more interested in the smaller pictures of the battle and in visiting several battlefields, one can remember some of the individual units from the memorials that crop up. Here, the Irish Brigade is such an example.
The Irish Brigade was comprised of three New York regiments (New York 69th - which served in a more modern war recently in Iraq 2004-2005; New York 63rd and New York 88th) comprised of Irish Americans - many of whom hoped to comprise a future Irish army that could be used against continued occupation of Ireland by the United Kingdom. Other regiments were also to serve alongside the Irish at various times of the War, as well. Here, at Antietam, the Irish suffered losses of over 60% in unsuccessful attempts at dislodging the Rebels from the their Sunken Road position. Their efforts did continue to keep the pressure on until other efforts succeeded. The division commander for whom the Irish belonged, Maj. Gen. Israel Richardson, fell here shortly after the survivors of the Irish Brigade were withdrawn - he didn't die until a month later following his wounding from bursting artillery fire. His mortuary cannon stands mutely nearby. The Irish Brigade went on to more battles where casualties were again severe - Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg (where there is another memorial to the brigade).