‘Our Pickets Were Gobbled’: Assessing the Mass Capture of the 69th New York, Petersburg, 1864

Irish in the American Civil War

On 30th October 1864 the famed 69th New York Infantry suffered one of it’s most embarrassing moments of the war, when a large number of its men were captured having barely fired a shot. In the latest post I have used a number of sources to explore this event, seeking to uncover details about those men captured– who they were, how long they had served, what became of them. In an effort to consider why this mass-capture occurred, the post also examines how veteran soldiers defined ‘old’ and ‘new’ men, and provides detail on a number of the 69th POWs who decided to take up arms for the Confederacy. 

The 69th New York were positioned in this sector of the line on 30th October, in front of Fort Davis. Extract from map drawn by Brevet Colonel Michler for Jarratt's Hotel, Petersburg. The 69th New York were positioned in this sector of the line on 30th October 1864, in front of Fort Davis. Extract from a map drawn by Brevet Colonel Michler for Jarratt’s Hotel, Petersburg.

In the widow’s and dependent pension file…

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