88th Infantry Regiment

Nickname: Fifth Regiment Irish Brigade; Mrs. Meagher's Own

Mustered in: September 1861 to January 1862
Mustered out: June 30,1865

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912. 

This regiment, Col. Henry M. Baker, originally the Fourth Regiment, Irish Brigade, was recruited under the authority of the War Department, dated August 30, 1861, by Colonel, later Brigadier-General, Meagher; organized by the State December 11, 1861, at Fort Schuyler, by the consolidation of the men enlisted for the Second and Fourth Regiments of the Irish Brigade; mustered in the service of the United States for three years between September, 1861, and January, 1862, and recruited principally: Companies A, B, C, E, F, H and K in New York city; D and I in New York city and Brooklyn, and G in New York city and Jersey City. In June, 1863, the regiment was formed into a battalion of two companies, A being formed of Companies A, B, C, D, E and F, and B of Companies G, H, I and K; in April, 1864, new Companies C, D and E joined the battalion. At the expiration of its term of service, the men entitled thereto were discharged and the regiment.
The regiment left the state December 16, 1861; served in Meagher's Irish Brigade, Sumner’s Division , Army of the Potomac, from December, 1861; in same, 2d, Brigade, and Richardson’s, 1st Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac, from March, 1862; and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Lieut. Col. Denis F. Burke, June 30, 1865, near Alexandria, Va.
During it service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 14 officers, 95 enlisted men ; of wounds received in action, 1 officer and 40 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 3 officers, 68 enlisted men; total, 18 officers, 203 enlisted men; aggregate, 221; of whom 18 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II. 

Eighty-eighth Infantry.—Cols., Henry M. Baker, Patrick Kelly, Dennis F. Burke; Lieut-Cols., Patrick Kelly, James Quinlan, John Smith, Dennis F. Burke, John W. Byron; Majs., James Quinlan, William Horgan, John Smith, William G. Hart, John W. Byron. The 88th, the 5th regiment of the Irish brigade, recruited in New York city, Brooklyn and Jersey City, was mustered into the service of the United States at Fort Schuyler, from Sept., 1861, to Jan., 1862, for three years, and left New York for Washington Dec. 16, 1861. Upon its arrival it was attached to Meagher's Irish brigade (for which it was recruited), Sumner's division, and continued in that brigade during its term of service. It served in the vicinity of Washington until the general advance of the army under Gen. McClellan to the Peninsula in March, 1862, when the brigade became a part of the 1st division, 2nd corps. It was present at the siege of Yorktown and the battle of Fair Oaks; lost l29 in killed, wound-ed or missing during the Seven Days' battles; was next active in the Maryland campaign; was in the thick of the battle at Antietam and 102 were killed or wounded; then proceeded to Charlestown, W. Va., and by short marches to Fredericksburg, where it arrived in time to bear an important part in the assault of the 2nd corps during the battle. At Fredericksburg Maj. Horgan and 23 of his comrades were killed, 97 were wounded and 6 missing out of 252 engaged. At Chancellorsville in the spring of 1863, the loss of the regiment was again heavy and it became necessary to consolidate the remaining members into a battalion of two companies before the battle of Gettysburg, where the Irish brigade fought bravely in the wheat-field. The regiment shared in the action of the 2nd corps at Bristoe Station and in the Mine Run campaign, and during the winter a sufficient number of the men reenlisted to retain the 88th in the field as a veteran organization. Three new companies joined the command in April, 1864, and throughout the memorable campaign under Gen. Grant from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor, the 88th continued to serve with unflinching courage. In the first assault on Petersburg, the regiment lost heavily, Col. Kelly, who had succeeded Gen. Meagher in command of the brigade, being killed. The regiment was posted at different points before Petersburg during the siege and participated in siege duties until the fall of the fortifications. It was mustered out at Alexandria, June 30, 1865, having lost 150 by death from wounds and 71 from other causes out of a total strength of 1,352, and having earned the right to be known as a crack fighting regiment.


88th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | Regimental Color | Civil War

In the autumn of 1862, Tiffany & Co. of New York City produced national colors and green regimental colors, known as “Irish Colors,” for each New York…

NYSMM Online Resources

Battles and Casualties from Phisterer (pdf)
Battles and Casualties from Phisterer (spreadsheet)

Muster Roll

Unit Roster

Historical Sketch

Monument at Gettysburg

Search the Museum catalog for this unit

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Other Resources

This is meant to be a comprehensive list. If, however, you know of a resource that is not listed below, please send an email to ng.ny.nyarng.list.historians@army.mil with the name of the resource and where it is located. This can include photographs, letters, articles and other non-book materials. Also, if you have any materials in your possession that you would like to donate, the museum is always looking for items specific to New York's military heritage. Thank you.

Athearn, Robert G. Thomas Francis Meagher : an Irish revolutionary in America. Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 1949.

Bateman, Robert J. The day the Irish Brigade saved the 9th Massachusetts 1992.

Bilby, Joseph G. Remember Fontenoy! : the 69th New York and the Irish Brigade in the Civil War. Hightstown, NJ: Longstreet House, 1995.

Boyle, Frank A. A party of mad fellows : the story of the Irish regiments in the Army of the Potomac. Dayton, Ohio: Morningside House, Inc, 1996.

Callaghan, Daniel M., 1960- Thomas Francis Meagher and the Irish Brigade in the Civil War Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. 2006.

Catholic Alumni Sodality of Philadelphia. Memorial of the monument erected on the Battlefield of Gettysburg to Very Rev. William Corby, C.S.C [Philadelphia, PA] Press of Allen, Lane & Scott, 1911.

Clouser, Jeff. "Final Antietam Monument Honors Irish Brigade." Civil War Times Illustrated. 36 :5 October 1997. 18.

Conyngham, David Power. The Irish Brigade and its campaigns : with some account of the Corcoran Legion, and sketches of the principal officers. London : Burns, Oates & Washbourne 1867.

Corby, William. Memoirs of Chaplain life, by very Rev. W. Corby. Three years Chaplain in the famous Irish brigade, "Army of the Potomac." Chicago: La Monte, O'Donnell & co., printers, 1893.

Craughwell, Thomas J., 1956- The greatest brigade : how the Irish Brigade cleared the way to victory in the American Civil War. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press, 2011.

Geoghegan, William. The Irish Brigade at Gettysburg : A poem read at Gettysburg, Pa., July 2, 1888 the 25th anniversary of that famous battle at the occasion of the dedication of a statue to the three New York regiments.. 2014.

Glynn, Gary. "Meagher of the Sword." America's Civil War. (SEP 1995) 54-61.

Hartwig, D. Scott. "When Luck Ran out for the Irish Brigade." America’s Civil War. 29 :6 2017. 14-15.

Jones, Paul John, 1897- The Irish brigade Washington: R.B. Luce, 1969.

Loback, Tom. Civil War flags of the Irish Brigade and others in the 69th Regiment's Armory collection. S.l. s.n, c1999.

McCarter, William, -1911; O'Brien, Kevin E. My life in the Irish Brigade : the Civil War memoirs of Private William McCarter, 116th Pennsylvania Infantry. Campbell, Calif. Savas Pub, 1996.

"Major Horgan Dead." Brooklyn Eagle December 26, 1886. 
Also includes biographical information. 

Transcribed by Robert McLernon; donated by Victor Olney.

McLernon, Robert. Casualty List 88th New York Meagher’s Irish Brigade Fredericksburg, Va. December 13, 1862.

McLernon, Robert. Casualty list : 88th New York Volunteer Infantry, Meagher's Irish Brigade, at Antietam, Maryland, September 17, 1862

McLernon, Robert. 88th Infantry Confirmed Burials

McLernon, Robert. Irish Brigade : "It rushed into the fight with well-known gallantry". New York State and the Civil War. 2017.

Meagher, Thomas Francis and John Norvell. Thomas Francis Meagher letters, 1855-1862.
Year:    1855-1862
Description:    1 folder (3 items)
Abstract:    Three letters from Thomas Francis Meagher. The first is regarding payment for a recently published article. The second is a letter to W.E. Robinson concerning an upcoming meeting. The third is a letter to Captain John Mason Norvell concerning possible inhuman treatment of Private Patrick Falvey.
Held by the New-York Historical Society.

Meagher, Thomas Francis, 1823-1867.; Cavanagh, Michael. Memoirs of Gen. Thomas Francis Meagher : comprising the leading events of his career ... selections from his speeches, lectures ... including personal reminiscences. Forgotten Books, 2018.

Murphy, T. L. Kelly's heroes : the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg. Gettysburg, Pa. Farnsworth House Military Impressions, c1997.

O'Beirne, Kevin M. "Into the Valley of the Shadow of Death." : The Corcoran Legion at cold Harbor." Into the valley of the shadow of death : The Corcoran Legion at Cold Harbor. North & South. 3 :4 April, 2000. 6881.

O'Brien, Kevin E. "Sprig of green." : The Union Army's Irish Brigade." The Recorder. 6 :2 Fall 1993. 45-79.

O’Connell, Kim A. "'Faugh a Ballagh' for the Boys of the Irish Brigade." America's Civil War. March 2008. 1 page.

O'Flaherty, Patrick. "In Union's defeat at Fredericksburg the Irish Brigade held strong." New York State and the Civil War. 2 :6 December, 1962. 1-11.

O'Flaherty, Patrick D. The 69th New York (165th Inf. NY Army NG) : and the Irish Brigade in the Battle of Fredericksburg.

O'Flaherty, Patrick D.? Recruiting Irish Regiments in the Summer of 1862

O'Flaherty, Patrick Daniel, 1914? The history of the Irish Brigade 439 p. [1986]

O'Neill, Stephan D. Clear the way! : the Irish Brigade from Fair Oaks to the Bloody Lane. New York: Irish Brigade Association : 69th New York Historical Association, c1995.

O'Neill, Stephan D. In any other cause than hers : John O'Connell Joyce ... Hero of County Cork. Throggs Neck, NY: Irish Brigade Association.

Olney, Victor J. Andersonville Prison : [deaths by unit].

Oswego Historical Society. Twenty-Fourth Publication of the Oswego Historical Society Palladium-Times, Inc. 1961.

Pohanka, Brian C. James McKay Rorty : an appreciation. (s.I.) 1993.

Powers, Kenneth H.; Bilby, Joseph G. "The Mystery of the Meagher Sword." My Sons Were Faithful and They Fought : The Irish Brigade at Antietam: An Anthology. Longstreet House, 1997. 87 -91.

Reynolds, Lawrence. A poetical address : delivered by Doctor Lawrence Reynolds, 63d Regiment, N.Y.S.V., before the Irish Brigade, in camp, near Falmouth, Va., on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1863. Albany: Weed, Parsons and Co. : Michael O'Sullivan, 1863.

Rice, Thomas E. ""Desperate Courage"." Civil War Times Illustrated. 29 :5 November, 1990. 58 - 70.

Smith, Harold F. "Mulligan and the Irish Brigade." Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1908-1984). :56 Summer 1963. 164-176.

Tucker, Phillip Thomas. The history of the Irish Brigade : a collection of historical essays. Fredericksburg, Va. Sergeant Kirkland's Museum and Historical Society, c1995.

Tucker, Phillip Thomas, 1953. "God help the Irish!" : the history of the Irish Brigade. Abilene, Tex. McWhiney Foundation Press : Distributed by Texas A&M University Press Consortium, cop. 2007.

Turner, James. Papers (1861-1876).
Description: 1 Box
Abstract: Includes letters, a diary, and a scrapbook related to Turner's service in the army during the Civil War. Finding aid available.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

United States. Army of the Potomac. Irish Brigade. . Program for Saint Patrick's Day, March 1865.
Description:    1 page
Held by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.

Ural, Susannah J. The harp and the eagle : : Irish-American volunteers and the Union Army, 1861-1865. New York: New York University Press, 2006.

Warren, Craig A. "Oh, God, What a Pity!”: The Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg and the Creation of Myth." Civil War History. XLVII :3 2001. 193-222.

Wills, Anthony, and J. T. Sprague, Anthony Wills papers, 1855-1862.
Description:    1 folder (3 items)
Abstract:    Three commissions from the years 1863, 1871 and 1886 for the promotion of Anthony Wills.
Held by the at The New-York Historical Society.


Unit bibliography from the Army Heritage Center

Items in the museum collection are in bold.