170th Infantry Regiment
Nickname: Fourth, Originally Second, Regiment, Corcoran's Irish Legion
Mustered in: October 7, 1862
Mustered out: July 15, 1865
The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
July 17, 1862, Col. Peter McDermott received authority to recruit this regiment as the second of the Corcoran Legion or Brigade; it was organized at Staten Island, and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years October 7, 1862. The companies were recruited principally in New York city and Brooklyn.
The regiment left the State October 16, 1862; it served in Casey's Division, defenses of Washington, from October, 1862; in Corcoran's Brigade, Department of Virginia, at Newport News, Va., from November 19, 1862; in the same brigade, Peck's Division, 7th Corps, at Suffolk, Va., from January, 1863; in Murphy's Brigade, Corcoran's Division, 7th Corps, from April, 1863; in Corcoran's Brigade, King's Division, 22d Corps, from July 16, 1863; in 2d Brigade, Tyler's Division, 22d Corps, from January, 1864; in 4th Brigade, 2d Division, 2d Corps, from May 17, 1864; in 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 2d Corps, from June 26, 1864; and, commanded by Col. James P. Mclvor, it was honorably discharged and mustered out July 15, 1865, at Munson's Hill, Va.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 7 officers, 62 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 3 officers, 58 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 2 officers, 97 enlisted men; total, 12 officers, 217 enlisted men; aggregate, 229; of whom 3 officers, 50 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.
One Hundred and. Seventieth Infantry.—Cols., Peter McDermott, James P. McIvor; Lieut.-Cols., James P. McIvor, Michael C. Mur-phy, John B. Donnelly, Charles Hagan; Majs., George W. Warner, John-B. Donnelly, John Connery, Charles Hagan. This was one of the four regiments forming the Corcoran Legion, a brigade composed almost entirely of Irish soldiers. Its companies were recruited principally in New York city and Brooklyn and it was organized at Staten island, where it was mustered into the U. S. service on Oct. 7, 1862, for three years. The regiment left the state on Oct. 16, served for a month in the defenses of Washing-on, in Casey's division, and then embarked for Fortress Monroe. After a few weeks' service on the Peninsula, during which it par-icipated in the Blackwater expedition and the skirmishes at the Deserted House and Union Mills, it went to Suffolk. Speaking of his splendid fighting regiment, Col. Fox says: "It was actively engaged in the defense of Suffolk, at which time the Legion was commanded by Col. Murphy, of the 69th militia, and the division by Gen. Corcoran—the 1st division, 7th corps. It remained on duty in that vicinity until July, 1863, when the Legion (Gen. Corcoran commanding) was ordered to Washington, where it performed gar-ison and outpost duty. In May, 1864, it was transferred to the Army of the Potomac and placed in Gibbon's (2nd) division of the 2nd corps, the Legion, under command of Col. Murphy, arriving just in time to take part in the closing battles around Spottsylvania. At the North Anna the 170th encountered a severe musketry fire, its casualty list there being the largest of any regiment in that battle: 22 killed, 55 wounded and 22 missing. It met with another heavy loss at Petersburg, June 16-22, where its casualties amounted to 22 killed, in wounded and 3 missing. Most of this loss occurred in the assault of June 16. The regiment was again hotly engaged at Reams' station, where Maj. Donnelly was killed. From June, 864, until the close of the war, the Legion, together with the 8th SI. Y. heavy artillery, formed the 2nd brigade, 2nd division, 2nd corps." The casualties of the regiment at Reams' station amounted to 85 killed, wounded and missing. It met with further losses at Boydton plank road in October, at the Petersburg works in March, 1865, and then took part with the 2nd corps in the final Appomattox. campaign, which ended with Lee's surrender. A list of the impor-:ant battles in which the 170th was engaged includes the siege of Suffolk, Carrsville, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Pet-:ersburg, Weldon railroad, Deep Bottom, Reams' station, Boydton plank road, Hatcher's run, Deserted House, Edenton road, Toto-potomy, Strawberry Plains, Vaughn road, Farmville and Appo-mattox. Col. McDermott resigned shortly after the regiment took the field and his successor, Col. McIvor, commanded it during most of its active service. He was a gallant officer and rose to the rank of brevet major-general in 1865. The regiment was warmly commended by its brigade and division commanders for its conduct in battle and its efficiency. Its total enrollment was 1,002, of whom 10 officers and 119 men—or 12.8 per cent.—were killed and mortally wounded; 2 officers and 96 men, died of disease and other causes; total deaths, 227. The total number killed and wounded was 481.