Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Irish General

Michael Corcoran the Irish American General and Colonel of the 69th New York died December 22nd 1863.

Michael Corcoran was born September 21st 1827 in Carrowkeel, Sligo, Ireland, the only child of Thomas and Mary [McDonagh] Corcoran.  When he was 18 he took a job with the Revenue Police, searching for illegal stills and other distilling activities in Donegal County, Ireland.  Corcoran immigrated to the United State on August 30th 1849.  He settled in New York City, where he found work in the Hibernian House, a tavern in Manhattan.  Corcoran enlisted in the New York City Militia which became the 69th, and was their Colonel on October 11th 1860 when he refused to march in a parade put on for the visiting Prince of Wales.  He was removed from command and was placed under a court martial when the Civil War started.

At the beginning of the Civil War, Corcoran’s charges were dropped and he was restored to command of the 69th New York.  While the Regiment served in Washington, DC early in the year, they worked on defenses of the city, building Fort Corcoran.  Corcoran led the 69th at the First Battle of Bull Run, and was taken prisoner.  He was released in a prisoner exchange in August 1862 and was promoted to Brigadier General in the Union army.  Following Corcoran’s release he was placed in command of the 1st Division of the 12 Corps.  He saw action at the Battle of Deserted House and the Siege of Suffolk, before returning to the defenses of Washington, DC.  Corcoran was riding alone on December 22nd 1863 when his horse fell on him.  He died from a fractured skull.  Corcoran is buried in the Calvary Cemetery at Woodside, Queens, New York.

Another web site that might interest you about Corcoran is

No comments: