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    [Irish Brigade]. Thomas F. Meagher Autograph Letter Signed. Two and one-half pages, 8" x 10", "Head Quarters Irish Brigade . . . Fort Defiance, near Rockville, Md.," September 8, 1862. Gen. Meagher here writes to acting assistant adjutant general Col. Francis M. Rotch regarding the commissions of two men. Of the first Meagher remarks: "I no longer believe that Capt Gallwey . . . should have any commission in this brigade. Capt Gallwey, whilst on my staff, proved himself in every engagement we had with the enemy, and on other occasions, an unqualified coward, and utterly unworthy in other respects of having the command of soldiers." He continues by stating that it would "exceedingly gratify me to have the vacancy, caused by the resignation of 1st Lieut Phillip O'Hanlon . . . filled by an accomplished young friend of mine, a son of Samuel Neil . . . I forget his Christian name. . . . He is a highly educated, high-spirited young gentleman, and has had sound military training." Docketed on the verso of the third page. Lightly toned along the folds which show some separation at the edges. Some foxing.

    Thomas Francis Meagher (1823-1867) devoted much of his young life to the cause of Irish nationalism. After immigrating to the United States in 1852 (following trials and travails too numerous to document here) he studied law and journalism. Once the war started Meagher volunteered to fight for the Union (though he had expressed support for the South) and participated in the First Battle of Manassas. Following the battle Meagher returned to New York and formed the Irish Brigade. The "Fighting 69th" participated in many major battles, and though not always victorious, they earned a reputation as fierce fighters.

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    7th Saturday
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