1862 – The Irish Brigade suffered over 60% casualties at the Battle of Antietam at an area that came to be known as Bloody Lane.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

At the Battle of Antietam, the Irish Brigade led its division in attacking the infamous Bloody Lane. In preparation for the deadly work ahead, Father William Corby, one of the brigade’s chaplains and future president of Notre Dame, rode down the firing line and administered a general rite of absolution to the men.

Thomas Meagher advanced to the crest of a hill overlooking a brigade of North Carolinians hunkered down in the sunken road bed and let loose with two volleys. The Confederates responded with a heavy fire of their own that killed or wounded eight of the brigade’s color bearers. When Capt. James McGee of the 69th New York picked up his regiment’s flag from the ground, a bullet cut the staff in two. He reached down for the colors again and a bullet tore through his cap. Despite the heavy fire, Captain McGee finally retrieved the flag and…

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