Welcome to the home page of the 37th New York Volunteer Infantry, also known as the Irish Rifles. The purpose of this page is to provide a brief record of service of the Irish Rifles during the Civil War, information on its officers and on its Medal of Honor recipients. For genealogy buffs, there is also an alpha list of the soldiers of the regiment. Details of the soldiers' service are available upon request.
This page includes a list of sources for those readers who would like to obtain more detailed information regarding the history of the regiment. In addition, this page features links to a number of resources on the World Wide Web relating to the Civil War. Readers can also contact the webmaster for more information on this unit.
Record of Service
The 37th New York Volunteer Infantry had its roots in the 75th New York State Militia, organized in 1856 by John H. McCunn, colonel; James Haggerty, lieutenant colonel; and Dennis C. Minton, major. The 75th was disbanded in 1856, but was revived in April 1861 when President Abraham Lincoln issued his call to arms.
As such, the unit was organized at New York City and mustered in June 7, 1861. It left the state for Washington, D.C., on June 23 and was attached to Hunter's Brigade, Division of the Potomac, from August through October 1861. Subsequently, it was with Richardson's Brigade, Heintzelman's Division, Army of the Potomac, to March 1862. Subsequently, it was in the Third Brigade, Third Division, Third Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to July 1862. Subsequently, it was in the Third Brigade, First Division, Third Army Corps, to June 1863.
Record of service: Duty in the defenses of Washington, D.C., till March 1862. (Companies "H" and "I" were detached to serve as garrison at Fort Washington from August 1861 to March 1862.) Reconnaissance to Pohick Church and Occoquan October 18, 1862; Mason's Creek, Feb. 24; Move to the Peninsula, Va., March 17; Siege of Yorktown, April 4-May 4; Battle of Williamsburg, May 5; Battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks May 31-June 1; Seven Days Before Richmond June 25-July 1; Oak Grove near Seven Pines June 25; Charles City Cross Roads and Glendale, June 30; Malvern Hill, July 1; At Harrison's Landing till August 16. Moved to Fortress Monroe, thence to Centreville, Aug. 15-27. Pope's Campaign in Northern Va. Aug. 27-Sept. 2; Battles of Groveton Aug. 29, Bull Run, Aug. 30, Chantilly, Sept. 1. Duty in the Defenses of Washington until October. Movement to Falmouth October and November. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., Dec. 13-15. "Mud March," Jan. 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth till April. Chancellorsville Campaign April 28-May 6; Operations at Franklin's Crossing April 28-May 1. Battle of Chancellorsville, May 3. Mustered out June 22, 1863. Three-years men transferred to 40th Reg't N.Y. Inf.
Regiment lost during service, killed in action, 3 officers and 52 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 2 officers, 24 enlisted men; by disease and other causes, 1 officers, 37 enlisted men; total, 6 officers, 113 enlisted men; aggregate, 119; of whom 2 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.
Sources:"Report of the Adjutant General" and "Registers and Sketches of Organizations," 1912, Frederick Phisterer, 6 volumes, for the State of New York; "Compendium of the War of the Rebellion" and "War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies"; Brig. Gen. Vincent J. Esposito's "The West Point Atlas of American Wars" and "Harper's Pictorial History of The Civil War,"
Officers of the Regiment:
Officers of the regiment during its existence as they appear in "Registers and Sketches of Organization":
JOHN H. McCUNN, from June 8 to August 31, 1861.
SAMUEL B. HAYMAN, from September 28, 1861, to June 22, 1863.
JOHN BURKE, from May 28, 1861, to February 6, 1862.
GILBERT RIORDAN, from January 21, 1862, to June 22, 1863.
DENNIS C. MINTON, from June 7 to September 4, 1861.
GILBERT RIORDAN, from September 4, 1861, to January 21, 1862.
PATRICK H. JONES, from January 21 to October 8, 1862.
WILLIAM DeLACY, from October 8, 1862, to June 22, 1863.
CORNELIUS MURPHY, from June 7 to November 4, 1861.
PATRICK H. JONES, from November 8, 1861, to January 21, 1862.
JAMES HENRY, from January 21, 1862, to June 22, 1863.
CHARLES H. HOYT, from June 8, 1861, to June 8, 1862.
JOHN PHALON, from April 23, 1862, to June 22, 1863.
JOHN McNULTY, from June 7 to October 6, 1861.
WILLIAM O'MEAGHER, from October 10, 1861, to June 22, 1863.
WILLIAM O'MEAGHER, from June 8 to October 10, 1861.
JOHN P. PHILLIPS, from October 11, 1861, to February 20, 1863.
WILLIAM B. SCHERMERHORN, from September 6, 1862, to June 22, 1863.
PETER TISSOT, S.J., from May 25, 1861, to June 22, 1863.
Colors and Flags of the Regiment.
Medal of Honor recipients
JAMES ROWAN O'BEIRNE. TIMOTHY FALLON. Age at muster, 23 years. Enlisted, May 25, 1861, at New York City, to serve two years; mustered in as private, Co. K, June 7, 1861; discharged, Dec. 13, 1862, to re-enlist in Battery K, Fourth United States Artillery; awarded the Medal of Honor, Feb. 7, 1891, for gallantry in action on May 5, 1862, at Williamsburgh, Va. MARTIN CONBOY. Age at muster, 34 years. Enlisted, Aug. 2, 1861, at New York City, to serve two years; mustered in as private, Co. K, Aug. 3, 1861; transferred to Co. B and promoted sergeant, Dec. 9, 1861; first sergeant, no date; mustered in as second lieutenant, Oct. 20, 1862; mustered out with company, June 22, 1863, at New York City; awarded Medal of Honor; commissioned second lieutenant, Dec. 24, 1862, with rank from Oct. 20, 1862, vice J.O.C. Doyle, dismissed.
The following are several useful Civil War resources on the World Wide Web:
- The American Civil War Homepage
- American Civil War: Resources on the Internet
- The United States Civil War Center
- Time Line: The Civil War, 1861-1865 (Images from the Library of Congress)
- The American Battlefield Protection Program (Site of the battlefield links included in the foregoing Record of Service, provided by the National Park Service)
- Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (When completed, this ambitious site will provide information about each individual who fought in the Civil War)
- Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and Sons of Confederate Veterans (Home pages of two organizations of descendants of Civil War soldiers and sailors.)
Questions or comments regarding the 37th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This page was created on February 16, 1997, and was posted on the World Wide Web on February 17, 1997. It was reposted March 1, 1998.
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Copyright © 1998 John Andrew Prime. Permission to quote is granted if this page is cited as the source.