#OnThisDay 1863 The Irish Brigade fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. Lead by Galway born Colonel Patrick Kelly, the already much depleted brigade lost 198 of 532 troops engaged, or 37% of total soldiers, but still held their ground at the Wheatfield.
The Irish Brigade’s numbers had been withered down during the Battle of Fredericksburg and though Gen. T.F. Meagher had requested to recruit the brigade back to strength but it was denied. Again following more casualties at Chancellorsville, the Brigade lost more men and Meagher’s requests to leave to recruit and bolsters the Brigade’s numbers was again denied and so resigned his commission. Therefore by the time the Irish Brigade got to Gettysburg, it was hardly the size of a regiment, let alone a brigade.