your-stories

These Brave Irishmen...

Joseph Davidson

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Hi everyone again,
 
Robert Morrow was kind enough to share more of his great relative, Hugh Murphy. He fought for the 21st Massachusetts Volunteers.
 
The following is a depiction of what Hugh went through at the Battle of Chantilly:
 
On September 1st 1862 he was with his regiment at the Battle of Chantilly, the most devastating battle of the war for the 21st . The 21st were ordered to advance into the woods and rendezvous with the 51st New York, so, under Colonel Clark, the 21st advanced into the woods just as a storm broke out and the visibility became very poor. Just as they entered the woods they encountered another unit, and, assuming that they were the New Yorkers, Col. Clark sent Lieutenant Rice forward to make contact. But it was only at the last second that Col. Clark realized the unit they had come across wasn’t the 51st New York, it was Jubal Early’s Brigade. The Confederates sent a volley and the men of the 21st fell to the musketry like trees to an axe. It was by the grace of God alone that Hugh survived.
 
Clark ordered a hasty retreat from the woods and upon emerging from the woods was ordered to fill a gap in the Union line as it was advancing towards the Confederates. The 21st fell into line and, led by General Philip Kearny, charged
once again towards the Confederate lines. They exchanged volleys and then charged each other. That was to be the only time the 21 st ever had to draw the bayonet.
 
To learn more about the 21st - Click Here

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