War Between the States

Died in 1863

Commander of the "Corcoran Irish Legion"


(1827-63) Born in Ireland, he emigrated to America in 1849 and in 1859 became colonel of the famed 69th New York Militia. He was a hero at 1st Bull Run where he was wounded and captured. Corcoran then became a pawn in a controversial chess game played by the Union and Confederate authorities where he was held hostage for reprisal in the event of the execution of the crews of captured privateers by the U.S. Navy. After being shuttled back and forth between a number of Confederate prison camps, he was exchanged in August 1862 and promoted to brigadier general. After an invitation to dine with President Lincoln, Corcoran was as enthusiastic as ever and continued to rally Irish support for the Union by raising the "Corcoran Irish Legion" which he led in the Suffolk, Va. campaign. He later held divisional command in the 22nd Corps. On Dec. 22, 1863, near Fairfax Court House, Va., Corcoran suffered a fall while riding and was crushed to death beneath his horse.

Authentic, original woodcut engraving that was published on the front page of the August 30, 1862 issue of Harper's Weekly. Standing view in uniform with epaulets, over the shoulder sash, and medal on his coat and holding his sword. 10 x 14 1/2. Harper's Weekly, the date and their ornate illustrated masthead are printed at the top.

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