History of the 69th New York re-enactment group
The 69th New York State Volunteers was officially accepted as a new Federal regiment into the American Civil War Society Ltd (ACWS Ltd), in November 1995. Since that date we have gone from strength to strength, and we now boast over 20 people on the field during the battles.
In July 1999 Nigel Morgan took over as Lieutenant of the 69th and the regiment has quickly transformed into one of the best fighting units of the ACWS. From only knowing minimal drill, the 69th drilled to a much higher standard so we could more realistically portray the "Fighting 69th", the 1st Regiment of the Irish Brigade, “Meagher's Own”. All of our members, except two, who go on the field as soldiers are "live firers" with a musket, shooting black powder. This in itself is a magnificent achievement, as the sound of black powder musket fire on the field greatly enhances the battlefield display.
In November 2000 some members of the 69th severed their relationship with the 69th and formed the 88th New York State Volunteers, the 5th Regiment of the Irish Brigade. But these losses were quickly reversed by new members filling the ranks, and regularly attending events.
In 2003 our medics Stewart Hayllar and Ian Morris formed the 69th New York Field Hospital within the regiment, and put on some great medical displays and talks for the public, and other re-enactors. Their persistence and perseverance was rewarded at the 2003 ACWS's AGM when the regiment was presented with the “Graham Forbes Trophy” as a reward for the huge success of the field hospital. Further research and dedication will ensure the display becomes bigger, better, more realistic and gory. Keep checking the photo gallery for up to date images.
The 69th NYSV is not just made up of fighting men. We have women who dress as soldiers who fight on the field. We also have medics, provost marshalls, nurses, flag bearers, and other musicians. Some of the members are also diversifying into part time civilian roles, as gentlemen, ladies, a US Sanitary Commisoner and more.
Many of the children of the 69th are in the Drum Corps, or if they are over the age of 14 they can go on the field as runners, flag bearers or medics. At 16 you are allowed to go on the field as a soldier with a musket, a deactivated weapon or a live firer with the appropriate certificates. Have a look at our photo gallery to see what we get up to on our weekends away.
We hope to remain a very active regiment within the ACWS, attending events from carnivals to campaigns, and having a brilliant time doing it. We will also be striving for greater levels of authenticity as we strive to portray the brave veteran soldiers of the 69th New York . But most of all we aim to remain the best of friends and add to our merry band of re-enactors by recruiting new like-minded members.
If you are interested in joining the 69th New York , 1st Regiment Irish Brigade, please see the “How To Join” page.