Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2007-02 > 1172496856

From: "Carmen D." <>
Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Fwd: 1st St. Patrick's Day Parade,1779 - "Volunteers of Ireland"
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 08:34:16 -0500
References: <>

Excellent posting Dan.


----- Original Message -----
From: "dan hogan" <>
To: "Judith Boatman" <>; "Cathy Buss" <>;
"Louise Evans" <>; "Pat Fuller" <>;
"Sam Fuller" <>; "Les Gilbert" <>;
"Charles Henry" <>; "Dan Johnston"
<>; "Sean Malis" <>; "Sean Malis"
<>; "John Olinger" <>; "Bob Sundre"
<>; "Bob Sundre" <>
Cc: "Daniel Hogan" <>; "Margaret Kennedy"
<>; "Bridget Handley"
<>; "Sean Hogan" <>
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007 4:58 PM
Subject: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Fwd: 1st St. Patrick's Day Parade,1779 -
"Volunteers of Ireland"

>> SNIPPET: For an Irishman of patriotic and
>> independent inclinations, the opportunities to
>> celebrate the feast day of his national saint were
>> distinctly limited on March 17, 1779. New York, in
>> its third year of British military occupation,
>> swarmed with soldiers and sailors. Civilians who
>> openly supported the Patriot forces of George
>> Washington had long fled, their places taken by
>> Loyalist refugees. New York's more ambivalent
>> citizens, living under virtual martial law, wisely
>> kept their patriotic opinions to themselves.
>> The main event of the day in 1779, as is still the
>> case, was a parade in Manhattan. Since 1852, New
>> York's famous Irish regiment, the Fighting 69th, has
>> led the St. Patrick's Day parade through the heart
>> of the city, but military men or units were active
>> in New York's March 17th celebrations more than a
>> century before the 69th began its escort duties.
>> The military's first formal participation in New
>> York's St. Patrick's Day parade was in 1779, when
>> the Volunteers of Ireland marched through the city.
>> The regiment of Loyalist Irishmen recruited in
>> America had recently taken up quarters in Bowery
>> Lane, then on the outskirts of the 18th century city
>> at the lower end of Manhattan Island.
>> The parade had two main purposes - to create an
>> ethnic esprit along the men already in the regiment
>> and to drum up more recruits. That Wednesday
>> morning, Irish readers of the "Royal Gazette" were
>> invited to join the Volunteers, "a Corps in which
>> every recruit is sure of finding Townsmen or
>> Relations."
>> The regiment, formed at Philadelphia in 1778 was
>> built around a nucleus of Irish deserters from
>> George Washington's hungry and frost-bitten forces
>> at Valley Forge. Since then, an active recruiting
>> campaign, aided by broadsheets and ballads, had
>> built up the unit's strength to 400 men of Irish
>> birth, Anglo-Irish, Scots-Irish and Gaelic-Irish.
>> The ten most common names were Murphy, Barry, Jones,
>> Kelly, O'Reily, Thompson, Connolly, Doyle, McCarthy
>> and Stewart.
>> Among the 30 most common names, traditional
>> recruiting areas of Munster and Connaught were
>> represented by Barry, Fitzgerald, Griffin, Murphy,
>> Ryan, Sullivan and McCarthy.
>> But most of the non-Gaelic origin, Bingham, Clarke,
>> Jones, Thompson, Stewart and Wilson, had strong
>> Ulster associations.
>> Many of the most common Gaelic names, including
>> Connolly, Dougherty, McCormick, McLoughlin, McMahon
>> and O'Reily, were also closely linked to Ulster.
>> The regiment's distinctly Ulster cast was not
>> surprising as emigration to America from the nine
>> northern countries had been heavy throughout the
>> 18th century. The commanding officer, 25-year-old
>> Colonel Francis Rawdon (a strict and sometimes
>> brutal disciplinarian) was an Irish nobleman from
>> Co. Down. Rawdon was already a seasoned veteran of
>> the American war, having taken two bullets through
>> his cap at Bunker Hill and participating in the
>> battles of Brooklyn and White Plains. He also did a
>> number of wartime watercolor sketches of new York
>> and New Jersey which are deposited in the NY Public
>> Library's Emmet Collection.
>> His second-in-command, Lt. Col. Welbore Ellis Doyle,
>> came from a well-known Co. Kilkenny military family.
>> His brother, Capt. John Doyle, commanded a company
>> of the Volunteers. Both brothers would later rise to
>> the rank of Major General. In 1793, John Doyle
>> formed the regiment later known as the Royal Irish
>> Fusiliers. During the Napoleonic War, their
>> blood-curdling Irish war cry "Fag an Bealach" (Clear
>> the Way) won them the nickname Faugh-a-Ballaghs, or
>> the Faughs.
>> One of the best-known members of Rawdon's wartime
>> staff was another young Irish nobleman, Lord Edward
>> Fitzgerald. Just 15 years old in 1779, Fitzgerald
>> would join Rawdon as his aide-de-camp two years
>> later in South Carolina. Fitzgerald died in 1798.
>> >From "St. Patrick's Hearty Invitation to his
>> Countrymen," the Volunteers of Ireland recruiting
>> ballad, sung to the tune of "Paddy Whack."
>> Each son of St. Patrick,
>> each true-hearted fellow,
>> Come join in our March,
>> and bear Part in our Song;
>> The Offer's no bad one,
>> my Lads, let me tell you,
>> So give us your Hand,
>> and parade it along.
>> At Yankey hereafter
>> we'll tickle a Trigger,
>> For Clinton, God bless him,
>> will give use the Van;
>> Let's first shew our Vigour,
>> on Beef and good Liquor,
>> St. Patrick's the Word,
>> and your fife to your Can.
>> The Harp of sweet Ireland
>> has called us together,
>> The Rights of our King
>> and our Country to shield;
>> We hope the Assistance of all who would rather
>> Than slave in a Trade,
>> take the Chance of the Field;
>> To such gallant Fellows,
>> we give Invitations,
>> Whether born on the Nore,
>> Shannon, Liffey, or Ban,
>> St. Patrick's the Word,
>> and each Fist to the Can.
> Dan Hogan
> -------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
> with the word 'unsubscribe' without
> the quotes in the subject and the body of the message

This thread: