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Captain John McNeil 84th New York Infantry (14th Brooklyn)

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Item No. CV1184MS Category


Vignette carte view identified as captain John McNeil of the 84th New York Volunteer Infantry otherwise known as the famed 14th Brooklyn. The 27 year old Brooklyn resident would muster as a private with Company H in May, 1861. Known as the 14th Brooklyn, the regiment was outfitted with a splendid Zouave style uniform which would earn them the nickname the “Red Legged Devils” following the Battle of Bull Run for their repeated charged up Henry House Hill. Their designation would be officially changed to the 84th New York in December of 1861, but would continue to be referred to as the 14th Brooklyn due to the fame the regiment received during the Bull Run battle. The regiment would suffer a 142 casualties at Bull Run, including John who would be captured during the battle. Confined to a Richmond prison, he would be exchanged at the end of the year. The regiment would serve in northern Virginia and take part in the campaign on the Peninsula and fight during the second Battle of Bull Run where the regiment lost another 129 men. It was also engaged at South mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg with the 1st Brigade, 1st division, 1st Corps, to which it was attached on Sept. 12, 1862. After passing the winter in camp near Falmouth, the regiment was active at Chancellorsville in May, 1863, and was prominently engaged in the battle of Gettysburg, where it received the highest official praise for its gallantry in action. It served during this battle with the 2nd brigade, 1st division, 1st corps, and suffered a total loss of 217. It then moved southward with the Army of the Potomac, shared in the Mine Run Campaign, wintered near Culpeper and then participated in the Wilderness campaign. That May the term of service expire for the regiment and it was mustered out at New York City the following month. John would receive promotions to 1st sergeant in 1861 and captain in October, 1861. This view likely dates to the time of his discharge. Another photo of John can be found on the HDS. Back marked out of New York.

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