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PROBABLY UNIQUE MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMAN MEDAL TO 3rd MA RIFLES, WHO AS A SERGEANT SERVED WITH THE 21st MA INFANTRY AND LATER THE FAMED 2ND NEW YORK CAVALRY OF GENERAL CUSTER’S DIVISION. CAPTURED BYREBELS IN 1865

MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMAN ‘CHAUNCY B. IRISH. CORPL. B.3d. BTN. RFN.’

Chauncey B. Irish a 22 year old farmer from Millbury, MA, mustered into Company ‘B’ of the 3rd Massachusetts (Militia) Rifles on 1th May 1861. Promoted Corporal on 3rd July, he mustered out on3rd August 1861 after their 3 month service was over and mustered into Company ‘F’ 19th Massachusetts Infantry as a Sergeant on 19th August 1861. He was discharged for disability on 5th October 1863 but despite this, he enlisted again into Company ‘A’ of the famed 2nd New York Cavalryon 4th January 1864. He was captured in action at Pamunkey River, Virginia on 17th March 1865 and was paroled on the 26th March. He was final discharged from the Army on 7th May 1865 after taking part in the Appomattox campaign and subsequent surrender of Lee and his army.

The 21st MA took part in many of the hardest fought battles of 1862-3, including; the battles of Roanoke Island, Newbern, Camden. As a part of Ferrero's Brigade, Reno's Division, Burnside's (9th)Corps it was at 2d Bull Run, Chantilly, where it was heavily engaged, South Mountain, Fox's Gap andat Antietam, it helped to carry the Burnside Bridge and lost heavily. At Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, it participated in the assaults, suffering severe losses.

"Sergeant Chauncey B. Irish, of Company F, while on a visit to Newbern with two or three comrades, the day after the battle, was taken aside by a negro whom he met in the street and told by him that the Bank of Newbern, in the hasty flight from the city, had hidden a large quantity of gold coin in an old tomb. The negro said that he was the only witness to the act, and wanted some soldiers to help get possession of the treasure. Sergeant Irish and his guide went to the tomb, and found the gold, — apparently many thousand dollars in amount, — but, to the terrible disappointment and disgust of the poor negro, the sergeant posted his comrades on guard over the gold, while he notified the provost marshal of the city, who at once took possession of the money."

With the 2nd New York Cavalry, Sgt Irish served with the famed General Custer’s division in the Army of the Shenandoah and the Army of the Potomac. Taking part in Sheridan’s Raid from Winchester, Waynesboro, Ashland Station, Five Forks, Sweets Ford, Harper's Farm, Appomattox Station and the surrender of Lee at Appomattox on April 9th 1865.

Condition NEF, With copy service and MA musters etc On CD. Its very scarce to get Minuteman medals to men who served in non MA units and since NY didn’t authorise named medals, almost unique to get an officially named medal to a man who served in the 2nd NY Cavalry!

Code J1656        Price £725