VIGNETTE BUST VIEW OF GENERAL MICHAEL CORCORAN

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Item Code: P14019

Corcoran was an Irish émigré who arrived in New York City in 1849. He joined the 69th New York Militia and was its Colonel by 1859. In 1860 he declined to have the regiment take part in a parade for the visiting Prince of Wales over British treatment of Ireland and was under a court martial charge for it when the war broke out. He was restored to command and led the regiment at First Bull Run where he was taken prisoner. He was made a hostage for Confederates threatened with trial for piracy, and later offered parole in exchange for not taking up arms again against the Confederacy, an offer he refused. He was promoted to Brigadier General while still prisoner and exchanged in August 1862, after which he raised five regiments largely of Irish volunteers, nicknamed Corcoran’s Irish Legion, and was elevated to division command in the 7th and 22nd Corps. He died in a riding accident in December 1863, generally well regarded and lamented by his troops.

The card has a period brown ink identification at the bottom front reading “Corcoran.” Carte-de-visite copies of engravings were an inexpensive way to mass-market portraits of popular figures of the day and they made their way into many photograph albums across the country.  [SR]

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