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164th New York
Roster - Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York For the Year
1893, Volume 40 View the Entire Book
|One Hundred and Sixty-fourth New York Infantry. Cols., John E. McMahon,
James P. McMahon, William DeLacey; Lieut.-Cols., James C. Burke, William DeLacey, John
Beattie; Majs., Michael D. Smith, John Beattie, Bernard O'Reilly. This was one of the four
regiments forming the brigade of Irish soldiers known as the Corcoran Legion. The 164th
was recruited in New York, Brooklyn, Buffalo, and the counties of Niagara and St.
Lawrence, and was mustered into the U. S. service at Newport News, Va., Nov. 19, 1862, for
three years. Col. John E. McMahon was one of three brothers, all of whom became colonels.
He succumbed to disease in March, 1863, and was succeeded by his brother, James P.
McMahon, who was killed in action at Cold Harbor. Lieut.-Col. DeLacey had formerly
rendered gallant service as major of the 37th N. Y. He was wounded several times and rose
to the rank of brevet brigadier-general. Col. Fox, in his account of this splendid
fighting regiment, says: "The Legion was ordered to the Peninsula soon after, where
it was placed in the 7th corps. On Jan. 29, 1863, the brigade started on the Blackwater
expedition (Gen. Corcoran commanding the division), during which it saw its first
fighting, at the affair known as the Deserted House. The gallant behavior of the Legion in
this engagement elicited a general order from department headquarters which was highly
complimentary to the command. In April, 1863, it was actively engaged in the siege of
Suffolk. Gen. Corcoran commanded the Legion up to the time of his death, which occurred at
Fairfax, Va., Dec. 22, 1863. From July, 1863, until May, 1864, the Legion was stationed
near Washington, after which it joined Grant's army at Spottsylvania, where it was
assigned to Gibbon's (2nd) division, 2nd corps. At Cold Harbor it was in the assaulting
column, and succeeded in carrying the portion of the enemy's works in its immediate front,
but with a heavy loss in men and officers. Seven officers of the regiment were killed in
that assault, including Col. McMahon, who was shot down after having with his own hands
planted the regimental colors on the Confederate works. The regiment, however, was obliged
to fall back, owing to the failure at other points of the line, having lost 16 killed, 59
wounded and 82 missing. The Legion was commanded at Spottsylvania by Col. Murphy (182nd N.
Y.), who afterwards fell mortally wounded at Dabney's mill. The casualties in the regiment
at Spottsylvania were 12 killed, 66 wounded and 44 missing." The regiment suffered
severely in the first assaults at Petersburg, where its losses amounted to 63 killed and
wounded, chiefly incurred during the assault of June 16. It was present at Deep Bottom and
Strawberry Plains, and was again hotly engaged at Reams' station with a loss of 9 killed
and mortally wounded, 1 wounded, 9 officers and 98 men missing or captured. From June 26,
1864, until the close of the war, the Legion, together with the 8th N. Y. heavy artillery,
made up the 2nd brigade, 2nd division, 2nd corps. It was in the action on the Boydton
road, losing 7 men; at Hatcher's run in December, and closed its active service with the
Appomattox campaign in 1865, fighting at White Oak ridge, fall of Petersburg, High bridge,
Farmville and Appomattox. It was mustered out near Washington, under Col. DeLacey, July
15, 1865. The total enrollment of the regiment was 928, of whom 10 officers and 106 men
or 12.5 per cent. were killed and mortally wounded; 3 officers and 126 men
died of disease and other causes; total deaths, 245, of whom 2 officers and 84 men died in
the hands of the enemy.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 2