69th New York Regiment
The 69th New York Militia was formed in 1851. After service at the battle of Bull Run in July of 1861, they were reformed as the 69th New York State Volunteer Infantry. "The 69th" was named the 1st Regiment of the soon to be famous Irish Brigade, and fought with great valor at every major battle of the Army of the Potomac.
After the Civil War the 69th New York continued on, serving in the Mexican-American war and both World Wars. Today, they are known as the 1st Battalion 69th Infantry (Mechanized) New York Army National Guard. General Robert E. Lee christened this unit "The Fighting 69th" for good reason. The 69th is one of the most decorated Units in the US Army with 63 Battle Rings, 28 Campaign Streamers and 7 Medals of Honor to its credit.
The Irish Wolfhound is the mascot of The Fighting 69th - officially the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry (Mechanized) NYARNG. The Irish Wolfhounds are prominent on the Regiment's coat of arms (above), and it was the traits and disposition of the Irish Wolfhound that inspired the 69th Regimental Motto "Gentle When Stroked, Fierce When Provoked". On March 17, 1953, two Irish Wolfhounds were adopted by the 69th as Regimental Mascots. They were clad in green coats with the gold numerals "69", and paraded immediately to the rear of the Regimental Color Guard. There have been two wolfhounds as mascots ever since. For further details on the 69th, visit http://www.fighting69th.com . Also, for more on the history of the 69th, visit http://www.69thnewyork.com/.
|69th New York mascot on St. Patrick's Day Parade, 2000|
|St. Patrick's Day, 2004|
The 69th's Irish wolfhounds are the only animals permitted in the St. Patrick's Day Parade on 5th Avenue. To see more pictures of the wolfhounds from the 2004 St. Patrick's Day Parade, go to http://www.saintpatricksdayparade.com/NYC/2004/69th.htm. For more about the Regiment go to http://www.sixtyninth.net/index.html
|The following photographs are all of the St. Patrick's Day Parade, 2008 and were taken by Padraig Walker|