Mar 20

The first leader of any nation to address a Joint Session of the Parliament of the Republic of Ireland was President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on June 28, 1963. At the beginning of his speech he honored the Irish immigrants who fought for the United States of America in our country’s Civil War. In that same speech he donated the restored “Second” Green Flag of the 69th New York Volunteer Infantry to the people of Ireland. President Kennedy is shown at the podium, lower left speaking to the packed Irish Parliament. This image is courtesy of the Houses of the Oireachtas, Leinster House, Dublin, Ireland.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide John J. Fitzpatrick, Jr., Esq. is host for a series on the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg. John’s interest in Gettysburg began in centennial year of 1963 when he arranged a trip to the Battlefield for the Villanova University Student History Club. That sparked a continuing interest in the American Civil War. Throughout his travels in the Service, work and some vacations he has been to Civil War sites coast to coast from Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California to the home, church and College of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain in Brunswick, Maine. He is now entering upon his ninth year of Guiding at Gettysburg.

His professional career began in 1966 as a United States Marine Corps Officer, Tank Platoon Commander then Pilot. He served a combat tour of duty in Vietnam completing 140 missions in the A6 Intruder for which he was awarded 9 Air Medals and Vietnam Service Awards. Captain Fitzpatrick was Honorably Discharged from Active Duty in 1971 whereupon he entered law school. Upon graduation in 1974 he began a 32 year career as Corporate Counsel for Gulf Oil and Chevron Corporation retiring in 2006. He is a Member in good standing before the highest Courts in Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia and California.

Contemporaneously with his first legal job, he transferred to the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and later the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He served as an Active Reservist Pilot/Forward Air Controller/Squadron and Group Training Officer at the Willow Grove NAS, PA from 1974-1984. He was transferred to HQ USAF at the Pentagon in Legislative Liaison from 1985-1993 and finally as a JAG Officer reporting to the USAF TJAG and General Counsel from 1993-1997 based on his civilian expertise to assist the Air Force with its new Arbitration and Mediation Programs. Colonel Fitzpatrick received 3 Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal and other Awards before transferring to the Retired Reserve in 1997. He now divides his time amongst Guiding at Gettysburg, certain volunteer Veterans’ activities and serving as an Arbitrator in commercial, construction and securities cases.

John Fitzpatrick writes; “I appreciate the earlier related postings of my fellow Guides Rich Bellamy [Colonel Cross in the Wheatfield], the Editor of this Gettysburg Daily, Bobby Housch specifically for his postings of November 8 and 15, 2010 of the Weikert Lane [one of the most likely Avenues of Approach used by the Irish Brigade when it deployed to the Wheatfield in the late afternoon of July 2, 1863] and Dr. Rich Goedkoop’s posting of President Kennedy’s 1963 visit to Gettysburg. I also want to thank Licensed Battlefield Guides Rich Kohr for his posting on the Gettysburg Electric Railway and Ralph Siegel for sharing his expertise on the artillery fight at the Peach Orchard.”

“I also appreciate permission to use:
• New York’s Bravest, Painting by Don Troiani, www.historicalimagebank.com;
• Remember Ireland and Fontenoy, Painting by Rick Reeves, permission from Rick Reeves, rickreevesstudio.com;
• Pride of Erin, Painting by Dale Gallon, permission from Ms. Anne Gallon of Gallon Historical Art, Gettysburg, PA, www.Gallon.com;
• The Prince of Wales Flag courtesy of Erik Chipchase at mercenarygraphics.com. His e-mail address is echipchase@mercentary graphics.com..”

In addition to tours at the Gettysburg National Military Park, John also presents President Lincoln and the immortal Gettysburg Address, specifically in the context not only of the battle, but the enormous personal, political and policy pressures affecting the President when he prepared and how he presented it. He has spoken to Civil War Roundtables, Historical Societies, Rotaries and other church/civic/private clubs in PA, MD, CA and is scheduled to present in IL during 2013.

To contact John, please click here to reveal his email address.

In today’s Irish Brigade Post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Emeritus John Fitzpatrick explains some events at the dedication of the Irish Brigade Monument and President Kennedy’s visit to Ireland.

To see the previous Irish Brigade posts, click here.

Captain Fitzpatrick on the US Marine flight line, DaNang, Vietnam, March 1970, a US Air Force F-4 Phantom Fighter having just landed in the background.

This map shows the location of the Irish Brigade videos. Video #1-#30 were shown in our previous posts. Videos #30-#32 were taken by the monument to the New York Irish Brigade regiments.This map was created facing north at approximately 6:30 AM on Saturday, February 25, 2012.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide John Fitzpatrick is the host for this series on the Irish Brigade. He is standing by the New York Irish Brigade monument. In the right background is the monument to the 5th Michigan Infantry Regiment. This view was taken facing north at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, February 3, 2012.

In Video #31 (Videos #1-#30 were shown in our previous posts) Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide John Fitzpatrick describes some incidents at the dedication of the New York Irish Brigade monument on July 2, 1888. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, February 3, 2012.

This restored, second green flag of the 69th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment was donated by President Kennedy in 1963 and still hangs in the entrance to Leinster House, the home of the Parliament of the Republic of Ireland. This image is courtesy of the Houses of the Oireachtas, Leinster House, Dublin, Ireland

In Video #32 Licensed Battlefield Guide John Fitzpatrick explains President Kennedy’s visit to the Irish Parliament, and his dedication of the flag of the 69th New York to Ireland. Of course John meant to say that President Kennedy spoke to the Parliament of the free Republic of Ireland and donated the Second Green Flag of the 69th New York carried by that Regiment on this very field almost to the very day, “100 years later,” not “100 days later.” This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, February 3, 2012.
Here is one of the texts that John Fitzpatrick used for his Irish Brigade posts, and that he recommends: The Irish Brigade in the Civil War, The 69th New York and Other Irish Regiments of the Army of the Potomac by Joseph G. Bilby. This image was copied facing north at approximately 8:00 PM on Friday, November 18, 2011.
Here is one of the texts that John Fitzpatrick used for his Irish Brigade posts, and that he recommends: The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion by St. Clair Augustin Mulholland. This image was copied facing north at approximately 8:00 PM on Friday, November 18, 2011.
Here is one of the texts that John Fitzpatrick used for his Irish Brigade posts, and that he recommends: Memoirs of a Chaplain’s Life, Three Years in the Irish Brigade with the Army of the Potomac by Father William Corby. This image was copied facing north at approximately 8:00 PM on Friday, November 18, 2011.
Here is one of the texts that John Fitzpatrick used for his Irish Brigade posts, and that he recommends: The Great Hunger, Ireland 1845-1849 by Cecil Woodham-Smith. This image was copied facing north at approximately 8:00 PM on Friday, November 18, 2011.
Here is one of the texts that John Fitzpatrick used for his Irish Brigade posts, and that he recommends: The Famine Ships, The Irish Exodus to America by Edward Laxton. This image was copied facing north at approximately 8:00 PM on Friday, November 18, 2011.
Here is one of the texts that John Fitzpatrick used for his Irish Brigade posts, and that he recommends: The Fighting 69th, From Ground Zero to Baghdad by Sean Michael Flynn. This image was copied facing north at approximately 8:00 PM on Friday, November 18, 2011.

To see other posts by Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, click here.


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