Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclamation
His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick

Whereas The 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was recruited in Boston during the fall of 1861, mustered into the federal service at Cambridge on December 13 of that year and received its initial training under the command of Col. William Monteith at Camp Cameron on the Cambridge/Somerville line through early 1862; and

Whereas A majority of the soldiers and officers who volunteered for service in the ranks of the 28th Massachusetts were of Irish birth or heritage, known for carrying a distinctive green regimental flag in place of its state colors and also for its Gaelic war cry of “Faugh a Ballagh” (Clear the Way); and

Whereas For most of the civil war, under the command of Col. Richard Byrnes,  the unit served as the Fourth Regiment of the legendary Irish Brigade; and

Whereas After receiving its baptism by fire at the Battle of Secessionville, South Carolina, in June 1862, the 28th Massachusetts saw action in most of the Civil War’s major eastern theatre engagements – Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Overland Campaign, and the siege of Petersburg – was present for Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, marched in the Grand Review through Washington, D.C., marking the end of the war and mustered for discharge at Readville in June 1865; and

Whereas Roughly one-quarter of the 1,746 men who served in the 28th Massachusetts unit were killed, died of wounds or disease, were taken prisoner or reported missing, ranking the unit seventh in total losses among all regiments in the Union Army; and

Whereas It is appropriate that the citizens of the Commonwealth honor the service and sacrifices of the Irish Volunteers who served in the original regiment,

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim December 13th, 2011 to be,

28th Massachusetts Irish Volunteers Day

And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this ninth day of December, in the year two thousand and eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-fifth.        

By His Excellency                 
Deval L. Patrick                    
Governor of the Commonwealth 

William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth 

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts