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Federal (USA)


John Burke

Home State: New York

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 63rd New York Infantry

Before Antietam

Colonel Burke was wounded in the first of the Seven Days' battles on June 25, 1862 at Oak Grove.

On the Campaign

It is not certain where Col Burke was during the battle on September 17th. LCol Fowler reported that "after the first advance [17 Sept] from the meadow upon the plowed field, the colonel not being present, as a necessity I, without orders, assumed command."

Apparently, during the brigade's charge on the Sunken Road, he "fell behind his troops, dismounted, and hid in a 'fold' in the ground, perhaps unable to face the enemy fire. Up to Antietam Burke had reportedly been a fine officer called, "a splendid tactician". The outcome of Burke's court martial was dismissal from the service"

"During the battle Gen Meagher was incapacitated and, as the senior colonel, Burke assumed command of the brigade for the remainder of September 17, and later was charged with abandoning his regiment during the fight."

References & notes

Source: Notes on a letter from Major Charles Chipman, 29th Mass, found online; also citing:
Walker, Francis, History of the Second Army Corps, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1887, pg. 131.