Seeking military records of Daniel & Michael Cunningham

I am looking for 2 brothers, Daniel & Michael "Mick" Cunningham, that likely joined the Irish Brigade during the Civil War. They didn't necessarily join together. I haven't been able to find any full list of volunteers. Perhaps such a thing doesn't exist, but to date I haven't found anything other than partial lists. Any help at all is greatly appreciated.

  • Linda,

    Can you provide more information on the two brother such as place of birth and DOB if known. Cunningham is a very common last name. I assume when your referring to the Irish Brigade you are referencing the 69th New York Infantry Regiment.

    Here is a photo of Officers of the "Irish Brigade"

    Harrison's Landing, Va. Group of the Irish Brigade:

    John Cunningham was on the rolls for CPT Felix Duffys Company G of the 69th

    Thomas, Bernard, and James Cunningham were all apart of the Co. I of the 69th:

    Michael Cunningham was found elsewhere here is his index card I think this is him but says he was born in Quebec

    click on image to enlarge.

    Daniel Cunningham: States on New York rolls that he was killed in action

    Hope this helps,

    Elliot Schneider

  • Hello Eliot and thank you for your response. I truly appreciate the time and effort you put into this research. I am certain I will find new and valuable information in the documents you have provided.

    To answer your questions, Michael & Daniel were both born in Ireland, 1837 & 1839 respectively. They came to America (New York) in 1853 with a 4-5 year old brother (my direct ancestor) and a 12 year old sister that died during the voyage from Dublin. No parents were present or named.

    Having researched the Cunningham surname for 30+ years, I am fully aware of it's commonality. Finally finding the ship's manifest and names of siblings only a year ago, this is the beginning of my education on this piece of the Civil War.

    Perhaps I wasn't clear and it's possible I don't yet know enough about the "Irish Brigade" to be clear. I was hoping to find record of men who specifically enlisted in the "Irish Brigade". Perhaps a sign of the times, but there seems to be much less documentation on this particular group.

    Again, I am grateful to have your input and I am always open to suggestions.

    Linda [Cunningham] Day-Emerson

  • Hi Linda,

    Welcome to History Hub,

    Do you know names of wives, children perhaps?

    Were your Cunningham's Union or Confederate?

    Do you know what state was their usual residence?

    What is the name of your direct ancestor?

    Here are youtube videos about The Irish Brigade

    The Irish Brigade in the American Civil War (Civil War Documentary) | Timeline - Bing video

    Civil War - Union Army "Irish Brigade" - A Short History - Bing video

    Alice Lane

    Research Volunteer

  • Thank you, Alice. I enjoyed watching to two documentaries you recommended.

    In case you missed it, this is the info I gave prior to your reply:

    "Michael & Daniel were both born in Ireland, 1837 & 1839 respectively. They came to America (New York) in 1853 with a 4-5 year old brother (my direct ancestor) and a 12 year old sister that died during the voyage from Dublin. No parents were present or named."

    After the 3 brothers arrived in New York, I lost track of them. I found my 2nd Great-Grandfather, John Henry Cunningham (the youngest of 3 brothers) working on a farm in WI (1860 US Census). I'm guessing he was put on an Orphan Train & sent Westward. As passed on to later generations, John's only recollection of family was coming from Ireland with his older brothers.

    My assumption is: The two older brothers remained in NY and by 1861-62 joined the Union Army. I have no knowledge of marriage or children.

    I have been involved in DNA research since 2004 and the ONLY two Y-DNA (Direct Male Descendants), Cunningham matches in the US (or anywhere) is my brother and another known descendant from John Henry.

    I have searched the NARA, Fold3, Ancestry, etc. for any and all information concerning the Civil War Era and specifically the "Irish Brigade". Since new information is digitized and presented constantly, I continue to go back to these resources.

    As Always, I am very grateful to have your input and I am open to any other suggestions.

    Thank you,

    Linda [Cunningham] Day-Emerson

  • Dear Ms. Day-Emerson,


    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


    What became known as the Irish Brigade was formed almost entirely by Irish-Americans from five units: The 63rd, 69th and 88th New York Infantry Regiments, and eventually the 116th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment and the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, a group famous for yelling “Faugh a Ballagh,” a Gaelic battle cry meaning “clear the way.”


    We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Indexes to the Carded Records of Soldiers Who Served in Volunteer Organizations During the Civil War in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762 - 1917 (Record Group 94) that includes 29 cards for a Daniel Cunningham and 81 cards for a Michael Cunningham. We also located the series Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Volunteer Organizations During the American Civil War in Record Group 94 that includes only 5 carded records of a Daniel Cunningham from West Virginia but none for a Michael Cunningham. Most of the service records in this series have been made available via microfilm and through digitization of the microfilm. Unfortunately, the records for most of the units in New York, Pennsylvania, and for Massachusetts Volunteers have not been microfilmed or digitized. For access to the non-digitized records. please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at


    In addition, we located the Regimental and Company Books of Civil War Volunteer Union Organizations, 1861 - 1867 in Record Group 94 that includes the Regimental and Company Books of the 63rd New York Infantry Regiment, the Regimental and Company Books of the 69th New York Infantry Regiment, the Regimental and Company Book of the 88th New York Infantry Regiment, and the Regimental and Company Books of the 116th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. These records have not been digitized. For more information, please contact RDT1.


    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


    We searched online and located an article titled Sláinte! Celebrating the Irish Brigade’s Contributions to America that may be of interest.


    We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


  • Linda,

    Sorry for the delay were you not able to view the muster rolls I sent you in my earlier thread. Those musters rolls are record of men that would have enlisted and for some served through the war. It looks like you had a few ancestors that served in other regiments before going to some of those infamous "Irish Brigade". If you cant see them please let me know.

  • Hello Elliot.

    Thank you again for your response. Yes, I was able to see the documents you provided. I am hoping that I can tie some of the information in to my "boys".

    • On the marriage record for my 2nd G-Grandfather, I have his mother's name, Anne/Anna Rabbit. I know she never made it to the US.
    • Same for his/their father, James or John Cunningham. So I can eliminate some of the documents right away.
    • Also, the only 2 names I can prove right now are Daniel (Dan) & Michael (Mick) as being family members.
    • The ship's manifest states their birthplace as Ireland.
    • As for my 2nd GG, John Henry, I have him completely traced from arrival in 1853 through his death in 1910.

    Currently, I am looking for marriage records for the brothers so I can possibly find any State or Federal Census records. Like you said, it is such a common name and the flux of Irish at the time of the Famine complicates it further.

    I am very grateful for the information you provided on your earlier post and the time you spent on gathering it. When I do find more information I will certainly post it here.

    Linda [Cunningham] Day-Emerson

  • Thank you for this wealth of information, Jamie. I will be looking into all of this.

    I appreciate your time.

    Linda [Cunningham] Day-Emerson