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Father William Corby, Chaplain

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Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org

Father William Corby, Chaplain – On the hot afternoon of July 2, 1863, the Union Army's Irish Brigade, a unit composed predominantly of Catholic immigrants, waited for the order to go into action. It was the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, a three-day conflagration that saw over 50,000 casualties between both sides. Just before the Irish Brigade went into the fight, its chaplain, Father William Corby, climbed up onto a boulder to give the men general absolution from their sins. Since there was no time for individual confession, he talked briefly about patriotism, bravery, and penance before pronouncing the formula. About 320 of the brigade's 530 men fell in the wheat field that day, but the tide was turning in favor of the Union.

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