[Includes 8 photograph illustrations]
On the northern half of Times Square in the heart of New York is a square named after Father Francis Patrick Duffy, a priest whose faith in God was only matched by the attachment to his flock. He is mainly known for his legendary exploits as chaplain of the Fighting Sixty-Ninth regiment (renumbered the 165th in Federal Army List) in the First World War. The regiment, composed of mainly troops of Irish heritage, had historically been at the forefront of the Civil War fighting at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. When the regiment marched to battle in the First World War, the troops were also mainly of an Irish Catholic background, headed by Father Duffy, who was never content to see the men of his charge go off to the front alone and frequently went into the maelstrom of battle as a stretcher bearer. Duffy and his regiment fought at Lunéville enduring a gas attack, before engaging at the Battle of the Ourcq and taking part in the two major American offensives at St. Mihiel and in the Argonne.
Perhaps no finer compliment to him was paid by the regimental commander who stated that he and his actions were the key to the keeping unit’s morale high. A fine memoir by a towering figure in American First World War history.
“Diary/memoir, June 1917—April 1919. Duffy was chaplain of the 165th Infantry, 42nd Division. An exciting account by the legendary chaplain, recounting his exploits in St. Mihiel, the Argonne, and elsewhere.”- p. 120, Edward Lengel, World War I Memories, 2004, The Scarecrow Press, Lanham Maryland, Toronto, Oxford.