Author Archives | Damian Shiels
African-Americans being attacked during the Memphis Race Riots of 1866, an incident in which the majority of the rioters were Irish (Library of Congress)

“The Blacks Fought Like Hell”: Exploring Racism & Racist Violence through the Words & Actions of Two Union Irish Cavalrymen

This month is Black History Month in the United States. To mark that occasion, I wanted to once again explore an aspect of the often-fraught relationship between Irish-Americans and African-Americans during the Civil War era. It is a topic we return to regularly on the site (e.g. see here, here, here and here).  The concept […]

Continue Reading
John Warren, Captain of Company B, 63rd New York, Irish Brigade. Born in Clonakilty, Co. Cork, he was discharged in September 1862. (Kane 2002: 134)

Union Rebels: The Erin’s Hope– Fenian Gunrunning by Civil War Veterans

Large numbers of Irish and Irish-American Civil War soldiers were also members of the Fenian Brotherhood. The workings of this movement, and how it interacted with the conflict of 1861-65, has been the topic of a number of posts on this site. However, we have not previously looked in any detail at the participation of Civil […]

Continue Reading
RTE Radio 1

The History Show American Civil War Specials– RTE Radio One Podcasts

Dr. Myles Dungan has been a long-standing advocate for developing a greater understanding in Ireland of our links to the American Civil War. The Irish relationship with the United States is one he has explored on several occasions in his books, such as Distant Drums: Irish Soldiers in Foreign Armies and How the Irish Won the West. He was also […]

Continue Reading
Sunset on the Stones River battlefield during my visit in November 2014 (Damian Shiels)

Irishmen in the U.S. Regulars: A Case Study of the Battle of Stones River

The main focus of attention when it comes to Irish service in the American Civil War is understandably on ethnic Irish regiments and brigades. However, as has been highlighted many times on this site, the vast majority of Irish servicemen experienced the conflict outside such formations. But in the army there was one group of non-ethnic […]

Continue Reading
Galway

Audio Lecture: Galway and the American Civil War

During the course of each year I normally give a number of county-focused lectures around Ireland, concentrating on specific Irish emigrant stories from different localities. I an conscious that many of the readers of the site do not have an opportunity to attend these, so I was pleased to be alerted to the fact that one is […]

Continue Reading
Another image of Biddy, taken with some of the younger generations of her family. Without the events of the American Civil War, she would likely have never returned to Dingle (Mossy Donegan)

Paddy Bawn Brosnan & the American Civil War: The Famed Gaelic Footballer’s Links to Kerry’s Greatest Conflict

On 14th September 1947, New York witnessed a unique sporting occasion. In front of more than 30,000 people at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, the Gaelic footballers of Kerry and Cavan did battle in what remains the only All-Ireland Football Championship Final ever to be held outside of Ireland. Among the men who donned the […]

Continue Reading
Thomas Barry (National Museum of Health & Medicine CP 0960)

Photographs of Wounded Irishmen from the American Civil War

The sometimes captivating, sometimes horrifying images of wounded soldiers taken in Washington D.C.’s  Harewood Hospital in 1865 have featured in a number of posts on this site (see Looking into the Face of a Dying Irish Soldier, One of Our Brave Men Twice Wounded: An Image of Corporal William Kelleher, 125th New York Infantry and Recruited Straight […]

Continue Reading
The envelope which contained Peter Finegan's letter to his parents, which is analysed below (Fold3.com/NARA)

Analysing 19th Century Emigration, A Case Study: Dissecting One Irishman’s Letter Home

As regular readers are aware, I have long been an advocate of the need to study the thousands of Irish-American letters contained within the Civil War Widows & Dependent Pension Files. This unique resource offers insights into 19th Century Irish emigration that do not exist anywhere else. Their value to Irish, as well as American, history […]

Continue Reading
69th New York Soldiers Captured on 30th October 1864 by Muster Date.

‘Our Pickets Were Gobbled’: Assessing the Mass Capture of the 69th New York, Petersburg, 1864

On 30th October 1864 the famed 69th New York Infantry suffered one of it’s most embarrassing moments of the war, when a large number of its men were captured having barely fired a shot. In the latest post I have used a number of sources to explore this event, seeking to uncover details about those […]

Continue Reading
Emancipation, by Thomas Nast, 1865 (Library of Congress)

‘Slavery, At Last, Is At An End’: Reporting on the Ratification of the 13th Amendment in Ireland

150 years ago today the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing slavery was ratified– it’s adoption was proclaimed on 18th December by Secretary of State William H. Seward. As we have explored on the site, the ideological motivations for the service of Union Irish soldiers (where it existed) seem to have been strongly tilted towards preserving […]

Continue Reading
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,596 other followers