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Daniel Divver with his helmet from Eagle Engine 13 (Our Firemen)

Daniel Divver: An Irish Fireman in the American Civil War

The Irish community in New York has long links to the Fire Service. Large numbers of immigrant Irishmen served in the city’s Engine, Hose and Hook & Ladder companies during the 1850s and 1860s. In an era where insurance firms paid independent companies to put out fires, rivalry between firemen was often fierce. However, when […]

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Liggon and Company's Tobacco Warehouse as it appeared in 1861, where Captain Hugh McQuade died on 26th December that year. (Wartime sketch by W.A. Abbott in 'Richmond Prisons 1861-1862' by William H. Jeffrey, 1893)

‘I Know That Your Poor Heart Trembles': An Irish Mother Receives Word of Her Wounded Son, 1861

For the families of soldiers in the American Civil War, the possibility that their loved ones might not have a ‘good death’ was a constant fear. In a society accustomed to experiencing death by their families bedside, the remoteness of many Civil War fatalities denied family members the opportunity to witness their relation’s all important final moments. An awareness of this ‘need […]

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General Hospital No. 1 in Richmond where Sister Valentine wrote to Hugh McQuade's mother (Library of Congress)

‘It is Colonel Corcoran I Blame': An Unhappy Irishman After Bull Run

The Georgia Daily Constitutionalist received permission in July 1861 to publish a letter received by one of its Irish readers. It was a note from the Georgia Irishman’s brother, who had fought with the 69th New York State Militia at Bull Run and had been wounded in that battle. Although the authenticity, circumstances and motivations behind the […]

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Firville House, Mallow. Robert Atkins wrote his letter to the Bishop of Kerry and resigned from the Confederate Army from here. (National Inventory of Architectural Heritage- www.niah.ie)

A Louisiana Tiger and Mosby Ranger in Ireland

In late 1863 Confederate Officer and Mallow native Captain Robert Going Atkins visited his home in Ireland on furlough. He was one of three brothers from the Co. Cork town who became involved in the American Civil War- two served the Confederacy while one supported the Union. While at home Robert took the opportunity to […]

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First Battle of Bull Run (Kurz & Allison 1889)

The Irishman They Couldn’t Kill: Wounded Six Times at First Bull Run

Irishman John Donovan served with the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry in the first major battle of the American Civil War, at Bull Run, Virginia. His unit fought side by side with the 69th New York State Militia, as part of the brigade commanded by William Tecumseh Sherman. For Donovan, this first day of fighting on 21st July […]

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Officers of the 69th New York State Militia pose beside one of the guns in Fort Corcoran prior to the Battle of Bull Run (Library of Congress)

Captain James Haggerty 69th N.Y.S.M. and the Battle of Bull Run

Shortly before midday on 21st July 1861 Captain James Haggerty of the 69th New York State Militia splashed across Bull Run creek, Virginia with the just over 1000 Irishmen of his unit. He and his comrades were moving to add their weight to an attack on Confederate forces who were retreating from their position on […]

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