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Patrick O'Dea wrote to his mother money from a camp such as this in January 1863 (Winter Camp of the 16th Michigan, 1863 by Edwin Forbes, Library of Congress)

The Civil War Story of Patrick O’Dea and his ‘Beloved Mother’

In May 1861 Patrick O’Dea went to war. Leaving his home in Cattaraugus County, New York, the twenty-year old Co. Clare native left behind his widowed mother, Mary, who he was helping to support on her small holding near the town of Salamanca. Patrick enlisted for two years in the ‘Irish Rifles’, the 37th New […]

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The Temporary Field Hospital set up by Richard Curran behind Haystacks at Antietam (Deeds of Valor)

Medal of Honor: Assistant Surgeon Richard Curran, 33rd New York Infantry

In the late morning of 17th September 1862, the first elements of Major-General William B. Franklin’s Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac arrived on the Antietam battlefield after a forced march. The bloodiest day in United States history was already in full swing, and Franklin’s lead unit, Colonel William H. Irwin’s 3rd Brigade of the […]

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Private Barney McAvoy, 154th New York Infantry (Library of Congress image, with thanks to Mark Dunkelman for providing a copy)

Senior Citizen Soldier: Private Barney McAvoy, 154th New York Infantry

Much attention is rightly given to those boy soldiers who lied about their age to participate in conflicts such as the American Civil War. However, they were not the only individuals who provided false information to take up arms between 1861 and 1865. For some, it was the fact that they exceeded the age limit […]

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Battle of Jonesboro

Medal of Honor: First Sergeant Patrick Irwin, 14th Michigan Infantry

It is just after 4p.m. on 1st September 1864, and the men of the XIV Corps of the Army of the Cumberland are ordered to the attack. Their objective is the right flank of Confederate Lieutenant-General William Hardee’s Corps, which is deployed just to the north of the town of Jonesboro, Georgia. If they succeed […]

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