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The #ForgottenIrish of Co. Donegal

The latest #ForgottenIrish story is now available on Storify. It forms part of the continuing effort to raise awareness in Ireland of the c. 200,000 Irishmen who fought in the American Civil War, and their families. As with the previous Storify stories it is based on a Twitter tweetathon. So far #ForgottenIrish has covered Cork […]

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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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An 1865 plan of the dispositions at Fort Blakely, Alabama in April 1865, where John Patton was made a prisoner for the last time (Wikipedia)

‘So Mote It Be': A Ramelton, Co. Donegal Mason in the Confederate Army

Surviving the American Civil War was no guarantee of a long and healthy life. Donegal native John Patton had served with distinction throughout the four years of conflict, first with the New  Orleans Crescent Rifles and subsequently in the 1st Mississippi Light Artillery. Despite all the hazards he had endured, death came for him at […]

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Menomen O'Donnell and his family in later years (Deborah Maroney)

Medal of Honor: First Lieutenant Menomen O’Donnell, 11th Missouri Infantry

On the 22nd May 1863 Ulysses S. Grant launched an assault against the Rebel defences at Vicksburg, Mississippi. His previous effort to take the ‘Gibraltar of the Confederacy’ by storm, on 19th May, had ended in failure. Now he was trying again. At around 10 in the morning following an artillery barrage, blue-coated infantry surged forward across a […]

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Doe Castle, near Creeslough, Co. Donegal.

In Search of Michael Corcoran’s Ireland

Michael Corcoran emigrated to the United States in 1849, shortly before his 22nd birthday. In the fourteen years that remained to him he became one of Irish-America’s most popular and influential leaders. Rising to Colonel of the 69th New York State Militia he notoriously refused to parade the regiment on the occasion of the Prince […]

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'Michigan Bridget' as she was portrayed in post war illustrations (Livermore)

Bridget Diver: Custer’s Female Wolverine

Previous posts on the site have explored the stories of remarkable Irish women such as Jennie Hodgers, who served as Albert D.J. Cashier in the 95th Illinois Infantry, and Mary Sophia Hill, who accompanied her brother to the front and became known as the ‘Florence Nightingale of the Confederacy.’ Another such woman was Bridget Diver*, whose […]

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The furling of a Civil War era flag at the Martin McHugh Ceremony, April 21, 2012

Medal of Honor: Seaman Martin McHugh Remembered

A recent post told the story of Landsman Thomas E. Corcoran, a Dubliner who received the Congressional Medal of Honor having helped to save the lives of some of his crewmates aboard the stricken USS Cincinnati on 27th May 1863. The vessel had been disabled by fire from the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg, having been repeatedly struck by enemy shells. […]

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Michael Dougherty, 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry, in later life

Christmas as a Prisoner of War, Richmond, 1863

Private Michael Dougherty of Falcarragh, Co. Donegal, served in the ranks of the 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry during the American Civil War. His bravery in combat would be recognised in 1897, when he was awarded the Medal of Honor. However, as Christmas Day 1863 approached the only thing on Michael Dougherty’s mind was survival, as he […]

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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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Andersonville on 17th August 1864

Medal of Honor: Private Michael Dougherty, 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry

On 10th December 1864, Michael Dougherty made the following entry in his diary: I feel no better. My diary is full; it is too bad, but cannot get any more. Good bye all; I did not think it would hold out so long when I commenced. Yours sufferingly, Michael Dougherty, Co. B, 13th Pa. Volunteer […]

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