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Pat Murphy of Meagher's Brigade (The British Library)

‘In This Song I Will Make Mention of the Sons of Erin’: Researching Irish Songs from the American Civil War

From early in the American Civil War songs began to emerge focusing on aspects of the Irish experience of the conflict. Many of these tunes remain familiar to us today, but beyond their often rousing lyrics, what were they originally intended to convey? To explore this further I am delighted to welcome a guest post […]

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The medical image taken of Robert Jenkins after his wounding in 1865, only months after arriving in America (National Museum of Civil War Medicine)

Recruited Straight Off The Boat? On The Trail of Emigrant Soldiers From the SS Great Western

The medical images of Civil War soldiers taken towards the end of the war are undeniably compelling. Friend of the site Brendan Hamilton has previously explored the story of one of these men in a guest post, which you can read here. It was while researching another wounded Irishman that Brendan uncovered an extraordinary link […]

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“Walt Whitman and Peter Doyle” (c. 1869) Source: Ohio Wesleyan University, Bayley Collection. Public Domain.

‘I Will Sing the Song of Companionship’: Peter Doyle– Former Confederate, Walt Whitman’s Muse & Lover

I am very pleased today to have a guest post from historian Liam Hogan. Liam has spent many years exploring this history of Limerick City and County, research that has seen the production of resources such as this site, which examines Limerick 100 years ago, and this interactive map that illustrates the locations where Limerick […]

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A soldier springs the trapdoor, with men looking on from the trees beyond (Library of Congress)

Edward Wellington Boate: The Andersonville POW Who Came to the Defence of Henry Wirz

Waterford’s Edward Wellington Boate belongs to the large cohort of Irish journalists who ended up fighting, or in someway participating, in the American Civil War. His story is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating. A member of the Tammany regiment, the 42nd New York, his capture and incarceration as a POW set him on a path […]

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The White House of the Confederacy in 1865 (Library of Congress)

The Irish Nanny in the (Other) White House

The fundamental purpose of the Irish in the American Civil War site is to engage people with the history of Irish-America, principally through the stories of those who experienced life around the middle of the nineteenth century. I am always delighted to get opportunities to feature guest posts on the blog, which often provide different perspectives on this history. I was recently […]

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The grave of Medal of Honor recipient Martin McHugh (Machelle Long)

Can You Help Find Medal of Honor Recipient Martin McHugh’s Descendants?

A previous post on the site looked at the efforts in 2012 to honour Seaman Martin McHugh in Danville, Illinois. A Medal of Honor recipient for his actions aboard the USS Cincinnati at Vicksburg on 27th May 1863, Martin had lain in an unmarked grave for over 100 years. Machelle Long played a central role in having Martin remembered […]

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James Rowan O'Beirne during the American Civil War

James Rowan O’Beirne and the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

A previous post on the site explored the role of James Rowan O’Beirne in the hunt for John Wilkes Booth following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. When Journalist Jody Moylan got in touch with regard to American Civil War veterans who were natives of Roscommon, O’Beirne immediately sprang to mind. Jody was captivated by O’Beirne’s […]

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Alvan Gillem, James Wall Scully's friend and mentor. Gillem rose to become a General before war's end and continued in the regular army after 1865. (Library of Congress)

James Wall Scully’s Unpublished Letters: Corinth, Commissions and Commanding Officers, May 1862

The latest batch of James Wall Scully letters (kindly provided by Anthony McCan) sees Henry Halleck’s forces continuing their slow movement towards Corinth, Mississippi in May 1862. The Kilkenny man remains preoccupied with his quest for a commission, and signs are appearing that the relationship between he and his friend and mentor Alvan Gillem are […]

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Pittsburg Landing as it looked in April 1862. Sketch by Alfred Waud. (Library of Congress)

James Wall Scully’s Unpublished Letters: Advance on Corinth, April-May 1862

In the latest instalment of letters from Kilkenny native James Wall Scully, the Irishman tells his wife of manoeuvres by Union forces towards Corinth, Mississippi. He laments his continued failure to hear news of a commission, and grows concerned as he has not received news from home. Meanwhile there is news of promotion for his friend and […]

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Map of Europe showing nativity of members of the 90th Illinois Infantry (Information by Jim Swan, Illustration by Sara Nylund)

Where Were ‘Irish’ Soldiers From?: A Case Study of the 90th Illinois Infantry

Two previous posts on this site (here and here) examined the nativity of soldiers in the 23rd Illinois Infantry, ‘Mulligan’s Irish Brigade.’ This research was carried out to determine how ‘Irish’ the regiment really was, and where within the United States and Ireland the men hailed from. Jim Swan, friend of the site and author of Chicago’s […]

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