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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James Wall Scully’s Unpublished Letters: Corinth, Commissions and Commanding Officers, May 1862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James Wall Scully’s Unpublished Letters: Advance on Corinth, April-May 1862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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James Wall Scully in later life (Photo Courtesy of Anthony McCan)

James Wall Scully’s Unpublished Letters: Field of Shiloh, April 1862

Two previous posts on the site have reproduced unpublished letters relating to Kilkenny native James Wall Scully. The first dealt with the Battle of Mill Springs while the second gave account of his experiences at Shiloh. Anthony McCan who has conducted the research on Scully has kindly provided further letters which carry the story forward […]

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General Michael Kelly Lawler Memorial, Equality, Illinois

Fighting Mike Lawler: Abe Lincoln’s Lilywhite General

As part of continued efforts to raise awareness in Ireland of the Irish contribution during the American Civil War, members of the Irish American Civil War Trail team have been attempting to highlight local figures across the country. This piece on Kildare man General Michael Kelly Lawler was prepared by Robert Doyle, and appeared in this […]

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James McKay Rorty, Recording Secretary of the Potomac Circle (Image Brian Pohanka: James McKay Rorty, An Appreciation)

Spreading Fenianism in the Army of the Potomac

This site has touched briefly on the Fenian movement a number of times in the past, and it is a topic worthy of further exploration. Who were the members, and how did they maintain their involvement with the cause while away in the field during the American Civil War? Michael H. Kane is an expert on the Fenian […]

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American Civil War Recruitment Poster for The Phoenix Regiment (Civil War Treasures from the New York Historical Society, via Library of Congress

Federal Recruitment of Irish Militiamen during the American Civil War

Will Butler is currently undertaking research on the Irish amateur military tradition in the British Army between 1854 and 1945. As he explains below, Will has come across intriguing evidence for the efforts of Federal recruiters to tap into this manpower pool in Ireland, as they sought to augment Union armies during the Civil War. […]

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