Posts filed under: Illinois

  Of all the Naval and Marine Medals of Honor awarded during the American Civil War, a little over 15% were earned by men born in Ireland. But being recognised for wartime valor didn’t necessarily put bread on the table...
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The afternoon of 20th September 1863 found Privates Daniel Harrington and Denis O’Leary facing into a maelstrom. Fate and circumstance had placed them on the line at Chickamauga, as a tide of Confederate infantry swept towards the position they had...
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James E. Kinsella was born in Ireland in 1865 and emigrated with his parents to America in 1872. Settling first in New York the family later moved on to Chicago, where James eventually took a position as a clerk in...
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This week I will be continuing my county-specific examinations of the Irish experience of the American Civil War, when I give a lecture in Galway City Museum on the impact of the conflict on the Tribesmen (and women!). I come...
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The nature of the Widow’s and Dependent’s Pension Files means that the stories they tell are most usually ones of sorrow. The experiences they relate generally pertain specifically to the Civil War, but on occasions the information within them can...
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In May 1871 an elderly Monaghan woman, ‘infirm and broken in body’, came into Chicago from her ‘Irish Shanty’ on the open prairie outside the city. Possessing little other than ‘her scanty wardrobe’, she had come to meet her attorney....
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Previous posts on the site have looked at Irish veterans of the American Civil War in the 20th century (see for example here and here). As their numbers dwindled, many newspapers ran stories about local old soldiers, who were transformed into...
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Thomas Finnell was a 35 year-old Private in Battery I of the 2nd Illinois Light Artillery at the Battle of Chickamauga. During the heat of the fighting on 20th September, his battery was worked especially hard. The stress and confusion...
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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...
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In 1860 the Collins family lived in LaSalle, Illinois. The head of the house, Jeremiah, was a blacksmith, and he and his wife Ellen had done well for themselves. This was despite the fact that they had moved to their new...
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