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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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Hickey's death as recorded in his Confederate Service Record (Fold3.com)

Boston Immigrant to Crescent City Soldier: The Poignant Letters of William Hickey

I was recently contacted by historian Ed O’Riordan, who a number of years ago saved a remarkable series of letters sent home to Tipperary by an Irish emigrant in America, William Hickey. The letters chart the story of a young man who experienced the loneliness and uncertainty of life in a new country and his […]

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Firville House, Mallow. Robert Atkins wrote his letter to the Bishop of Kerry and resigned from the Confederate Army from here. (National Inventory of Architectural Heritage- www.niah.ie)

A Louisiana Tiger and Mosby Ranger in Ireland

In late 1863 Confederate Officer and Mallow native Captain Robert Going Atkins visited his home in Ireland on furlough. He was one of three brothers from the Co. Cork town who became involved in the American Civil War- two served the Confederacy while one supported the Union. While at home Robert took the opportunity to […]

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Antietam, Sharpsburg, Irish

‘Ten Feet East of a Walnut Stump': An Irishman at Sharpsburg

At 6am on the morning of 17th September 1862, Colonel Henry B. Strong and his largely Irish 6th Louisiana Volunteers were drawn up in woods slightly to the north-west of a small Dunker Church, near the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland. The regiment, which by this point in the war numbered little over a 100 men, […]

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Mary Sophia Hill: The ‘Florence Nightingale of the Army of Northern Virginia’

In New Orleans in 1861, Mary Hill and her brother Sam had an argument. The siblings were close; the emigrants from Dublin lived together, with Sam working as an engineer and Mary as a teacher. As a result of the fight, Sam left and joined Company F of the 6th Louisiana Volunteers, a largely Irish […]

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