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The Battle of Cedar Creek

Remembering the Reilly’s at Cedar Creek- And How Ireland Forgets

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek. That battle witnessed many terrible scenes, but there were surely few to match that experienced by Irish emigrant Charles Reilly, who went into the fight shoulder to shoulder with his young son. To remember their story I wrote a column which appeared today on […]

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An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with President Barack Obama in The White House (Wikipedia)

American Independence Day: Remembering How Ireland Forgets

Today is the 4th July, Independence Day in the United States. Throughout the day there will undoubtedly be a number of Irish-American themed stories and soundbytes in Ireland, as is appropriate given our historic links with the United States. From my own perspective, it is also a day to reflect on just how much Ireland […]

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Nicholas Collins. Died 6th June 1862.

Memorial Day: The Irish-American Dead of Cold Harbor National Cemetery

During my recent trip to the United States I visited a number of National Cemeteries, including Glendale, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Cold Harbor and Arlington. Many of the headstones in these cemeteries stand as testament to the extent of Irish and Irish-American involvement in the American Civil War. In each cemetery I photographed many graves where ‘Irish’ […]

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Captain Robert Halpin from Co. Wicklow was commemorated in a series of famous mariner stamps by An Post in 2003. Although most famous forr laying telegraphic cables, he was also a blockade runner in the American Civil War

Has Ireland Missed the Last Opportunity to Remember Her American Civil War Dead?

Last year we had an appeal on the site asking readers to consider proposing Irish involvement in the American Civil War as an appropriate topic to be covered in An Post’s (the Irish postal service) 2015 stamp programme. A number of you did so. An Post were in touch last week to say that the […]

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Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building at it's Dedication in 1914 (Mark Dunkelman Collection)

Civil War Memorial in Cattaraugus County, New York, Under Threat

Mark Dunkelman, historian of the 154th New York Infantry, has alerted me to disturbing news of plans to demolish a civil war memorial- the Cattaraugus County Historical and Memorial Building- and is seeking readers assistance in highlighting the issue. Mark has published extensively on the 154th New York, with his books covering everything from the […]

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Custer marching towards the Washita, 1868 (Library of Congress)

Worthy of Study? Worthy of Remembrance? The Irish Killed at the Washita and Wounded Knee

I have been thinking quite a lot recently about the type of historic events we choose to explore (and in some cases commemorate). This was spurred by the recent laying of a wreath by the Irish President Michael D. Higgins to the memory of the San Patricios, the largely Irish group who deserted from the […]

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The Photograph of Company B, 170th New York with the card-players in the foreground- George Silkworth, John Vandewater, George Thomas and Wash Keating (Photographic History of the Civil War/National Archives)

‘Today I am a Boy Again': A Civil War Veteran Faces an Image of His Past

To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1911, the ten-volume Photographic History of the Civil War was published. One of the photographs showed a group of Union reserves on picket-duty in c.1863, relaxing by reading, chatting and playing cards. It is surely one of the most evocative images of troops in […]

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