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The W.P. Gunnell House where Brigadier-General Michael Corcoran died (Photograph Dave Sullivan)

‘Our Orphan Children Will Not Soon Forget Him': The Death of General Michael Corcoran

150 years ago, on the evening of Tuesday 22nd December, 1863, a stunned Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Reed prepared to send a message that promised to send shockwaves through New York City. The commander of the 69th New York National Guard Artillery dictated the following telegram to be immediately communicated to the press: FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE , Tuesday, […]

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Doe Castle, near Creeslough, Co. Donegal.

In Search of Michael Corcoran’s Ireland

Michael Corcoran emigrated to the United States in 1849, shortly before his 22nd birthday. In the fourteen years that remained to him he became one of Irish-America’s most popular and influential leaders. Rising to Colonel of the 69th New York State Militia he notoriously refused to parade the regiment on the occasion of the Prince […]

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General Hospital No. 1 in Richmond where Sister Valentine wrote to Hugh McQuade's mother (Library of Congress)

‘It is Colonel Corcoran I Blame': An Unhappy Irishman After Bull Run

The Georgia¬†Daily Constitutionalist¬†received permission in July 1861 to publish a letter received by one of its Irish readers. It was a note from the Georgia Irishman’s brother, who had fought with the 69th New York State Militia at Bull Run and had been wounded in that battle. Although the authenticity, circumstances and motivations behind the […]

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The Funeral of General Michael Corcoran

Michael Corcoran was something of a celebrity in 1860s New York. The Co. Sligo native hit the headlines in 1860 when as Colonel of the 69th New York State Militia he refused to parade during the visit of the Prince of Wales. His court-martial had not occurred by the outbreak of the war, and at […]

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