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Screenshot of Google Fusion Table Heat Map, showing detail of Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C. and southern Pennsylvania, and highlighting the major battles where the 63rd New York suffered significant casualties

Mapping Death in the American Civil War

I have been experimenting recently with different ways of visualizing the impact of the American Civil War. I am interested in how we can combine data recorded in the 19th century with some of the new digital tools available, in an effort to find new ways of engaging with this history and potentially reveal further […]

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The Columbian Hospital where George Ridgway died (Library of Congress)

The Long Arm of War: The Impact of the American Civil War On A Dublin City Family

We have a tendency to view the American Civil War as a conflict that impacted only the United States and only people who lived there. This was not always true. The long arm of war could be felt with violent effect across oceans and continents. Some of those who had their lives changed utterly by […]

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Civil War Pensioner O.D. Kinsman in 1920, who Worked in the Pension Bureau (Library of Congress)

U.S. Military Pensioners in 19th Century Ireland: A Listing and Appeal

I have been spending an increasing amount of time looking at the records of U.S. military pensioners who lived in Ireland. Of the c. 170,000 Irish who fought in the American Civil War, only a relative handful ever returned to the country of their birth. The 1883 List of Pensioners on the Roll records a […]

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Eastern Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (Library of Congress)

How To Find American Civil War Veterans from Irish Counties: A Case Study of Mathew Dooley, Roscrea

I receive regular requests from around Ireland to provide information on men from specific parts of the country who served during the American Civil War. Pinning veterans down to a locality of origin is a difficult challenge, but it is often possible to reveal some of their stories. Having recently conducted  research on one fascinating […]

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A Company of the 170th New York Infantry, Corcoran's Irish Legion, 1863 (Library of Congress)

Embarking on PhD Research into the Irish and the American Civil War

As many of you will know I am an archaeologist by profession, and have spent much of my working life engaged in archaeological and historical analysis of the Irish military experience. I have been fortunate to examine many different areas over the years, be it Elizabethan-era battlefields, 17th century massacre sites, 19th century military fortifications or […]

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A Company of the 170th New York Infantry, Corcoran's Irish Legion, 1863 (Library of Congress)

The Ages and Origins of the Union’s Irish Soldiers

In 1869 Benjamin Apthorp Gould published Investigations in the Military and Anthropological Statistics of American Soldiers. Very much a scientific work of its time, it explored topics such as the nativity and ages of Union volunteers together with examinations of physical characteristics such as stature, complexion, dimension and proportions of the head and pulmonary capacity, to name […]

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Officers and men of the 9th Massachusetts (Library of Congress)

The Losses of 21 Irish Regiments during the American Civil War

The latest addition to the Resources section of the site are the fatality details of 21 Irish regiments who served the Union during the Civil War. Check out the ‘More Resources’ tab on the top right of the site and access the drop down menu to see what else is available. In 1889 William F. […]

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Civil War Era Army Medal of Honor (United States Army)

The 146 Irish Recipients of the Medal of Honor from the American Civil War

As part of the Irish-born Medal of Honor Project I have overhauled the Medal of Honor page to provide further information on the 146 Irish-born recipients from the Civil War I have thus far identified. A new introduction provides some background to the Irish awards, while more detailed entries for each of the men are also […]

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Civil War Era Army Medal of Honor (United States Army)

Irish-Born Medal of Honor Project

Although some 170,000 Irishmen served during the American Civil War, it is extremely difficult to gain a picture of what service was like for them across a broad spectrum. This is a symptom of the fact that for the majority of Irish troops their wartime experience occured outside ethnic Irish units. I have been considering […]

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The September/October 2012 issue of History Ireland Magazine, produced by Wordwell

An Appearance in History Ireland Magazine

While I was working as part of the curatorial team that developed the Soldiers & Chiefs Military History exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland I had the good fortune to be heavily involved in the identification and acquisition of items for the American Civil War gallery. Among the objects we secured on loan was […]

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