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The White House of the Confederacy in 1865 (Library of Congress)

The Irish Nanny in the (Other) White House

The fundamental purpose of the Irish in the American Civil War site is to engage people with the history of Irish-America, principally through the stories of those who experienced life around the middle of the nineteenth century. I am always delighted to get opportunities to feature guest posts on the blog, which often provide different perspectives on this history. I was recently […]

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Massaponax Church, Virginia

Timothy O’Sullivan Captures an Image to ‘Live in History’, 150 Years Ago Today

150 years ago today Irish photographer Timothy O’Sullivan struggled up the stairs of Massaponax Church, Virginia with his equipment. Time was of the essence as he sought to capitalise on a fantastic opportunity to expose what he must have hoped would be an image to remember. As it transpired, the series of photographs he created that day […]

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North Anna River, Virginia. Pontoon bridges across the North Anna, below railroad bridge, where a portion of the 2nd Corps under General Hancock crossed, May 23, 1864 (Timothy O'Sullivan/ Library of Congress)

150 Years Ago: An Irish Photographer Captures the Overland Campaign

As I head to Virginia to visit some of the sites relating to the start of the 1864 Overland Campaign, I have been looking again at the contemporary photographs captured during that momentous summer. Irishmen were not just present among the fighting men of the two opposing forces, they were also there to document the […]

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The area of Pickett's Charge, Gettysburg (Wikipedia)

In Search of Willie: Seeking John Mitchel’s Son After Pickett’s Charge

John Mitchel was an Irish revolutionary who had been deported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1848. He escaped to America in 1853 and settled initially in New York. Mitchel found himself increasingly disillusioned with the form of capitalism he felt was being practised in the Northern States, where large numbers of people lived in poverty. […]

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Sheridan's Final Charge at the Battle of Third Winchester (Library of Congress)

‘For The Love of the Holy Mother, Blow Out My Brains': An Irishman Dies at Third Winchester

John Hines was a Private in Company F of the 34th Massachusetts Infantry. He was described as a ‘rough, coarse, uneducated Irishman, with a keener nose for whisky than any other man living.’ He would be able to seek out the spirit even when it was thought there was none for miles, and often returned to […]

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The final Confederate retreat at the Battle of Kernstown by Alfred Waud (Library of Congress)

The 1st Virginia (Irish) Battalion at Kernstown, 1862

On 23rd March 1862 Stonewall Jackson entered into his first serious clash in the Shenandoah Valley, at the Battle of Kernstown. The fight was part of what became known as the 1862 Valley Campaign, a series of engagements that would make Jackson a legend. However, at Kernstown the Confederate General had miscalculated; he had mistaken a […]

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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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Officers of the 69th New York State Militia pose beside one of the guns in Fort Corcoran prior to the Battle of Bull Run (Library of Congress)

Captain James Haggerty 69th N.Y.S.M. and the Battle of Bull Run

Shortly before midday on 21st July 1861 Captain James Haggerty of the 69th New York State Militia splashed across Bull Run creek, Virginia with the just over 1000 Irishmen of his unit. He and his comrades were moving to add their weight to an attack on Confederate forces who were retreating from their position on […]

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Fitzhugh Lee and Bolen

An Irishwoman Supplies the Confederacy

The last post on Irish in the American Civil War brought you part of the story of Bridget Bolen. The Co. Cork native had to petition the U.S. Government for amnesty in 1865 due to her falling within the 13th exception to the general amnesty, namely being a voluntary participant in the rebellion who held taxable […]

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Bridget Bolin Signature

A Corkwoman’s Civil War Confederate Amnesty Petition

On 29th May 1865 United States President Andrew Johnson issued an Amnesty Proclamation for those who directly or indirectly participated in the rebellion. However, the amnesty did not cover everyone in the former Confederate States; fourteen exceptions were outlined, and those who fell within any of them were required to petition the President directly to […]

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