Tag Archives: 69th New York
26. A final general view from the Observation Tower incorporating the Sunken Lane at left (marked by fence line) and the field across which the Irish Brigade advanced at right.

The Irish Brigade at Antietam: A Photographic Tour

Many of the posts on this site explore elements of the Irish experience at the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest single day of the Civil War, fought on 17th September 1862. Many of the widow’s pension files that I now concentrate on were created as a result of those day’s events. It was also a […]

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The new Ballymote Monument

New Ballymote Monument to Irish of the American Civil War

Towards the end of April I received notification that a new monument dedicated to Irish soldiers of the American Civil War is being unveiled in Ballymote, Co. Sligo next weekend. This is a positive step in what has been, up to this point, extremely disappointing engagement in Ireland with the history and heritage of her […]

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Irish emigrants sending money back to Ireland from the Emigrants Savings Bank in 1880 (Library of Congress)

‘As Good A Chance to Escape As Any Other’: A Cork Soldier’s Aid to His Family in Ireland, 1864

Occasionally, I am asked why any Irish impacted by the American Civil War should be remembered in Ireland. After all, the argument goes, these people left our shores, and they weren’t fighting for ‘Ireland.’ In response, I usually point out that many were Famine-era emigrants, who often felt they had little choice but to leave. […]

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Officers of the 63rd New York Infantry with their Colors. This image was likely taken in late 1863/ early 1864 (Library of Congress)

Bowld Soldier Boys: The Return of Irish Brigade Veterans to New York, January 1864

150 years ago, as 1864 dawned, the veteran volunteers of the Irish Brigade came home to New York. These men had come through some of the toughest battles of the war but had taken the decision to carry on the fight. Some were motivated by a desire to see the conflict out, while others were […]

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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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Detail of the inscription on the case, which was produced for the 50th anniversary dinner for Irish Brigade survivors of Fredericksburg (Patricia Doherty)

The Irish Brigade Cigarette Case in the Attic

A little over a year ago friend Jim Swan, author of the excellent Chicago’s Irish Legion sent me on an image of a cigarette case he had come across. It  commemorated a 50th anniversary dinner held in 1912 for the survivors of the Irish Brigade who served at Fredericksburg. I decided to research the object, which […]

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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

Stamp Your Mark on Irish Commemoration of the American Civil War

As many readers will be aware, I do not believe that the Irish State is currently doing enough to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, particularly given the huge impact it had on the Irish community in the United States. I rarely launch ‘appeals’ through the site, but colleague and accomplished historian […]

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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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An extract for the document where Mary Casey (nee McCormick) grants power of attorney regarding her pension application. She has made her mark with an 'X' in the bottom right.

‘Any One Finding This Note…’: A 69th New York Soldier Prepares for His Death

The Irish Brigade’s first taste of active campaigning arrived in the summer of 1862, when Union forces advanced along the Peninsula towards Richmond. They had yet to experience serious action when they settled into ‘Camp Winfield Scott’, near Yorktown in April. Despite the absence of the enemy, death arrived in unexpected circumstances for one member […]

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Evening World Image of the 33 Irish Brigade Survivors in 1912

33 Men, A Cigarette Case, and the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg

Author of Chicago’s Irish Legion: The 90th Illinois Volunteers in the Civil War and friend of the site Jim Swan has brought a fascinating artefact relating to the Irish Brigade to my attention. Jim spotted it being displayed by a vendor, The Veteran’s Attic, near Chicago. The object is a cigarette case, but one that […]

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