Tag Archives: Christmas
Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Murphy and Officers of the 170th New York Infantry, Corcoran's Irish Legion, 1863 (Library of Congress)

‘Transported to Fairyland': Christmas With Corcoran’s Irish Legion, 1862

Brigadier-General Michael Corcoran’s Irish Legion spent their first Christmas in the field at Newport News, Virginia in 1862. While the Army of the Potomac licked its wounds further north after the catastrophe of Fredericksburg, Corcoran’s brigade- yet to be inured to the horrors of combat- created an unforgettable festive atmosphere at their camp, where those who visited […]

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Michael Dougherty, 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry, in later life

Christmas as a Prisoner of War, Richmond, 1863

Private Michael Dougherty of Falcarragh, Co. Donegal, served in the ranks of the 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry during the American Civil War. His bravery in combat would be recognised in 1897, when he was awarded the Medal of Honor. However, as Christmas Day 1863 approached the only thing on Michael Dougherty’s mind was survival, as he […]

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Santa distrubutes gifts to Union troops; 1863 cartoon for Harper's Weekly by Thomas Nast

Christmas with the Irish Brigade

‘Near one of the huge fires a kind of arbor was nicely constructed of the branches of trees, which were so interwoven on one another as to form a kind of wall. Inside this, some were seated on logs, some reclining in true Turkish style. Seated near the fire was Johnny Flaherty, discoursing sweet music […]

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