Tag Archives: Confederate States Army
Jeremiah O'Brien- the last Irish born veteran of the American Civil War? (Photo: Shan Murphy, Find A Grave)

Jeremiah O’Brien: The Last Irish Veteran of the American Civil War?

In 1950 Harry S. Truman was the President of the United States. The greatest conflict the world had ever seen had drawn to a conclusion over five years previously, and the Korean War was about to begin. By 1950 the American Civil War had been over for 89 years- by the end of the decade […]

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First Battle of Bull Run (Kurz & Allison 1889)

The Irishman They Couldn’t Kill: Wounded Six Times at First Bull Run

Irishman John Donovan served with the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry in the first major battle of the American Civil War, at Bull Run, Virginia. His unit fought side by side with the 69th New York State Militia, as part of the brigade commanded by William Tecumseh Sherman. For Donovan, this first day of fighting on 21st July […]

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Federal troops in Corinth Mississippi during winter 1862 (Photographic History of the Civil War)

‘Faugh A Ballagh!’: The 17th Wisconsin at Corinth

The morning of 3rd October 1862 had not gone well for Major-General William Starke Rosecran’s Union forces. Holding the northern Mississippi town of Corinth, they had been attacked around 10am by Confederate forces of Major-General Earl Van Dorn’s Army of West Tennessee. By early afternoon, pressure on the Federal advanced position had grown so great that […]

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Soldiers & Chiefs Exhibition National Museum of Ireland, with display inspired by the Lieutenant McCarthy letter

‘I Feel Like I’m Deserted’: The Impact of One Soldier’s Death in Corcoran’s Irish Legion

On 8th September 1864, First Lieutenant Patrick McCarthy of Company C, 182nd New York Infantry (69th New York National Guard), sat down to write a letter to the father of one of his comrades. The young man found himself with the unpleasant task of providing the family with details of their son’s death. Two weeks […]

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Battle of Jonesboro

Medal of Honor: First Sergeant Patrick Irwin, 14th Michigan Infantry

It is just after 4p.m. on 1st September 1864, and the men of the XIV Corps of the Army of the Cumberland are ordered to the attack. Their objective is the right flank of Confederate Lieutenant-General William Hardee’s Corps, which is deployed just to the north of the town of Jonesboro, Georgia. If they succeed […]

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

‘Before the Reaper’s Sickle’: The 9th Massachusetts at Gaines’ Mill

It is the 27th June 1862. Colonel Thomas Cass and the 9th Massachusetts Infantry have just retraced their steps under orders, marching back towards their old camping grounds near a mill and millpond that empties into Powhite Creek, Virginia. The men have fond memories of this pond, a spot where they have enjoyed relaxing swims […]

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The bayonet charge of the 69th Pennsylvania at Glendale as portrayed in McDermott's

‘Almost Reckless Daring’: The 69th Pennsylvania at Glendale

It was just after 3 o’clock in the afternoon on 30th June, 1862 near Glendale, Virginia. Brigadier-General Joseph Hooker looked anxiously to his division’s right flank, where the Pennsylvania Reserve division under Brigadier-General George McCall had been ferociously attacked by Confederate troops. It was becoming apparent that McCall’s men might not be able to hold, […]

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Brigadier-General Thomas Sweeny, Army of the Tennessee

Dual Allegiances: A Fenian Message during the Atlanta Campaign, 1864

Many of the Irishmen who fought during the American Civil War had a strong commitment to using their experience to strike a blow for Irish Independence when the conflict was over. These were the Fenians, and even when on military duty between 1861 and 1865 it was not unusual for many Irish officers to meet frequently to collect […]

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Battle of Belmont

‘They Bore Themselves As Veterans’: The 2nd Tennessee at Belmont

The morning of 7th November 1861 found the men of the 2nd Tennessee Volunteer Infantry* in camp around the town of Columbus, Kentucky, on the east bank of the Mississippi. Their gaze, along with the majority of Major-General Leonidas Polk’s Confederate force, was drawn to the scenes then unfolding across the river at Belmont, Missouri. A […]

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