Tag Archives: Fenian
42nd New York Memorial at Gettysburg (Photo:Piotrus)

Fenian Casualties at Gettysburg

Following the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, communities all over the North and South counted the cost of the three-day struggle which had taken the lives of over 7,000 men. One of the more unusual groups to be affected by the engagement were the Fenian Brotherhood, an organisation committed to securing Ireland’s freedom from […]

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James McKay Rorty, Recording Secretary of the Potomac Circle (Image Brian Pohanka: James McKay Rorty, An Appreciation)

Spreading Fenianism in the Army of the Potomac

This site has touched briefly on the Fenian movement a number of times in the past, and it is a topic worthy of further exploration. Who were the members, and how did they maintain their involvement with the cause while away in the field during the American Civil War? Michael H. Kane is an expert on the Fenian […]

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Patrick J. Condon, 2nd New York State Militia and later Captain of Company G, 63rd New York, Irish Brigade. Born in Creeves, Co. Limerick. (Kane 2002: 118)

Face to Face with the Fenians: Mugshots of American Civil War Veterans, Part 2

Part 1 of this series examined the mugshots of ten American Civil War veterans, arrested in Ireland in 1866 for their involvement with the Fenian movement. This post looks at a further ten of these men whose photographs were taken in Mountjoy Prison that year. They form a part of the series of Fenian mugshots […]

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High Bridge, Farmville Virginia. Thomas Alfred Smyth led his brigade across this bridge shortly before his mortal wounding. The photo was taken by Irishman Timothy O'Sullivan (Library of Congress)

Thomas Alfred Smyth: Researching a Neglected Irish General

Thomas Alfred Smyth is often identified as the best Irish-born Union combat General of the Civil War. His wartime career is an impressive one, tinged with the tragedy of his mortal wounding just as the conflict drew to a close (see a previous post here). Despite his wartime prominence and activities in the Fenian ranks, […]

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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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