Tag Archives: Irish American Civil War
The Irish in the American Civil War (History Press Ireland)

United States Release for Irish in the American Civil War Book

I am delighted to announce that my book, The Irish in the American Civil War, will officially become available in the United States from the 1st May. Originally published for the Irish market last year, you can already order it online from vendors such as amazon.com. When it first came out I provided a brief […]

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Clara Barton's Missing Soldiers Office, Washington DC. She helped many families learn the fate of their loved ones following the Civil War, but unfortunately Alexander Scarff's parents were not among them. (Photo by E.L. Malvaney)

A 150 Year Old Missing Persons Case- In Search of a 19-Year-Old Irishman

On 5th November 1862 ‘Arthur Shaw’, a 19-year-old Dubliner, stepped off the decks of the Great Western and into the hustle and bustle of New York City. From that day forward, his family never heard from him again. I have spent considerable time trying to piece together some elements of this boy’s story, aiming to uncover just who […]

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Midleton’s Most Famous Forgotten Son? General John Joseph Coppinger

Originally posted on The Midleton Archaeology & Heritage Project:
Many of Midleton’s men and women have emigrated down through the years, settling all over the globe and becoming part of the Irish diaspora. Some went on to become relatively famous abroad- for example Nellie Cashman- a woman who will be the topic a future post.…

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Storify

Telling the Personal Stories of 41 Civil War Pensioners on Storify

For a number of months I have been researching the personal stories of US military pensioners who were living in Ireland in 1883. The vast majority of these men and women were Civil War pensioners, and it is my hope that I can publish a book in the future on their many and varied experiences. […]

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The first page of the letter written by Richey Cochran to Sarah Jane in June 1862, stamped with June 1880 when it was received by the Pension Bureau (Fold3)

‘Remember me to all the folks’: The Last Letter to a Limavady Woman from her Husband

Widow’s Pension Files often contain extremely poignant information. As women sought to prove their connections to their deceased spouse, they sometimes had to submit what must have been extremely treasured possessions to the Pension Agency. For Sarah Jane Cochran of Limavady, Co. Londonderry, this meant handing over the last letter ever written to her by […]

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Dunmanway Baptismal record for November and December 1817, with Thomas Sweeny listed at bottom (Pat McCarthy)

A New Date of Birth Discovered for General Thomas Sweeny?

Brigadier-General Thomas Sweeny from Dunmanway, Co. Cork is one of the best known Irish Generals of the American Civil War. His family emigrated to the United States around 1832 when Thomas was still a boy. He enjoyed a colorful career in the military; Sweeny lost an arm at the Battle of Churubusco during the Mexican […]

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'St. Patrick's Day in America, 1874' (Library of Congress)

‘Flags of Old Ireland for One Cent!’ and ‘All’s right- Dad’s Sober’: New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, 1864

What was St. Patrick’s Day like 150 years ago? What type of groups marched in the Parade, and what types of imagery did they use? We are fortunate that the full line up of the 1864 New York Parade survives, together with detailed descriptions of the dress and banners of each Society. What emerges is […]

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Former Confederates taking the Oath of Allegiance in 1865, drawing by Alfred Waud (Library of Congress)

‘He May Be Lurking About Charleston’: The Hunt for Irish Confederate Deserters

Men deserted the armies of the North and South in their thousands during the American Civil War. They did so for many different reasons; some tired of the rigours of military discipline, while others had become emotionally drained by their experiences. Some simply lost faith in the fight, or enlisted only with the intent of […]

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Officers of the 63rd New York Infantry in June 1865 (Library of Congress)

‘Friend Patt theres only 8 of us that left…’: An Irish Brigade Soldier’s Letter at War’s End

For a number of weeks after Robert E. Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia thousands of Union troops remained in the field in Virginia. During this period men often reflected on the past and the many comrades they had lost and looked forward to returning home. Meanwhile officers tried to keep the men […]

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Rations being distributed at Andersonville, Georgia, 1864. This scene is perhaps closer to the type of experience Colin had at Salisbury and Libby (Library of Congress)

‘Should this Book Be Ever Found on My Dead Body’: A POW’s Fate and a Letter to Ireland

On the 27th January 1865 a Union prisoner of war was found dead in the yard of Salisbury Prison, North Carolina. The soldier, recently transferred from Libby Prison in Richmond, appeared to have died from a combination of exposure and disease. He apparently had no close friends to look out for him, so fellow prisoners […]

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