Tag Archives: Irish American Civil War
New York, Brooklyn, Jersey City & the Hoboken Waterfront as they appeared in a Currier & Ives sketch of 1877 (Library of Congress)

The Creation of an Irish Widow: The 33rd New Jersey at Peachtree Creek, 20th July 1864

On the 20th July 1864, the 33rd New Jersey Infantry of the Army of the Cumberland found themselves at Peachtree Creek, outside Atlanta. They were gathered on a hill some 300 yards in front of the main Union position acting as an outpost for their brigade. Their divisional commander, John White Geary, thought attack unlikely. He […]

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The Excelsior Brigade Monument at Gettysburg (Photo: Cory Hartman)

‘Your Likeness Was Buried With Him’: A Letter to An Irish Soldier’s Wife After Gettysburg

The second day of the Battle of Gettysburg was a tough one for New York’s Excelsior Brigade. Although not an ethnic Irish formation, many of the brigade’s regiments- such as the 70th New York Infantry- had large contingents of Irishmen in their ranks. The 2nd July at Gettysburg left many of these men dead. In […]

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Austin, Nevada as it appeared during the King Survey in 1868. 'Rambler' describes the St. Patrick's Day parade here in 1864. This photograph was taken by famed American Civil War photographer (and Irishman) Timothy O'Sullivan (Smithsonian Institution)

‘The Yells of Wild Beasts and Shoshone Indians:’ An Irish Silver Miner in Nevada, 1864

Though the American Civil War was one of the greatest conflicts in the history of Irish people, the vast majority of Irishmen chose not to fight in Union blue or Confederate gray. Some of them went West, often in the hope of making good in new territories. 150 years ago this month one Irishman wrote […]

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Felix's former comrades of Company D, 61st New York Infantry, as they appeared in the Spring of 1863 (Library of Congress)

‘If You Ever Want To See Him Alive…Come Immediately’: A Race Against Time For An Irish Soldier’s Wife

Felix Mooney was 53-years-old when he enlisted in what became Company D of the 61st New York Infantry on 12th August 1861. Wounded at the Battle of Malvern Hill on 1st July 1862, he was taken prisoner and sent to Richmond. By the time he was exchanged on 27th July he had to be sent straight […]

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An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with President Barack Obama in The White House (Wikipedia)

American Independence Day: Remembering How Ireland Forgets

Today is the 4th July, Independence Day in the United States. Throughout the day there will undoubtedly be a number of Irish-American themed stories and soundbytes in Ireland, as is appropriate given our historic links with the United States. From my own perspective, it is also a day to reflect on just how much Ireland […]

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An example of a Georgia Infantry Regiment (the 4th) in 1861 (Library of Congress)

From Galway to Georgia: B.T. Johnston, Famine Emigrant, Confederate Pensioner

Increasingly many of the personal stories featured on the site are based on the contents of Federal Pension files. Having recently returned from the excellent Ulster-American Heritage Symposium at the University of Georgia, Athens- during which I had the pleasure to visit the Kennesaw Mountain battlefield- I thought it appropriate to have a look at the […]

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The Americanist Independent (Keith Harris)

The Americanist Independent- A New Journal of American History

Many of you will be familiar with historian Keith Harris who runs the excellent Keith Harris History blog. A number of months ago I was delighted to hear that Keith was embarking on a new project to produce an online journal, specifically aimed at providing a publishing opportunity to undergraduates, graduate students and independent scholars. […]

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Sarah Jane Cochran: Irish Pensioner of the American Civil War (StoryMap)

Visualizing One Irishwoman’s Experience of the American Civil War Using StoryMap JS

As most of you are aware by now, I am constantly looking at new techniques to visualize the Irish experience of the American Civil War. My latest foray into this area has been with StoryMap JS, a free tool developed by Knightlab at Northwestern University. StoryMap is designed to allow you to tell stories with […]

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Men of the 164th New York, Corcoran's Irish Legion (Library of Congress)

The Forgotten Sixty-Ninth: A Thesis on the 69th New York National Guard Artillery

Although a significant amount has been written about the wartime exploits of the Irish Brigade, particularly between 1861 and 1863, very little ink has been spilt on the other Irish brigade formation- Corcoran’s Irish Legion. This is a serious anomaly given their significance with respect to both Irish-American attitudes towards the Civil War and also […]

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Captain David Power Conyngham while serving with the Irish Brigade (Library of Congress)

150 Years Ago: Dipping Handkerchiefs in the Blood of General Polk

150 years ago today the Confederate Bishop General- Leonidas Polk- a Corps commander in the Army of Tennessee, lost his life when he was struck by a Union shell on Pine Mountain, Georgia during the Atlanta Campaign. David Power Conyngham, a journalist from Corhane, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary, was one of the first Union men to […]

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