Tag Archives: Irish American
The Burning of the Colored Orphan Asylum (Library of Congress)

150 Years Ago: The Irish-American Reports on the New York Draft Riots

150 years ago today the main Irish newspaper of New York, the Irish-American, reported on the Draft Riots that had engulfed the city in previous days. In the weeks and months to follow the largely Irish make-up of the crowd would elicit much discussion and anti-Irish sentiment from many of the city’s newspapers, which the […]

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The Irish Brigade at Chancellorsville, New York 'Irish World', 1903

An Image of Union Donors to the 1863 Irish Relief Fund, Forty Years On

Regular readers of the blog will be familiar with the donations made by hundreds of Union troops in 1863 towards the relief of the suffering poor in Ireland (see here, here, here and an overview here). These men were about to embark on campaigns that would leave many dead, maimed or captured. Despite this they […]

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Some of the dead of the American Civil War (Library of Congress)

‘Information Wanted': The Irish Missing and Disappeared of the Civil War

Newspapers that appealed to emigrant populations like the New York Irish-American often ran ‘Information Wanted’ sections, where people could place classified ads. Many are attempts to locate long-lost family, friends or beneficiaries of wills. These advertisements ran for three issues at the cost of $1. Some provide a window into the affect the war had on many […]

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Baby names was perhaps one of the more unlikely areas where Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis fought it out for supremacy (New York Historical Society)

A Regimental Child and the Baby Name Civil War

As newly formed regiments left their home states for the seat of war, many wives chose to accompany their men to the front. When the 37th New York ‘Irish Rifles’ settled into their duties around Washington in the summer of 1861, Private John Dooley had his family with him. Waiting in camp was his wife and […]

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Recruiting Poster for the Excelsior Brigade (Civil War Treasures from the New York Historical Society)

‘The Fight Was for the Union, Not for the Abolition of Slavery’

A previous post began to examine the fractious relationship between the Irish-American and African-American communities during the Civil War era. The majority of Irish were supporters of the Democratic Party, and many retained strong views in later years about why the war was fought. The pre-eminence of the preservation of the Union as a motivator for Northern […]

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The Grand Requiem Mass held in St. Patrick's Cathedral to honour the dead of the Irish Brigade (Library of Congress)

The Dead of the Irish Brigade: The Music and Message, 16th January 1863

On 13th December 1862 the Irish Brigade had fought at Fredericksburg. Along with many other Union brigades they suffered horrendous casualties in the futile attempt to assault the Confederate positions at Marye’s Heights. The losses sent shockwaves through the Irish-American community. Even as some of the mortally wounded lay dying, it was decided something must […]

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Thomas Francis Meagher Memorial, The Mall, Waterford

Memory, Memorials and The Gathering

In a recent post I looked at some views regarding the propriety of a memorial to the Irish who were affected by the American Civil War. A number of commentators on an interview I gave to the Journal.ie about the topic left interesting responses, which I outlined here. I noted in that post that I […]

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The Famine Memorial in Dublin. Those emigrants who departed have lost their individualism, their later stories subsumed into an image of the Irish diaspora (Image via wikipedia)

Ireland’s Forgotten Famine Generation

The Great Famine is an event seared into Irish national memory. Although the victims of the Great Hunger are rightfully remembered and commemorated, as is the physical fact that vast numbers of people were forced to leave, Ireland today largely leaves the memory of these emigrants at the dock, as they boarded ships to a […]

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

‘Rum Racker’s Club': A Ballad of the 164th New York in the Field

Throughout the course of the war the New York Irish-American received regular correspondence from Irishmen serving in the field. These men usually wrote pieces under a pseudonym or using only their initials. Regular reports arrived from Corcoran’s Irish Legion via a correspondent called ‘Fenian’ of the 164th New York ‘Phoenix’ Regiment. On 1st January 1863 he […]

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TThe 42nd New York 'Tammany Regiment' memorial at Gettysburg. Of the 182 men who contributed to the Irish Relief Fund only two months before, 13 would die as a result of this battle (Photo: J. Stephen Conn)

The 42nd New York Infantry and ‘The Relief of the Destitute Poor of Our Native Land’

The ‘green-flag’ units were not the only Union regiments to contain large numbers of Irish within their ranks. Many others contained a substantial contingent of Irishmen, who were just as concerned with affairs amongst their community and at home in Ireland. One such outfit was the 42nd New York Infantry, known as ‘The Tammany Regiment.’ […]

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