Tag Archives: Irish emigration
Refugees from fighting with Native Americans in 1862 (Library of Congress)

Scalping, Big Braves & Butchery: An Irish Indian Fighter Writes Home to His Mother in Dublin

I recently came across the remarkable letters of Sergeant Thomas Mangan, which are here transcribed for the first time. The 22-year-old Dubliner was a recent emigrant from Ireland, who within a year of arriving in his new home found himself in the midst of the savage and brutal struggle for control of the Western Plains. […]

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The National Library of Ireland (YvonneM)

The Catholic Parish Registers Online: Revolutionizing the Search for 19th Century Irish Ancestors

Each week I receive correspondence from people with Civil War ancestors in search of their family’s origins in Ireland– something which is unfortunately often extremely difficult to determine. However, today has seen the release of a set of records that promises to open up new avenues for those seeking such information. To much fanfare in Ireland, the National Library of […]

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The #ForgottenIrish of Co. Sligo

The latest #ForgottenIrish story looking at Co. Sligo is now available on Storify. It is the sixth county to be examined, joining  Cork, Kerry, Donegal, Galway and Cavan, with Dublin to follow shortly. Storify also has a piece looking at Civil War Pensioners in Ireland. If you would like to read the Sligo Storify you can do […]

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Patrick Cleburne & The Battle of Franklin- American History TV

An Appearance on C-Span’s American History TV

I recently shared the full text of my Keynote Address which I was privileged to deliver at the 2014 Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event in The Factory, Franklin last November. The event was organised to mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin. In the Keynote I discussed the life, legacy and death […]

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A woman enjoying her new sewing-machine, c. 1853 (Library of Congress)

Stuck for Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas? Some Suggestions & Advice From 150 Years Ago

Today is Christmas Eve, and for many of us that means a final dash to the shops as we seek out those last few gifts. If you are struggling for ideas, why not take some of the suggestions and advice offered to readers of the New York Irish-American, 150 years ago in December 1864. Remember, […]

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A woman in mourning clothes holding an image of a soldier (Library of Congress)

‘God Has Called Your Husband to the Other Shore’: The Letters that turned Wives into Widows

Few historic documents intrude on the intimate emotional experiences of past people quite like the letters that brought them news of a loved ones death. To read them is to at once imagine that first occasion when they were read. Though death may have occurred days, weeks or even months before, it was the act […]

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Officers on the deck of the U.S.S. Onondaga. The identity of the Irish correspondent, 'Garryowen', has not been established (National Archives)

Celebrating Thanksgiving Aboard Union Ironclads, James River, 1864

In November 1864 a number of Union Ironclads were to be found on the James River in Virginia, supporting Federal ground operations there. A large number of the men on board the vessels of the James River Flotilla were Irish; indeed they made up an estimated 20% of all Union sailors. How did they and […]

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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 Takes First Steps Towards Remembering Irish of the American Civil War

In the past, I have been highly critical on this site of the Irish Government’s failure to recognise the huge number of Irish who participated in the American Civil War, and the impact the conflict had on Irish-America. Along with various others I have spent recent years trying to raise awareness at home of the […]

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Camp Dennison, where Catharine Kennedy made a desperate effort to keep her son at home in 1861 (Wikipedia)

Sole Support: An Offaly Mother’s Efforts to Keep Her Son, 1861

In August 1861, Orderly Sergeant John Kennedy of the 10th Ohio Infantry wrote a letter home to his mother from western Virginia. Although now a soldier, the 22-year-old from Dunkerrin, Co. Offaly* had been in the army for barely three months. Just weeks before had been learning the tobacconist trade, which he plied in Cincinnati’s 13th Ward. Now, that […]

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Underground lodgings for the poor of New York around 1869. Many people who ultimately ended up in Poor Houses would have been familiar with such scenes (Library of Congress)

Dependents: Portraits of 50 Irish People in New York Poorhouses, 1861-1865

On 4th August 1865, an Irish emigrant woman from Cork City gave birth to a baby girl in New York. The child -Mary- had been dealt a tough start to life. Her mother was a pauper, and Mary had entered the world in Richmond County Poor House. Mary’s brother and sister were also paupers, and […]

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