Tag Archives: Irish emigration
Gangs of New York Cinematic Poster (Miramax)

Gangs of New York: Recruiting the Irish ‘Straight Off the Boat’

One of the best known scenes in Martin Scorcese’s 2002 movie Gangs of New York is that which depicts the enlistment of Irish emigrants ‘straight off the boat’ into the Union army. The seemingly unsuspecting men are quickly dressed in uniform and packed off for the front, even as those unfortunates who have gone before are brought […]

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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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A sketch of the USS Wabash (Library of Congress)

‘I Feel Very Lonely and Downhearted': Isolation, Idealism and Kindred in the Letters of an Irish Emigrant

Widow’s Pension Files are among the most remarkable records that survive relating to the American Civil War. Filled with fascinating social information, they often also contain primary sources from 1861-1865- such as wartime letters- that have lain unread for over a century. Many thousands of these files relate to Irish people, and contain important details […]

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Captain Robert Halpin from Co. Wicklow was commemorated in a series of famous mariner stamps by An Post in 2003. Although most famous forr laying telegraphic cables, he was also a blockade runner in the American Civil War

Has Ireland Missed the Last Opportunity to Remember Her American Civil War Dead?

Last year we had an appeal on the site asking readers to consider proposing Irish involvement in the American Civil War as an appropriate topic to be covered in An Post’s (the Irish postal service) 2015 stamp programme. A number of you did so. An Post were in touch last week to say that the […]

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An Infographic of Irish Involvement in American Civil War

An Infographic of Irish Involvement in the American Civil War

As part of the teaching process with Masters students in University College Cork’s Digital Arts and Humanities Programme I have been exploring the world of infographics and their potential to communicate information in an attractive and easy to digest manner. For those of us without substantial graphic design or software skills there are a number […]

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The SS Doric, the ship on which Patrick Ferris crossed the Atlantic (Image via InstaDerek)

‘The Old Man of the Sea': The White Star Line’s Oldest Passenger?

In 1925 newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic carried the story of the ‘Old Man of the Sea’. about a Corkman travelling back from the United States to live with his sister in Newport, Wales. He was thought to be the oldest man ever to make the journey on the White Star Line- he […]

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Hickey's death as recorded in his Confederate Service Record (Fold3.com)

Boston Immigrant to Crescent City Soldier: The Poignant Letters of William Hickey

I was recently contacted by historian Ed O’Riordan, who a number of years ago saved a remarkable series of letters sent home to Tipperary by an Irish emigrant in America, William Hickey. The letters chart the story of a young man who experienced the loneliness and uncertainty of life in a new country and his […]

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A Company of the 170th New York Infantry, Corcoran's Irish Legion, 1863 (Library of Congress)

The Ages and Origins of the Union’s Irish Soldiers

In 1869 Benjamin Apthorp Gould published Investigations in the Military and Anthropological Statistics of American Soldiers. Very much a scientific work of its time, it explored topics such as the nativity and ages of Union volunteers together with examinations of physical characteristics such as stature, complexion, dimension and proportions of the head and pulmonary capacity, to name […]

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

Some Reflections On Three Years Writing ‘Irish in the American Civil War’

This past weekend marked the third anniversary of the Irish in the American Civil War blog. Sincerest thanks to all of you who have read articles on the site over that time, to those who have taken the time to comment, contribute and share your knowledge, and also to those who have contributed guest posts. […]

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