Tag Archives: Irish in the Union Army
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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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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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Federal troops go into action at the Battle of Olustee, 20th February 1864 (History of the 8th USCT)

‘I Have Heard No News From Him': Catherine Mullen’s Search for her Husband

For women whose husbands went to war, it could often be long months before they heard news of their loved ones. For many the only means they had of gauging the well-being of their men was through the regularity of the letters they received. Of course some soldiers were not good at writing home, while […]

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