Tag Archives: Irish Legion
Officers and men of the 9th Massachusetts (Library of Congress)

The Losses of 21 Irish Regiments during the American Civil War

The latest addition to the Resources section of the site are the fatality details of 21 Irish regiments who served the Union during the Civil War. Check out the ‘More Resources’ tab on the top right of the site and access the drop down menu to see what else is available. In 1889 William F. […]

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Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Murphy and Officers of the 170th New York Infantry, Corcoran's Irish Legion, 1863 (Library of Congress)

‘Transported to Fairyland': Christmas With Corcoran’s Irish Legion, 1862

Brigadier-General Michael Corcoran’s Irish Legion spent their first Christmas in the field at Newport News, Virginia in 1862. While the Army of the Potomac licked its wounds further north after the catastrophe of Fredericksburg, Corcoran’s brigade- yet to be inured to the horrors of combat- created an unforgettable festive atmosphere at their camp, where those who visited […]

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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)

Irish Relief Fund: The Remarkable Contribution of Union Soldiers & Sailors, Part 1

In 1863, Ireland was on the brink of famine. Poor harvests for three consecutive years had left many destitute, and disaster loomed. In response to the threat, relief committees that had previously been established to channel funds to assist the worst afflicted areas were reactivated. The large Irish population in the United States, many of […]

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Map of Ireland showing nativity of members of the 23rd Illinois Infantry (Sara Nylund)

Resources: Birthplaces of Irish Soldiers

The site has featured a number of posts based on research I carried out on the birthplaces of the men of the 23rd Illinois Infantry (Mulligan’s Irish Brigade) which led to the production of a number of maps to show what countries, states and Irish counties men in that regiment came from. In addition friend […]

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Map of Europe showing nativity of members of the 90th Illinois Infantry (Information by Jim Swan, Illustration by Sara Nylund)

Where Were ‘Irish’ Soldiers From?: A Case Study of the 90th Illinois Infantry

Two previous posts on this site (here and here) examined the nativity of soldiers in the 23rd Illinois Infantry, ‘Mulligan’s Irish Brigade.’ This research was carried out to determine how ‘Irish’ the regiment really was, and where within the United States and Ireland the men hailed from. Jim Swan, friend of the site and author of Chicago’s […]

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The Battle of Deserted House, Virginia, 1863 (War of the Rebellion Atlas- Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections)

Baptism of Fire: The Corcoran Legion at Deserted House, Virginia, 30th January 1863

Formed in late 1862, the early war experience of Brigadier-General Michael Corcoran’s ‘Irish Legion’ is often forgotten. Their first major battles would not come until 1864, when they suffered severe casualties during Grant’s Overland Campaign. However, their initial taste of Rebel fire had come over a year earlier, on 30th January 1863. This engagement, which […]

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Colonel O'Brien attacked outside the Drugstore (Harper's Weekly)

Irish Colonels: Henry F. O’Brien, 11th New York Infantry

Over 25 Irishmen served as Colonels in units raised in the State of New York. Many are well-known, having served in ethnic Irish regiments such as those of the Irish Brigade and Corcoran’s Legion. Perhaps one of the least recognisable, and certainly one of the most tragic, is Colonel Henry F. O’Brien. He took over […]

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Soldiers & Chiefs Exhibition National Museum of Ireland, with display inspired by the Lieutenant McCarthy letter

‘I Feel Like I’m Deserted': The Impact of One Soldier’s Death in Corcoran’s Irish Legion

On 8th September 1864, First Lieutenant Patrick McCarthy of Company C, 182nd New York Infantry (69th New York National Guard), sat down to write a letter to the father of one of his comrades. The young man found himself with the unpleasant task of providing the family with details of their son’s death. Two weeks […]

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The Dunker Church on the Antietam Battlefield. The Cornfield is not far from this position (Library of Congress)

Irish Colonels: Howard Carroll, 105th New York Infantry

Over 25 Irish born officers commanded New York regiments during the American Civil War. The most well known led units in the Irish Brigade and Corcoran’s Irish Legion, but the majority of Irishmen did not serve in specific ethnic formations. Among these men was Dubliner Howard Carroll. He was appointed Colonel of the 105th New […]

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Soldiers & Chiefs Exhibition National Museum of Ireland, with display inspired by the Lieutenant McCarthy letter

The Soldiers and Chiefs Exhibition

The National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks is home to a major award-winning exhibition on the Irish military experience. Entitled Soldiers and Chiefs: The Irish at War at Home and Abroad from 1550, it consists of a number of galleries which explore the topic from an Irish perspective both thematically and chronologically. Amongst the […]

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