Tag Archives: Medal of Honor
Menomen O'Donnell and his family in later years (Deborah Maroney)

Medal of Honor: First Lieutenant Menomen O’Donnell, 11th Missouri Infantry

On the 22nd May 1863 Ulysses S. Grant launched an assault against the Rebel defences at Vicksburg, Mississippi. His previous effort to take the ‘Gibraltar of the Confederacy’ by storm, on 19th May, had ended in failure. Now he was trying again. At around 10 in the morning following an artillery barrage, blue-coated infantry surged forward across a […]

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The grave of Medal of Honor recipient Martin McHugh (Machelle Long)

Can You Help Find Medal of Honor Recipient Martin McHugh’s Descendants?

A previous post on the site looked at the efforts in 2012 to honour Seaman Martin McHugh in Danville, Illinois. A Medal of Honor recipient for his actions aboard the USS Cincinnati at Vicksburg on 27th May 1863, Martin had lain in an unmarked grave for over 100 years. Machelle Long played a central role in having Martin remembered […]

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Stonewall Jackson lies mortally wounded. Was Irishman Felix Brannigan present when the famous General was hit? (Currier & Ives)

Medal of Honor: Private Felix Brannigan, 74th New York Infantry

Felix Brannigan was one of a number of Irishmen who were awarded the Medal of Honor for actions at Chancellorsville. The circumstances behind Brannigan’s award are surely among the more unusual. A comrade would later claim that one of the reason’s Brannigan received the honour was that he was one of two Yankees actually present when […]

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The Union assault at Spotsylvania by Thure de Thulstrup (Library of Congress)

Medal of Honor: First Sergeant William Jones, 73rd New York Infantry

Some Medal of Honor citations are more detailed than others. That of Wicklow native William Jones is a case in point. It reads, simply, ‘Capture of the flag of the 65th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).’ His action took place at the Battle of Spotsylvania, Virginia on 12th May 1864, as he and men from his regiment […]

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Civil War Era Army Medal of Honor (United States Army)

The 146 Irish Recipients of the Medal of Honor from the American Civil War

As part of the Irish-born Medal of Honor Project I have overhauled the Medal of Honor page to provide further information on the 146 Irish-born recipients from the Civil War I have thus far identified. A new introduction provides some background to the Irish awards, while more detailed entries for each of the men are also […]

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Private Patrick Ginley fires at advancing Confederates, Battle of Ream's Station (Story of American Heroism)

Medal of Honor: Private Patrick Ginley, 1st New York Light Artillery

The 25th November 1890 was undoubtedly one of the proudest days in the life of ‘Paddy The Horse.’ That evening the man from the west of Ireland was a guest at an Irish Brigade reunion being held at the Riccadonna Hotel, 42 Union Square, New York. The main event was to be the presentation of […]

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Civil War Era Army Medal of Honor (United States Army)

Irish-Born Medal of Honor Project

Although some 170,000 Irishmen served during the American Civil War, it is extremely difficult to gain a picture of what service was like for them across a broad spectrum. This is a symptom of the fact that for the majority of Irish troops their wartime experience occured outside ethnic Irish units. I have been considering […]

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The furling of a Civil War era flag at the Martin McHugh Ceremony, April 21, 2012

Medal of Honor: Seaman Martin McHugh Remembered

A recent post told the story of Landsman Thomas E. Corcoran, a Dubliner who received the Congressional Medal of Honor having helped to save the lives of some of his crewmates aboard the stricken USS Cincinnati on 27th May 1863. The vessel had been disabled by fire from the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg, having been repeatedly struck by enemy shells. […]

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The Horan Family on the 1860 Census, Thomas is third from the top (Fold3)

A ‘New’ Irish Recipient of the Medal of Honor Discovered?

As recent posts indicate, I am currently in the process of conducting extensive research into Irish-born Medal of Honor recipients from the American Civil War. Research work in the United States has added a number of names to the ‘Irish-born’ list, and I would like to put forward a further name that I feel may […]

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Portrayal of Corcoran and his comrades swimming back and forth to the Cincinnati saving as many men as possible (Deeds of Valor)

Medal of Honor: Landsman Thomas E. Corcoran, USS Cincinnati

At 12.20 pm on 27th May 1863, Admiral David Dixon Porter sent a brief message to General William Tecumseh Sherman. It stated simply ‘Cincinnati is sunk.’ Sherman already knew, as he had witnessed the luckless ships final moments. He replied to Porter at 2.15 pm: ‘The boat ran close to the batteries, rounded upstream, caught several […]

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