Tag Archives: Robert E. Lee
North Anna River, Virginia. Pontoon bridges across the North Anna, below railroad bridge, where a portion of the 2nd Corps under General Hancock crossed, May 23, 1864 (Timothy O'Sullivan/ Library of Congress)

150 Years Ago: An Irish Photographer Captures the Overland Campaign

As I head to Virginia to visit some of the sites relating to the start of the 1864 Overland Campaign, I have been looking again at the contemporary photographs captured during that momentous summer. Irishmen were not just present among the fighting men of the two opposing forces, they were also there to document the […]

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Age of Children at Father's Death in 1862

Visualising the Demographics of Death: 82 men of the 9th Massachusetts

The American Civil War killed hundreds of thousands of men, and devastated millions of lives. The industrialised battlefields of 1861-65 racked up casualty lists so huge that they become practically impossible to visualise- Fredericksburg 17,929; Shiloh 23,746; Gettysburg 51,000. The physical scale of such losses makes the overall ripple effect each death had on dependents […]

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Grant at Mount McGregor working on his Memoirs. At this point he had a large tumor on the side of his neck (Library of Congress)

Book Review: Grant’s Final Victory

Ulysses S. Grant is best remembered as the Union commander who finally defeated Robert E. Lee, and as a two-term President of the United States. His Personal Memoirs has become one of the most famous and widely read of military texts, and is a staple of anyone interested in the American Civil War. In Grant’s Final […]

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Aerial View of South Mountain, Maryland

James P. Sullivan, 6th Wisconsin: Skirmishing at the Battle of South Mountain

On 14th September 1862 the Union army engaged in a vicious struggle with their Confederate foe for possession of the passes or ‘Gaps’ through South Mountain in Maryland. The discovery of Order 191 had revealed the Army of Northern Virginia’s dispositions to Federal commander George McClellan, and he needed to push through the mountain in […]

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Fitzhugh Lee and Bolen

An Irishwoman Supplies the Confederacy

The last post on Irish in the American Civil War brought you part of the story of Bridget Bolen. The Co. Cork native had to petition the U.S. Government for amnesty in 1865 due to her falling within the 13th exception to the general amnesty, namely being a voluntary participant in the rebellion who held taxable […]

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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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Officers and men of the 9th Massachusetts (Library of Congress)

‘Before the Reaper’s Sickle': The 9th Massachusetts at Gaines’ Mill

It is the 27th June 1862. Colonel Thomas Cass and the 9th Massachusetts Infantry have just retraced their steps under orders, marching back towards their old camping grounds near a mill and millpond that empties into Powhite Creek, Virginia. The men have fond memories of this pond, a spot where they have enjoyed relaxing swims […]

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Saunders Field, Wilderness

Slaughter in Saunder’s Field: The 9th Massachusetts at The Wilderness

On the afternoon of 5th May 1864 Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick T. Hanley of the 9th Massachusetts Infantry stood with his men in the tangled and confusing wooded landscape that characterised the area known as ‘The Wilderness’ in Virginia. As battle raged, Hanley’s brigade commander Colonel Jacob B. Sweitzer came rushing up to confront the Irishman, loudly […]

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