Tag Archives: Union Army
Federal troops in Corinth Mississippi during winter 1862 (Photographic History of the Civil War)

‘Faugh A Ballagh!’: The 17th Wisconsin at Corinth

The morning of 3rd October 1862 had not gone well for Major-General William Starke Rosecran’s Union forces. Holding the northern Mississippi town of Corinth, they had been attacked around 10am by Confederate forces of Major-General Earl Van Dorn’s Army of West Tennessee. By early afternoon, pressure on the Federal advanced position had grown so great that […]

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Monument of the 73rd New York Infantry at Gettysburg, erected in 1897 and depicting a Union infantryman and a fireman side by side (Final Report on the Battlefield of Gettysburg)

Irish Colonels: Michael William Burns, 73rd New York Infantry

Michael William Burns was born in Ireland in 1834. He emigrated to the United States at the age of 14, and prior to the outbreak of the Civil War worked as a city inspector and a fireman. It was his connections with the fire service that led him to raise a Company to serve in […]

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Battle of Mill Springs

James Wall Scully’s Unpublished Battle of Mill Springs Letters

James Wall Scully was born in Kilkenny in 1837. He emigrated to the United States and in 1856 enlisted in the U.S. Army, beginning an association that would continue until 1900 when he retired with the rank of Brigadier-General. Anthony McCan has carried out in-depth research on the Irishman, and is the author of a […]

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Confederates in Ireland: Father John Bannon Receives His Orders

A previous post on the site told of the mission given to Lieutenant J.L. Capston by Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin in July 1863. Capston was to travel to Ireland and use legitimate means to counteract the work of Federal agents in the Country. Benjamin’s efforts to halt a perceived flow of Irish […]

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St. Patrick's Day in the Army- Jumping the Ditch by Ediwn Forbes (Library of Congress)

St. Patrick’s Day in the Army of the Potomac, 1863

St. Patrick’s Day was an important occasion for all the Irish regiments in the Union Army, and those in the Army of the Potomac were no different. The fighting of 1862 had turned these Irish volunteers into veterans, and many had fallen at battles such as Gaines Mill, Malvern Hill and Antietam. Memories of the […]

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Battle of Belmont

‘They Bore Themselves As Veterans’: The 2nd Tennessee at Belmont

The morning of 7th November 1861 found the men of the 2nd Tennessee Volunteer Infantry* in camp around the town of Columbus, Kentucky, on the east bank of the Mississippi. Their gaze, along with the majority of Major-General Leonidas Polk’s Confederate force, was drawn to the scenes then unfolding across the river at Belmont, Missouri. A […]

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The Harp and the Eagle

American Civil War historian Dr. Susannah J. Ural of the University of Southern Mississippi is the author of The Harp and the Eagle: Irish Volunteers and the Union Army, 1861-1865. Published in 2006, the book not only examines Irish motivation for joining the army, but also their changing attitudes to the war as it progressed. […]

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Part of the ground through which the Confederates attacked on 2nd January 1863

‘A Body of Heroes’: The 35th Indiana at Stones River

The 272 men of the 35th Indiana seemed to be spending most of the Battle of Stones River out of harms way. The fighting had been ongoing since 31st December, when a Confederate force had smashed into the Union army’s right flank, almost winning a stunning victory for the Rebels. The Irishmen were positioned on […]

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