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Communicating Death & Creating Memory on Fredericksburg’s Streets

I have recently had a conference paper accepted on the topic of letters communicating bereavement to those on the Home Front. Since I began my work on the widow’s and dependent pension ...

The Rawding Family homestead in Nebraska, 1886 (Library of Congress)

Hard Graft & Grasshoppers: Irish Homesteaders in 1870s Nebraska

The middle of the 19th century saw substantial numbers of Irish emigrants journeying west in search of land and livelihoods. One of their destinations was the Nebraska Territory, which was ...

9th Massachusetts Gettysburg Combined

Manipulating Memory: The Story of the 9th Massachusetts Monument at Gettysburg

Gettysburg’s Big Round Top is home to one of the lesser known monuments on the battlefield. It marks the position held by the Irish 9th Massachusetts Infantry from the late ...

Spotlight

The Forgotten Irish: Early Reviews

The Forgotten Irish will be officially launched in Dublin in January 2017, ...
Excelsior Brigade Memorial, Gettysburg (Damian Shiels)

Time to Move Beyond the Irish Brigade? The Problems with Studying Ethnic Irish Units– A Case Study of the New York Irish at Gettysburg

When we think and examine the Irish of the American Civil War, ...
The monument to the 65th New York at Culp's Hill, Gettysburg, which I took the opportunity to visit on my recent trip. Both John Clark and John O'Brien died as a result of artillery bombardment not far from this spot (Damian Shiels)

“Mother many a good man wint acrost the river but never come back, it was murder”: An Irishman at Fredericksburg & Gettysburg

I am currently working through the New York unit casualties at Gettysburg ...

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Second Wisconsin Infantry Memorial in the Herbst Woods, Gettysburg (Damian Shiels)

Emigrant Irish Badgers: With the Second Wisconsin in Herbst’s Woods

A focus of my recent trip to the Gettysburg battlefield was to look at some of the stories of Irishmen who were among that majority who undertook their war service in non-ethnic Irish units. A number of them were to be found in the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry– part of the famed Iron Brigade– who on […]

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The 94th New York Infantry Memorial, Oak Ridge, Gettysburg (Damian Shiels)

‘Pro Patria Mori’: The 94th New York Memorial & the Irish of Oak Ridge, Gettysburg

I have just returned from a visit to the Gettysburg battlefield, a journey that will be the subject of a number of posts over the coming weeks and months. While there I had the opportunity to stay in the wonderful Doubleday Inn, which is located on Oak Ridge, part of the first day’s battlefield. The […]

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RTE Radio 1

The Forgotten Irish Brought to Life on RTE Radio 1

The first publicity for my new book The Forgotten Irish came recently on the RTE Radio 1’s The History Show. The programme featured extracts from four of the stories, with actors reading from a number of the letters. It is always great to hear these letters brought to life in this way– particularly as one gets a […]

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A depiction of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. Charly Gallagher was one of the men who repulsed it (Library of Congress)

In the Ghostly Footsteps of the Gettysburg Irish

My posts have been less frequent than normal of late due to a range of book and conference commitments, so apologies to readers for the longer than normal gap! I will shortly be heading to the United States for the first time in a couple of years, taking in some locations relating to the Irish experience in […]

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National Library of Ireland (Photo:YvonneM)

Podcast: The Forgotten Irish– Revealing the Personal Stories of 19th Century Emigrants

On 18th August last I was privileged to return to the National Library of Ireland in Dublin to deliver one of the Summer lunchtime talks at the institution, which are organised by Eneclann and the Ancestor Network. The title of the talk was The Forgotten Irish: Revealing the Personal Stories of 19th Century Emigrants through American […]

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Intelligence Map

The Other Bermuda Triangle: Invasion attempts in Ireland, America, and Bermuda

There is some superb research being undertaken into elements of the Irish diaspora at present, both at home and abroad. The site has been fortunate to feature a number of guest posts in the past highlighting some of this scholarly research. I am delighted to be able to share a fascinating post prepared for the site […]

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Turf being taken home in Kerry at the turn of the 20th century. A scene that would have been familiar to Charles (Library of Congress)

‘All Abouth Home’: An Illiterate Emigrant’s Letters from America to Kerry in the 1850s

As I often reiterate, the greatest value of the widows’ and dependents’ Civil War Pension Files lies not in what they contain about the American Civil War, but in what they tell us about 19th century Irish emigrants and emigration. There are few finer examples of this than the file associated with Charles Greaney. The […]

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The 1901 Census of Ireland entry for Charly Gallagher, a veteran of the 69th Pennsylvania Infantry- Click to go to original record (National Archives of Ireland)

Returned Americans: Identifying American Civil War Veterans on the Irish 1901 Census

The site has often explored the stories of American Civil War pensioners who returned to Ireland, and their dependents (see for example here, here and here). I usually carry out this research by looking through pension files to assess who was claiming from Ireland. But another means of uncovering some of these individuals is to examine […]

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A 49er on the American River (History of the United States)

‘Ireland at the Diggings’: The Irish of the California Gold Rush Celebrate Home, 1853

This site regularly explores aspects of the 19th century Irish emigrant experience in America beyond the Civil War. One of the most popular themes is the subject of the Irish in the West. Among the many topics touched upon have been The Voices of California’s Irish Pioneers, St. Patrick’s Day in the ‘Wild West’ and the experiences […]

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One of Fort Donelson's River Batteries (Hal Jesperson)

‘Beyond the Power of My Feeble Pen’: The Fate of a Limerick Octogenarian’s Sons in the West, 1862

Limerickman Patrick Vaughan had lived a long life by the 1860s. He was born sometime around 1783, the year that the conflict between the American Colonies and Britain had finally drawn to a close. When rebellion broke out in Ireland and French troops marched to their support in 1798, Patrick was a teenager. He was in his […]

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