Men of the 3rd Rhode Island at Fort Pulaski in 1863 (Photographic History of the Civil War)

“Your husband was torn almost to pieces”: A Cork Woman Learns of her Roscommon Husband’s Death, South Carolina, 1863

The site regularly returns to the topic of letters written to inform families of the death of a loved one (see Communicating Death & Creating Memory on Fredericksburg’s Streets). As ...

"Answering the Emigrant's Letter", an 1850 painting by James Collinson, depicting an English family replying to correspondence from Australia (Manchester Art Gallery)

The Death of a Regular: Revealing an Ireland/New Jersey/Missouri Emigrant Network

The key focus of my research is on examining the letters of Irish emigrants in the Widows Pension Files. These letters, and the stories which surround them, have an incredible ...

A young Illinois soldier in the Civil War (Library of Congress)

“Hoping you will not take it to heart”: The Final Days of an Irish-American Boy Soldier

The site has consistently returned to the many members of the Irish community in the United States whose nativity was neither Irish or American. Many of these Irish-Americans had been ...

Spotlight

Map 2. Widows & Dependents in Receipt of American Military Pensions, Mainland Europe, 1883. Concentration Heatmap (Click on image to explore map)

Mapping Britain’s American Civil War Widows & Dependent Parents: An Online Resource

This is the second instalment of the ongoing mapping project detailing every widow ...

“She Hates Men”: An Interview With A Troubled Irish Famine Emigrant

Perhaps the greatest value of the Widow’s and Dependent Pension Files is ...
The Phelan Family Register (NARA/Fold3)

Document Focus: The Story of the Phelan Family Register

The last post (see here) was the first in a series called Document ...

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The Corporal Warrant for Joseph Donovan (NARA/Fold3)

Document Focus: The Story of the Corporal’s Warrant

Many of the pension files I explore contain one or two particularly interesting documents or pieces of evidence. These tend to be historically eye-catching in their own right, but also always served a very specific purpose in the case being built by a prospective pensioner. Such documents were usually included to provide proof on a particular aspect […]

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Hubert & Mary McNamara (Ruth Davis-Hastler)

Picturing the McNamaras: Images of the Irishman whose final letter home was cut from his body at Cold Harbor

On 2nd June 1864 Hubert McNamara of the 155th New York Infantry, Corcoran’s Irish Legion, prepared a letter for his wife. He was aware that the following morning he would be going into action; he was among the men of the Army of the Potomac then preparing to assault the Confederate lines at Cold Harbor. […]

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The Crater as it appeared in 1865 (Photographic History of the Civil War)

“I am so heartily sick of this life”: The Civil War Letter of Daniel Crowley, Part 3

I am pleased to bring to readers the third and final instalment of Catherine Bateson’s guest posts charting the correspondence of Cork’s Daniel Crowley, who served in the 28th Massachusetts Infantry, Irish Brigade in 1864-5. If you have missed the earlier articles, you can catch up on them here and here. As the protracted operations […]

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Europe Heat Map

Mapping Mainland Europe’s American Civil War Widows & Dependent Parents: An Online Resource

Over recent months I have been working on a major new resource for those interested in the emigrant experience of the American Civil War. It seeks to provide information on all the widows and dependents receiving American pensions outside the United States, based on those listed in the 1883 List of Pensioners on the Roll. The […]

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The Forgotten Irish Event at the National Archives, Washington D.C., 16 March 2017 (Photo © Bruce Guthrie)

Video: Discussing Forgotten Irish Emigrants at the National Archives, Washington D.C.

Last week I had the great honour of taking part in a discussion and audience Q&A at the National Archives in Washington D.C. with Dr. Michael Hussey of NARA and Professor David Gleeson of Northumbria University. The event was followed by the American launch of my book The Forgotten Irish: Irish Emigrant Experiences in America, […]

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“I am the Same Boy yet”: The Civil War Letters of Daniel Crowley, Part 2

The site welcomes back Catherine Bateson of the University of Edinburgh for the second in her series on the 1864 letters of Cork native Daniel Crowley, who served in the 28th Massachusetts Infantry, Irish Brigade (read the first post here). As the regiment pushes on to Petersburg, Daniel writes home of hand-to-hand combat, on his […]

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The Green House in Midleton (Damian Shiels)

Exploring the 1867 Fenian Rising in Cork

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the 1867 Fenian Rising in Ireland. Though the attempt ended in failure, it played an important role in influencing future revolutionaries who undertook the 1916 Rising. East Cork, where I live, was one of the areas of the country where some of the most significant disturbances took place. […]

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Scotland 1883 Pensioners

Mapping Scotland’s 19th Century American Military Pensioners

As part of my continuing work on Civil War pension files, I returned again to Scotland (for my previous work on Scots in the Civil War see here and here), to comprehensively map all the American Pensioners in Scotland recorded in the 1883 List of Pensioners on the Roll. In 1882 Congress instructed that this list […]

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The fields over which the Union assault on the Mule Shoe salient took place at Spotsylvania, as dawn breaks on the 150th anniversary of the battle, 12th May 2014 (Damian Shiels)

“…I don’t care about dancing on the bodies of dead men”: The Civil War letters of Daniel Crowley, Part 1

Friend of the site Catherine Bateson of the University of Edinburgh has previously contributed a guest post on her work relating to Irish Songs in the American Civil War. I am delighted to welcome her back, this time to share some research she has carried out on the fascinating letters of Daniel Crowley, a young Cork […]

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“The Forgotten Irish” Event at The National Archives, Washington D.C.

As many readers of the site will be aware, the majority of my work concentrates on material from the widows’ and dependent pension files of Irish Civil War soldiers held in the National Archives, Washington D.C. This was also the source material on which my new book The Forgotten Irish: Irish Emigrant Experiences in America […]

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