Upcoming Speaking Engagements

As I am an archaeologist by profession, the vast majority of public presentations I give are related to that subject, principally my area of expertise which is conflict archaeology. It is therefore very gratifying for me to have two upcoming engagements which have arisen as a result of the Irish in the American Civil War site. I am looking forward to both of them immensely, particularly as it gives me a rare opportunity to physically speak with others interested in Irish participation during the war!

The first event forms a part of the Irish Tricolour Weekend in Waterford, where History Ireland magazine are running a Hedge School  on the Irish in the American Civil War. I have been invited to participate in the panel discussion along with my former colleague in the National Museum of Ireland Lar Joye, Professor Tom Bartlett of the University of Aberdeen, and local historian Jack Burtchill. It will take place at 3pm on Saturday 10th March, in the Tapestry Room of Waterford’s Granville Hotel (which is on the site where Thomas Francis Meagher was born). Tickets are available at the door on the day for €8.

The second event is on Tuesday 17th April, and takes the form of a lecture to the South Tipperary Military History Society on the Irish in the American Civil War. The talk will start at 8pm in the Irish United Nations Veteran Association House at Clonmel Railway Station. Admittance is €2 for members of the society and €5 for non-members. For anyone who happens to be around either location at the time, I hope you will pop along for a look!

Granville Hotel, The Quays, Waterford. The site of Thomas Francis Meagher's birth

Granville Hotel, The Quays, Waterford. The site of Thomas Francis Meagher's birth

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Categories: Media, The Civil War and Ireland

Author:Damian Shiels

I am an archaeologist based in Ireland, specialising in conflict archaeology.

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6 Comments on “Upcoming Speaking Engagements”

  1. February 17, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    Damian, I wish I could hear your two talks. County Tipperary is especially dear to the 90th Illinois as the colonel, Timothy O’Meara, was born and grew up in North Tipperary. Lt. William White, who wrote the great letters about Holly Springs and the March through the Carolinas was born in Ballygriffin, near Cashel. When he joined the 90th IL, he brought 9 men with him who were born in County Tipperary. Altogether, there were at least 4 officers and 26 men in the 90th IL who were born in County Tipperary. As I’ve mentioned before, of the men born in Ireland (70% of the 90th IL), the county of birth is known for less than half of them.

    As to County Waterford, at least two men from Company A, Joseph Whalen and John Fitzgerald, were born there, as were Edward Burke and Patrick Keilley of Company F. I may add more later, but gotta run now. Best, Jim.

    • February 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

      Damian, John Fitzgerald is said to be from Cork in the muster rolls of the Illinois Attorney General, but a county history says that he was born in Waterford. He was wounded in both legs at Missionary Ridge, but came back to the regiment and mustered out with it in Washington, D.C. at the end of the war. Best, Jim

      • February 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

        Hi Jim,

        I must look into him a bit more- I am sure whatever county he is from he wouldnt like to be associated with the other, knowing how Cork and Waterford people are!

        Kind Regards,


  2. February 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Damian, Company A (raised in Rockford, IL) of the 90th Illinois had six men from Waterford. Thomas Conley was killed during the taking of Fort McAllister near Savannah. John and Owen McGrath were both wounded at Missionary Ridge, but came back to the regiment and mustered out at the end of the war. John was 23 y.o. when he enlisted and Owen was 19. Likely they were brothers. John Sullivan went through the entire war and, as far as we know, was not wounded. Joseph Whalen and Joseph P. Whalen (likely cousins?) both enlisted as corporals and both were promoted to sergeant. Joseph P. was discharged due to his wounds at Missionary Ridge. Joseph was also wounded at Missionary Ridge, but he came back and mustered out with those remaining in the regiment at the end of the war. The men from Waterford in Company A compiled an impressive war record. Best, Jim

  3. February 22, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    Wish I could be there

    • February 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

      Hi Pat,

      I think the Waterford one will eventually be up online at some point, so when it is I will post a link for ‘virtual’ attendance!

      Kind Regards,


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