An Anniversary and Hopes for the Future

Today marks the second anniversary of the Irish in the American Civil War blog, which I hope readers have enjoyed up to this point. Over the time I have been writing I have sought to tell Irish stories in as engaging a way as possible, while still attempting to keep everything fully referenced and academically sound. I hope to continue in this vein in the future and also build on the resources section which will grow in the coming months.

One area I am keen to improve is readership of the site in Ireland itself- the American Civil War remains pitifully understudied and unrecognised in this country and it is to be hoped that this changes over the coming years. In Ireland we still fail to see the connection between victims forced to emigrate during the Famine and many of those Irish caught up in the Civil War, who were often enduring the second unprecedented national catastrophe of their lives. We in Ireland still do not understand the sheer level of Irish involvement in the American Civil War, in which c.180,000 Irish served with hundreds of thousands more caught up in war zones and affected on the home front. Indeed the only comparable conflict in terms of a manpower contribution by the Irish is World War One, a topic which has seen the production of dozens of books and ceremonies over the past decade. It is to be hoped that the rightful recognition Irish service in World War One now receives is a sign of things to come for those Irish in the American Civil War. I believe that one of the reasons for the neglect of further study and recognition of the 1861-65 conflict in Ireland is a result of the fact that the vast majority of these men and women never came home, instead staying and integrating into U.S. society. That said, much good work has been carried out to date in Ireland and we can seek to emulate some of the humbling efforts being undertaken in the United States. I hope this blog can contribute in some small way towards that.

Regular readers will note a slight fall off in posts over May and June, as I have been asked to work on a potential book project covering some of the topics that have appeared on the site since it began. This is an exciting (albeit time-consuming) prospect, but I hope to keep the site ticking over with the occasional post. Thanks again to all of you for reading the site, whether you are based in the U.S., Ireland or elsewhere- it is the interaction with readers and researchers that makes it all worthwhile!


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Discussion and Debate, General

Author:Damian Shiels

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

Follow Irish in the American Civil War

Follow Irish in the American Civil War via Social Media

19 Comments on “An Anniversary and Hopes for the Future”

  1. May 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Congrats, Damian, and keep up the good work!

  2. May 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    I have really enjoyed your blog and always look forward to updates. My ancestors came over here to the US during the famine and at least three of them fought in the Civil War. I never thought of it that way before (the second national catastrophe of their lives). Good work!!

  3. padraig66
    May 12, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    I was at a lecture about the Land Wars in Ireland the other night . The lecturer reckoned it was an indirect result of the ending of the american civil war & the global recession which followed in the mid 1870’s

    • May 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

      Hi Padraig,

      That is an interesting argument- there is no doubt that the war affected a far wider community than those just bast in the US at the time, particularly in the case of Ireland.

      Kind Regards,


  4. emeralds82
    May 12, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Damian. Congratulations on a stellar blog and Happy Anniversary! I love getting your post updates and if it means having to wait a little longer… so be it! Congratulations too on the book project! How exciting! Have a great weekend :)

  5. May 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Damian, you have created a first-class blog and it reflects very well on you and your subject. I very much appreciate it. Congratulations and keep up the (very demanding) good work! Jim

  6. Joseph Maghe
    May 13, 2012 at 4:59 am #

    Damian, enjoy your current project and know that we have thus far appreciated all the effort that you have put forth into your blog. We are looking forward to many more anniversaries. May God bless.

  7. Brendan
    May 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Congrats, Damian, and good luck on your new project. I’ve learned a ton from your blog. Trying to navigate the world of my Irish immigrant forebears Civil War-era Manhattan has been a hell of a trip.

  8. May 15, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    I think more people at home will come on board with the work you are doing on the Irish tour. Wow, 2 years! Congrats! & here’s to the next two!

    • May 16, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Thanks, and keep up the good work on your own excellent blog, I love reading it!

  9. May 18, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Thanks for the blog. The resources page has been invaluable in my own research. Really great work.

    • May 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      Thanks Pat- if it contributes in any small way to the superb posts you are creating than I am more than happy!

  10. October 23, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

    One thing is clear, Damian. Your blog has opened up a whole new area of historical interest for Irish people. In fact although the American Civil War is seen as an American matter the fact that so many emigrants and children of emigrants fought in it makes it an Irish matter too. Well done, and I’m looking forward to more!

    • October 30, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

      Hey Tony,

      THanks for that, I appreciate the support and as ever thanks for reading :-)


  1. Wednesday: Pick N Click « Emeralds82 - May 16, 2012

    […] Happy Anniversary- Irish American Civil War […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: