A Visual Look at Irish Veterans in the G.A.R.: Thomas Francis Meagher Post #88, Staten Island (1)

The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was a Union veteran organisation originally founded in 1866. It would eventually become a significant lobby group with major political clout, particularly when it came to veterans affairs. In the State of New York, a number of G.A.R. Posts bore the names of Irishmen who served in the conflict; examples included G.A.R. Post #567 which was named for Thomas Francis Meagher and G.A.R. Post #69 named for James Shields in New York City, and G.A.R. Post #28 in Buffalo named for the McMahons of Corcoran’s Irish Legion. I am interested in how many Irishmen joined these posts, and what their military service history and social profile was. I hope to explore these questions graphically in a number of future articles on these ‘Irish-named’ G.A.R. Posts. This first one looks at some of the statistics for Thomas Francis Meagher Post #88, which was established in Tompkinsville, Staten Island, New York.

The statistics for the graphics below are taken from the Descriptive Book of Thomas Francis Meagher Post #88 from 1st December 1873, which provides details on a total of 46 Post members. The graphics below focus on breakdown by nationality, job-type and residence. A follow-up piece will examine the service of the men, looking at details such as length of service and branch of service. All the graphs have been generated in Excel based on a database I have created of the Post’s members. (2)

The % percentage breakdown by birthplace of the men in Thomas Francis Meagher Post #88. Ireland dominates with 18, followed by the United States by 16. The other countries were England (6), Germany (4), France (1) and Unknown (1). (Click on image for larger view)

The % percentage breakdown by birthplace of the men in Thomas Francis Meagher Post #88. Ireland dominates with 18, followed by the United States by 16. The other countries were England (6), Germany (4), France (1) and Unknown (1). (Click on image for larger view)

The Professions of the members of THomas Francis Meagher Post #88.

The Professions of Thomas Francis Meagher Post #88 members. (Click on image for larger view)

The professions of the Irish-born members of Thomas Francis Meagher Post #88. It is dominated by Laborers, followed by Clerks and Painters.

The professions of the Irish-born members of Thomas Francis Meagher Post #88. It is dominated by Laborers, followed by Clerks and Painters. (Click on image for larger view)

The locations where members of THomas Francis Meagher Post #88 lived. Note that two of the men gave their address as aboard the US vessel 'Fern.'

The locations where members of Thomas Francis Meagher Post #88 lived. Note that two of the men gave their address as aboard the USN vessel ‘Fern.’ (Click on image for larger view)

Percentage breakdown of where the Irish-born members of the Post lived. Based on 13 men who lived in Tompkinsville (72%) and 5 who lived in New Brighton (28%). (Click on image for larger view)

Percentage breakdown of where the Irish-born members of the Post lived. Based on 13 men who lived in Tompkinsville (72%) and 5 who lived in New Brighton (28%). (Click on image for larger view)

References

Descriptive List of Grand Army of the Republic Thomas Francis Meagher Post#88, Tompkinsville, Staten Island, New York.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Grand Army of the Republic, New York

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

11 Comments on “A Visual Look at Irish Veterans in the G.A.R.: Thomas Francis Meagher Post #88, Staten Island (1)”

  1. September 14, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

    Cool. That is the area of Staten Island near where the ferry to Manhattan (The Staten Island Ferry) lands.

    • September 16, 2014 at 9:46 am #

      Hey Pat,

      That makes sense given the occupations some of the men were putting down- these descriptive books really do contain a wealth of information about these men after the war- I have only seen the New York ones online but they are an impressive resource.

      Kind Regards,

      Damian.

  2. Donald Humphreys
    September 14, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    Hi Damian.

    My great grandfather, Patrick Breen, a Kerry native (about whom I have previously corresponded), was a careeIr soldier having enlisted in 1855 in the 2d U.S. Infantry Regiment. He was one of the “Regulars.” He was involuntarily discharged in 1876.

    I am attaching a biographical sketch I put together. It is in the process of being edited (by me) but I am slow to finish editing so I am sending along the current version.

    FYI, Patrick Breen was Post Commander of the Jeff C. Davis Post of the G.A.R. in Vincennes, Indiana.

    Cordially,

    Don

    • September 16, 2014 at 9:49 am #

      Hi Don,

      I hope all is well! Patrick’s story is a great one and thanks for all the info you have shared alreadu- I must get around to finally sharing his story with the readers here- if you are doing a revised edit be sure to send it on!

      Kind Regards,

      Damian.

  3. Cathy
    September 14, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    Do the wonderful classic revival buildings of Snug Harbour, Staten Island figure in your Civil War statistics? Fascinated, Cathy Nicholls

    • September 16, 2014 at 9:45 am #

      Hi Cathy,

      They don’t in this particular post- though they sound very interesting!

      Kind Regards,

      Damian.

  4. Steve Reilly, Kennesaw Camp Georgia SUVCW
    September 14, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    As you must know, all but one Camp is now gone in NYC. In the past, I was a member of the Tilden Camp, SUVCW which meets in a NYC building, behind city hall. Some of the camps purchased their own grave sections and Tilden Camp makes the rounds every Memorial day, placing flags on the graves. I was up in the city this year and made the rounds with the Camp Commander and a few brothers. It took most of the day driving around Queens & Brooklyn.

    • September 16, 2014 at 9:44 am #

      Hi Steve,

      Many thanks for this information- that is fascinating. I met some of the SUVCW based in Fredericksburg when I was over and had a really interesting chat with them (they had a stand at the Spotsylvania reenactment)- it would be an interesting study to see how many current SUVCW members trace their ancestor back to an Irish participant in the Civil War- one for the future perhaps!

      Kind Regards,

      Damian.

  5. September 16, 2014 at 5:02 am #

    Very cool I am a decendant of Staten Island Irish, I am decended from the Curry’s and they lived in Tompkinsville, Very interesting read!

    • September 16, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      Thanks! They are an interesting group of men- watch this space as I will have a second post on them looking at their military profiles! As a matter of interest was there traditionally a large Irish-American presence in Tompkinsville?

  6. September 16, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    Here is a little on another Staten Island Irish Union vet. He was in the Robert Gould Shaw GAR Post.
    https://irishamericancivilwar.com/2014/09/14/a-visual-look-at-irish-veterans-in-the-g-a-r-thomas-francis-meagher-post-88-staten-island-1/

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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: