Every week the New York Irish-American brought it’s news to Irish readers not just in The Empire State, but all over the United States. Many Irish soldiers at the front remained loyal readers of the newspaper throughout the Civil War. From time to time, the Irish-American printed portraits and illustrations of famous Irish-Americans, Catholics and places and objects relating to the Irish, which were carried on the front page of the paper. Some of these images were also available for commercial sale; portraits of famed leaders like Michael Corcoran and Thomas Francis Meagher proved particularly popular. In the first in a series of posts on these images that will cover each year of the American Civil War, we take a look at those that were included on the front page during 1861 (click the images to enlarge and read the captions).
Terence Bellew McManus. The Irish-American printed this on 20th April 1861, to commemorate the death of the Young Ireland leader in January 1861. It was based on one taken of him during his incarcertation in 1848. He died in povery in San Francisco, and his body was taken back to Ireland for burial (New York Irish American)
Monseigneur Félix Dupanloup, Bishop of Orlean, France. His portrait was printed on 11th May 1861 because of the Bishop’s words pleading the cause of the Irish people (New York Irish American)
Colonel Michael Corcoran of the 69th New York State Militia. Printed on 22nd June 1861. Less than a month after this was printed Corcoran was captured at First Bull Run. He died a Brigadier-General in 1863 (New York Irish American)
A drawing of Fort Corcoran, the fortification constructed by the 69th New York State Militia at Arlington Heights, Virginia in 1861. This was printed on 13th July 1861, to give readers an idea of the layout of the Irishmen’s fortification (New York Irish American)
Captain Thomas Francis Meagher in his 69th New York State Miltia uniform (his Company K wore zouave style dress). This was printed on 17th August 1861, when the former Young Irelander was beginning the formation of the Irish Brigade of which he would become Brigadier-General (New York Irish American)
Lieutenant-Colonel James Haggerty of the 69th New York State Miltia. The Donegal native was killed early in the action at First Bull Run on 21st July 1861. This portrait was printed on 5th October 1861 (New York Irish American)
Colonel James A. Mulligan, commander of the ‘Chicago Irish Brigade’, the 23rd Illinois Infantry. The New York born Irish-American had recently been involved in the First Battle of Lexington, Missouri when this was printed on 19th October. He would later be mortally wounded at Second Kernstown in 1864 (New York Irish American)
The flag of the new Irish Brigade. Now a familiar sight, this would have been the first time may Irish-Americans ever saw it. Printed on 7th December 1861 (New York Irish American)
New York Irish-American Weekly.