An Appeal for Civil War Descendants

I have been involved of late in assisting Mind the Gap films here in Ireland with a proposal to examine the Irish of the American Civil War, particularly with information in the pension files. Mind the Gap are eager to hear from descendants of Irish emigrants who served during the conflict, and have asked me to share the appeal below. If you have anything you think would be of interest please email Fran at Mind the Gap (her email is below), and feel free to share!

Mind the Gap Films is developing a documentary about the personal experiences of Irish men who served in the American Civil War, for broadcast on RTÉ. We’re looking for descendants who have letters, photographs or any personal effects belonging to ancestors who were involved in the conflict and who might like to share their stories. We will be filming in Ireland and the eastern US and would be delighted to hear from people who are interested. Please email Mind the Gap Films is an independent television production company and you can find out more about us here


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Categories: Events

Author:Damian Shiels

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

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17 Comments on “An Appeal for Civil War Descendants”

  1. John Murphy
    February 2, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    I’ve sent Fran some information on my great uncle, Michael Glynn from Galway that fought with the 6th Massachusetts Light Artillery in the Civil War.

    • February 6, 2017 at 8:36 pm #

      I wrote a book about my famine Irish McGahans because no one in my family knew anything about them. After 12 years of research I was able to tell the complete story of the 1st generation of my McGahan family. Ann McGann and her four children came to the NYC area in 1851. The three brothers all joined the Union army in 1861. In the spring of that year one was killed and the other two were seriously wounded. I found all of their military, medical and pension records. That was a major part of the book but the next generation suffered terribly as my gg grandfather left a widow and two young children to fend for themselves in the rough streets of Brooklyn. His son was shoeing horses at 11 and was a gang leader by 16 and arrested several times. He was a street fighter and a political leader. He managed to settle down and he and my g grandmother raised 9 children. It is a wonderful discovery.

      Jack McGann

    • February 18, 2017 at 9:48 am #

      Thanks John!

  2. J Creed
    February 2, 2017 at 10:17 pm #

    I’ve sent email with info about Corp John Creed from Limerick who was presented the Medal of Honot, 23rd Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry.

  3. Mary Curry Rand
    February 5, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

    I have been researching my great grandfather (William Curry) and my great-great grandfather (Michael Dailey) who both served in the 117th Regiment of NY. Both died within 3 days of each other at Petersburg VA. Michael lied about his age so his widow, Alice, never received a pension.

    • February 18, 2017 at 9:47 am #

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for the comment- do you know did she apply and it was turned down?

  4. MLS
    February 5, 2017 at 5:53 pm #

    Saw posts on Facebook from the Genealogical Society of Ireland. Will try to find time to email regarding my forebears! I think of the two confirmed to have served, one may be of some interest. He served in Corcoran’s Irish Legion. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. David Coffey
    February 18, 2017 at 10:15 am #

    Im related to Captain Charles Coffey of Company H of the 23rd Illinois Infantry,he was Captain of the Ottawa City Guards,and supervised the entrenchments at the siege of Lexington Missouri,and built Fort Fuller in West Virginia.Died in 1871 Butler County in an accident while offering his services to construct a R.C.Church for his local community.He was also a Veteran of the Mexican War

  6. michael macnamara
    February 19, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

    Anyone have a connection to Missouri regiments, particularly the 1st Light Artillery regiment?

  7. Michael Guarneri
    April 21, 2017 at 5:35 pm #

    My great, great grandfather served in Company I of the 69th New York State Volunteers of the Irish Brigade from November 1861 until December 13, 1862 when he was wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

    My video series “In the Irish Brigade” is located at Lots of great pictures and information is included.

    For a detailed look at the Fighting 69th and the 69th Regiment Armory,

    • July 25, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

      Hi Michael,

      Many thanks! I will certainly check out the website as well.

      Kind Regards,


  8. Patricia Roth
    April 26, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

    I have the pension records (more than 150 pgs) for my civil war ancestor and wrote a bit of a story for my family based on his life. He was born in 1837 and came with his family from Meath County, Ireland in 1848 to escape the famine and settled in Utica NY. In 1861 he enlisted with the 57th NY in Utica, was captured at the Battle of Cedar Run on 14 Oct 1863 and died in Andersonville in July 1864. You are welcome to the story and the pension records. The original pension records are very difficult to read so I made a “translated” file. You are welcome to that as well.

  9. Dan Kenney
    May 8, 2017 at 12:52 am #

    I have sent information pertaining to my Great great great grandfather Patrick Kenney an Irishman that fought with VA 33rd CO A. He was in the advance at which Jackson received his nickname “Stonewall. Also Fought with McNiells Rangers

    , I have included his Parole papers, picture of him after the war and a picture of his headstone.

    • July 25, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

      Hi Dan,

      That is great many thanks for that!

      Kind Regards,


  10. Colleen Grady
    July 14, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

    My grandfather James Grady was in the Battle of Cedar Creek and was wounded there. I have a letter he wrote about being wounded. He was in the 9th Connecticut infantry and is buried in the Cypress Hills National Cemetery. He was an Irish orphan who came to the U.S. in 1861. I have a picture of him as a veteran wearing his uniform. Part of his nose was shot off in the battle.

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