I have some exciting news to share with readers of the site with regard to an upcoming event in the United States next year. Although I have guided a lot of tours on Irish battlefield sites, I have never had an opportunity to do so on an American battlefield. That will change on 11 May 2019. That Saturday I will be participating in the latest Bull Runnings Battlefield Tour, which is going to focus on the actions of the 69th New York State Militia at the First Battle of Bull Run. It has been organised by Bull Run expert extraordinaire Harry Smeltzer, creator of the excellent Bull Runnings BlogJoining Harry will be noted historian and battlefield guide John J. Hennessy, who needs little introduction. Among many other accomplishments, John is also the author of outstanding histories of both the First and Second Battles of Bull Run. Rounding off the crew will be Joe Maghe, long-standing friend of Irish in the American Civil War, who will be bringing a selection of his remarkable collection relating to Irish participation in the American Civil War. Unsurprisingly, my role on the tour will include sharing details of some of the men who participated (and their families) based on my pension file work, some of which I will be discussing for the first time.

Perhaps the best thing about this tour is that it is completely free. To find out the full details and learn about the logistics, please head over to Harry’s post about the tour by clicking here. If you are on Facebook, you can register your interest in the event here (and while you’re there be sure to give Harry’s Facebook Page a like, if you haven’t already done so!). I am greatly looking forward to this tour, particularly as I believe there is a lot of scope for Civil War battlefield tours which draw on elements of the pension files to discuss the lives of men and their families who fell there. Hopefully it will not be the last one I have an opportunity to be involved in! Please feel free to share the word about the tour with those who you think may be interested.