As regular readers will be aware, Andersonville Prison and Andersonville National Cemetery are regularly featured on this site. It is almost certainly the National Cemetery that contains more Irish American dead from the Civil War than any other in the United States. I have been working towards establishing a formal project examining the Irish and other immigrants buried in the cemetery, something I hope to formally get under way in the coming months.
The stories of those interred at Andersonville serve to remind us that the American Civil War was not just a conflict that impacted “Americans”, though we most often frame it that way. Many men who died between 1861 and 1865 who were not yet citizens, and in many cases their immediate families had never, and would never, set foot in the United States. Those widows, parents, children and siblings were left to suffer their loss thousands of miles away on the other side of the Atlantic. There were others who made the decision to call time on the “American dream”, and return to their country of origin following the death of their husband or son in Georgia. The gallery below features the headstones of men from Ireland, England, Scotland and Germany in Andersonville National Cemetery where a pension was claimed in Europe based upon their service, together with the details of where the dependent was located. Though far from a comprehensive list, it nevertheless serves as a reminder of how the Civil War impacted these “non-Americans”.
I hope that this will eventually become one element of what will ultimately grow into a wide-ranging resource focused on immigrants in Andersonville National Cemetery, and as I encounter more of these European pension connections I will add them to the gallery.
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