This is the first in a new series which I have been planning to embark upon for a number of years. The intent is to attempt to explore the scale and range of immigrant service during the Civil War through the medium of a single battlefield. Periodically over the course of the coming months (and years) I will be examining individual units (Union and Confederate) in an effort to identify men born outside the United States who lost their lives as a result of the fighting at Gettysburg. As well as describing these soldiers in posts on the site, I will be endeavouring to map them onto the battlefield using QGIS, locating them relative to the contemporary memorial landscape. The first regiment featured is the 19th Massachusetts Infantry. They lost 15 men killed or mortally wounded as a result of the fighting on the Third Day, 33% of whom were born outside the United States (1 in Germany, 4 in Ireland). Details of the men are provided below, and they have been plotted relative to the 19th Massachusetts Monument.

I hope as the project progresses to gradually build up a sense of the scale of the immigrant contribution in visual form. Naturally due to the nature of the surviving records this can never be a complete picture, and cannot account for ethnic men born in the United States to immigrant parents. Nevertheless, I hope that it will raise some potentially interesting questions, and will help to examine the extent to which immigrants were present on the battlefield outside of “ethnic” formations. As each unit is posted, I would welcome any additions or clarifications readers may have on the foreign-born fatalities presented.


Totals: Killed- 9, Mortally Wounded- 6. Immigrant Born- 5 (33%).

Company C

Donath, Herman. 1st Lieutenant.

Nativity: Iserlohn, Germany. (1) 21-year-old printer. Killed in action 3 July.

Company E

Doyle, Thomas. Private.

Nativity: Ireland. (2) 36-year-old tailor. Left a widow Bridget and four children, Anna (b.1853), John (b.1857), Thomas (b.1860) and Margaret (b. 1861). Had been arrested as a deserter in Roxbury in August 1862. Killed in action 3 July.

Roche, Edmund. Private.

Nativity: Ireland. (4) 30-year-old morrocco-dresser. Left a widow Ellen and two children, Annie (b. 1859) and John (b. 1862). Killed in action 3 July.

Company H

Reardon, Daniel. Private.

Nativity: Cork, Ireland. (3) 20-year-old sailor. Missing in action 3 July.

Scannell, Patrick. Corporal.

Nativity: Ireland. (5) 23-year-old bleacher. Killed in action 3 July.

The five immigrant men of the 19th Massachusetts Infantry who were killed or mortally wounded at Gettysburg on 3 July 1863. They are plotted around the 19th Massachusetts monument, which is located on Hancock Avenue, south of the Copse of Trees. (Damian Shiels created using QGIS)


John Busey. These Honored Dead: The Union Casualties at Gettysburg;

(1) Compiled Military Service Record, Nativity listed as Hanover on 1860 Census, Roxbury Ward 3, Norfolk, Massachusetts;

(2) Nativity listed as Ireland on 1860 Census, West Roxbury, Norfolk, Massachusetts;

(3) Compiled Military Service Record;

(4) Compiled Military Service Record;

(5) Compiled Military Service Record; (19th Massachusetts Monument Image Credit);